What is a Quadripoint? Quadripoint Countries | Quadripoint USA

What is a Quadripoint? Quadripoint Countries | Quadripoint USA

Quadripoint definition

A quadripoint is a geographic location on Earth where four separate territories intersect. Territories can be of several types, such as national or provincial. There are several examples of people using other names all throughout the world.

Several similar locations are more popularly known as Four Corners in North America. However, a quadripoint is not like a Four Corners; it is specifically when four territories meet.

A quadripoint is not to be confused with a tripoint, which is a location where three countries meet.

Quadripoint History

The Four Shire Stone in Moreton-in-Marsh, England (attested in the Domesday Book, 1086, and mentioned since 969 if not 772; until 1931.

it was the meeting point of the English counties of Gloucestershire, Oxford shire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire) is an early example of four political divisions meeting at a point.

From 1817 to 1821, current Alabama–Mississippi state line crossed the 31st parallel boundary between Spain and the United States, creating the oldest documented quadripoint involving contemporary nation-states.

During that time, the area of West Florida between the Pearl and Perdido rivers (which Spain still owned but which the United States forcibly occupied and annexed in 1810 after belatedly claiming it as part of the Louisiana Territory purchased from France in 1803) was subdivided and allocated to the Territory (and later State) of Alabama.

At the intersection of demarcated boundaries, an international quadripoint of four territories resulted, which in the United States were named (clockwise) Baldwin and Mobile counties in Alabama and Jackson and Greene counties in Mississippi, despite the fact that Mobile and Jackson Counties were still Spanish.

Between 1839 and 1920, Vaalserberg served as a quadripoint for Belgium, Prussia/Germany, the Netherlands, and Moresnet.

Moresnet was never a true country, but rather a neutral area or condominium of the Netherlands, Prussia (initially), Belgium, and Germany (ultimately).

Since 1976, further political changes have restored its quadripartite structure along municipal lines (Kelmis, Plombieres inside Belgium) (though it has also enjoyed fivefold partition along municipal lines at times).

Quadripoints of Four Nations


While some older sources claimed that a quadripoint existed in Africa, where the borders of Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe meet at the confluence of the Cuando (also known as the Chobe) and Zambezi rivers, it is now widely accepted that two separate tripoints exist about 100 to 150 meters (330–490 ft.) apart.

South Africa (which occupied Namibia at the time) advised Botswana in 1970 that there was no common border between Botswana and Zambia, asserting the existence of a quadripoint.

As a result, South Africa asserted that the Kazungula Ferry, which connects Botswana and Zambia at the quadripoint, is illegal. Botswana categorically denied both charges.

There was a clash, and shots were fired at the ferry; years later, the Rhodesian Army assaulted and sank the ferry, claiming it was used for military purposes.

Ian Brownlie, who researched the issue, noted in 1979 that the notion of a quadripoint could not be ruled out conclusively at the time.

South Africa (which occupied Namibia at the time) advised Botswana in 1970 that there was no common border between Botswana and Zambia, asserting the existence of a quadripoint.

As a result, South Africa asserted that the Kazungula Ferry, which connects Botswana and Zambia at the quadripoint, is illegal. Botswana categorically denied both charges.

There was a clash, and shots were fired at the ferry; years later, the Rhodesian Army assaulted and sank the ferry, claiming it was used for military purposes.

Ian Brownlie, who researched the issue, noted in 1979 that the notion of a quadripoint could not be ruled out conclusively at the time.

Cameroon–Chad–Nigeria–United Kingdom

However, during eight months in 1960 and 1961, in southern Lake Chad, at the location of the current Cameroon–Chad–Nigeria tripoint, a true four-country point existed in Africa (excluding Kazungula) — the only known quadri-country border point (not incorporating condominial territories).

Following Nigeria’s independence on 1 October 1960, that border point became shared by the latter three countries as well as the area of Northern Cameroons, which was still ruled by the United Kingdom under United Nations mandate until it was eventually absorbed into Nigeria on 1 June 1961.

This geographical multipoint, albeit hypothetical since 1908, if not 1891, and definitively fixed and fully agreed upon since 1931, remains undemarcated to this day.

Quadripoints both within and between countries

Quadripoints can exist at the intersection of any type(s) or level of the political unit (s).

The most prevalent are in the United States and Canada, where the grid-based Public Land Survey System (PLSS) and Dominion Land Surveys (DLS) produced a huge number of quadripoints at the corners of survey units such as DLS townships, PLSS townships, sections, and other gridded subdivisions.

Survey townships are frequently used to set the borders of counties and towns in the United States.

There are dozens of quadripoints between US counties, hundreds between US towns, and thousands (mostly bilateral) on the outskirts of checkerboard-patterned Indian reservations and other federally designated territories.

However, of all the quadripoints that exist, a few dozen are located on international borders, and roughly a dozen others include primary national subdivisions (such as provinces or states).

There are a few general types of international quadripoints. In the absence of four-country points, three-country quadripoints are likely to be the most important.

These mix two divisions from one country with (one division from each of) two other countries. However, there are also binational quadripoints of various types.

Some combine two subdivisions of two countries, others three subdivisions of one country with (one of) another.

Still others occur where international boundaries appear to touch or cross themselves—with or without subdivision—or where an international boundary appears to bifurcate around disputed territories.

Below are various subnational quadripoints made up of subdivisions, organized by country.


Two districts of Algeria’s Adrar Province, Bordj Badji Mokhtar and Reggane, meet the Tombouctou Cercle of Mali’s Tombouctou Region and the Bir Mogrein Department of Mauritania’s Tiris Zemmour Region.


The four parrquies or parishes of Canillo, Encamp, La Massana, and Ordino converge at a quadripoint in northern Andorra.


Argentina’s provinces of La Pampa, Ro Negro, Mendoza, and Neuquén may intersect at (-37°35′ -68°15′). Since a 1966 resurvey placed doubt on the exact boundary convergence, Ro Negro has challenged this.


According to the 1844 border treaty between the Kingdom of Bavaria and the Austrian Empire, the summit of Sorgschrofen forms a quadripoint between two German and two Austrian municipalities.

Pfronten and Bad Hindelang in Bavaria, Germany, and Schattwald and Jungholz in Tyrol, Austria, with the Austrian municipality of Jungholz being connected to the rest of Austria only by a single point.


When practically all of the India–Bangladesh enclaves were extinguished by the Land Boundary Agreement between the two states, which swapped all first-order exclaves after 31 July 2015, the following quadripoint(s) was(were) also extinguished.

The international boundary touched (or crossed) itself at one (or maybe two) areas shared by India (West Bengal state, Cooch Behar district) and Bangladesh (Rangpur Division, Lalmonirhat District).

A confirmed incidence occurred in Mathabhanga subdivision and a less certain one in Mekhliganj subdivision (both in Cooch Behar), involving the Bara Saradubi enclave of Hatibandha thana and the Jote Nijjama enclave of Patgram thana (both in Lalmonirhat).

Additional political subdivision did not appear to result in either case. Its (or their) international stature had fluctuated since Mughal times and was a result of the Radcliffe Award in 1947.


The international boundary contacts (or crosses) itself without imparting political partition within the commingled municipalities of Baarle-Nassau (North Brabant, Netherlands) and Baarle-Hertog (North Brabant, Netherlands) (Antwerp, Belgium).

The unique circumstance, which happens only once at Baarle (at the intersection of Belgian enclaves H1 and H2), has existed at least cadastrally from around 1198, although its current international distinction dates only from 1830.

Benin–Burkina Faso

Since 2009, Benin and Burkina Faso have jointly administered a neutral zone called Kourou or Koalou that runs parallel to their border with Togo, resulting in the type of tri-country quadripoint seen above, which adjoined the defunct Moresnet neutral zone.


The establishment of the Canadian territory of Nunavut may have resulted in the formation of a quadripoint between the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as the territories of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories (NWT).

The boundaries of Nunavut were specified in 1993 by the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, and the territory was legally separated from the Northwest Territories in 1999.

The boundary of Nunavut is defined in both texts as the “intersection of 60°00’N latitude with 102°00’W longitude, being the intersection of the Manitoba, Northwest Territories, and Saskatchewan boundaries.”

However, because the northernmost point of the Manitoba–Saskatchewan border as surveyed is somewhat off from 60° north 102° west, the regulations are not entirely clear concerning whether the Nunavut–Northwest Territories border.

Multipoints with a higher numerical complexity

Quadripoints are unusual and uncommon because borders and territories rarely intersect in groupings of more than three (viz., at tripoints).

Points with more than four constituencies are proportionally and correspondingly infrequent. There are only thirteen quintipoints in the world, each with its own degree of geopolitical subdivision.

Five counties in Florida, for example, meet in the midst of Lake Okeechobee, while the five parishes of Nevis, one of the two islands that comprise St Kitts and Nevis, meet on Nevis Peak in the island’s center.

Multipoints with more than quintuple complexity are extremely unusual.

Quadripoint USA

The Four Corners Monument represents the quadripoint in the Southwestern United States where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet.

Because it is the only place in the United States shared by four states, the area has been dubbed the Four Corners region.

The monument also delineates the border between two semi-autonomous Native American governments: the Navajo Nation, which operates the monument as a tourist attraction, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Reservation.

The state boundaries marked by the monument were formed shortly prior to and during the American Civil War, when the United States Congress decided to organize governments in the region to resist the expansion of slavery.

When the first territories were established, their borders were drawn following meridian and parallel lines. These lines were surveyed and designated beginning in the 1860s.

Despite the fact that these early surveys had some inaccuracies, the markers put became the legal boundaries, overriding textual explanations of geographical meridians and parallels.

This contains the Four Corners Monument, which is constitutionally designated at the intersection of the four states.


What is a Quadripoint?

A quadripoint is where four boundaries touch. These can be borders between countries, states or counties.

When are Quadripoints created?

Quadripoints are created when two countries draw a border that cuts through their shared territory, cutting each country in two.

If humans have not created the quadripoint then it occurred at the division of an existing country (such as Czechoslovakia) into smaller ones.

Are all Quadripoints in the World?

No. A quadripoint only occurs where two countries have drawn their boundaries accordingly and where there are currently four countries that share a boundary.

Where do the 4 countries meet?

A quadripoint is a point that intersects the boundaries of four distinct territories. Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – also known as the “four corners of Africa” – converge at the eastern end of the Caprivi Strip. The world has more than 150 tripoints but just ONE international quadripoint.

How many Quadripoints are there?

There are more than 150 tripoints around the world—borders where three nations meet—but only one international “quadripoint.” This is a location in southern Africa, in the middle of the Zambezi River, where Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana all meet.

Is there a place where four countries touch?

There are other cases where the borders of two or three countries intersect, but the uncommon confluence of four nations meeting on one site only exists in Africa, where the corners of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia meet.

Can you be in two countries at once?

You can undoubtedly be in two places at the same time, as evidenced by these various locales.

Whether it’s an island that is both in the United States and Canada at the same time, or a restaurant that sits directly on the border of France and Switzerland, some places around the world aren’t satisfied with just one address.

Where can you stand in 3 countries at once?

The Triple Frontier: Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay Tripoint where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet on the border of Iguacu National Park.

Where is the Quadripoint between four countries?

There is only one international quadripoint in the world, located on the border between Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Four Corners “Four States”: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah. In the United States of America where four states – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah – meet at Monument Valley in the Navajo Nation Reservation.

What are the four corners of a country?

The “four corners” of a country is usually the place where four states, provinces, or territories join. The name reflects the fact that the four sides leave one corner unincorporated.

Most of the time, these only exist in certain parts of the world and there is only one international quadripoint in existence at all.

Where do the most countries touch?

Which country in the world has the most countries on its borders? Technically, we have a tie because both China and Russia have 14 adjacent countries. This is not surprising given that Russia and China are the world’s two largest political powers.

Do Botswana and Zambia share a border?

Botswana and Zambia share the world’s shortest land border, at 135 meters (443 feet). The Botswana–Zambia boundary connects two Zambezi River tripoints, one with Namibia in the northwest and one with Zimbabwe in the southeast.

Where do most countries meet?

Instead, the maximum is three, which is known as a tripoint. Surprisingly, there are at least 157 tri-country sites on the planet. The Treriksröset tripoint of Finland, Norway, and Sweden is a well-known international tripoint (the exact point is in a lake, but a marker is built on that point)

What countries touch the Atlantic Ocean?

The United States is the only nation that touches both oceans altogether. In addition, Argentina is connected to Brazil by a land border in Antarctica. South Africa and Namibia also share borders with Angola and Zambia, and Cape Verde, an island nation off the coast of Senegal.

What countries border the Red Sea?

There are actually four countries that border the Red Sea: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia and Djibouti. Saudi Arabia has also territorial disputes over Yemen.

Similar Posts