The Seven Geographic Regions of Washington State

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The Seven Geographic Regions of Washington State. The Six Geographic Regions of the Pacific Northwest. 1) Coastal 2) Western Lowlands 3) Western Cascade Mountains 4) Eastern Cascades Mountains 5) Columbia Basin 6) Okanogan Highlands 7) Palouse Hills. Coastal Region.
The Seven Geographic Regions of Washington State

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The Seven Geographic Regions

of Washington State

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The Six Geographic Regions

of the Pacific Northwest

  • 1) Coastal

  • 2) Western Lowlands

  • 3) Western Cascade Mountains

  • 4) Eastern Cascades Mountains

  • 5) Columbia Basin

  • 6) Okanogan Highlands

  • 7) Palouse Hills

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Coastal Region

  • lies along the western coastline of the United States

  • This long and very narrow region, is only 40 to 70 miles(65 to 110 km) wide

  • extends south from the Olympic Peninsula from the Strait of Juan de Fuca

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Coastal Region

  • Strait of Juan de Fuca

  • snow-capped Olympic Mountains

  • evergreen rain-forested Olympic Peninsula

  • broad sandy ocean beaches, Klamath-Siskiyou

  • Grays Harbor-Chehalis River lowland

  • Willapa Bay and Willapa Hills

  • mouth of the Columbia River

  • Tillamook Bay Northern Coastal Range

  • Coos Bay Rogue and Umpqua rivers

  • Astoria, Oregon Port Angeles, Aberdeen

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Coastal Region

  • Coastlines

  • Six major indentations:

    • Coos Bay

    • Tillamook Bay

    • the mouth of the Columbia River

    • Willapa Bay

    • Grays Harbor

    • the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

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Coos Bay

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Tillamook Bay

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Mouth of the Columbia River

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Willapa Bay

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Greys Harbor

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Strait of Juan de Fuca

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Coastal Region

  • Inlets are also sites for the region’s largest communities

  • Why?

  • NO

  • Close

  • RIGHT access to world markets through shipping!!!!

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Coastal Region

  • Topography

  • Normally most coastal areas are near sea level

  • Not true in the Pacific Northwest

  • Elevations approach nearly 8,000 feet

  • The region’s profile is bell-shaped.

  • The profile begins at sea level, climbs to the top of the Olympic Mountains and the Coastal Range, then rapidly descends to nearly sea level again.

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Coastal Region

  • Climate

  • Because of off shore warm currents British Columbia, and southern Alaskan (coast-lines), have a very mild, but moist climate throughout the year.

  • This climate provides lush vegetation and supports dense coniferous (softwood) forests.

  • Extensive ever-green forests cover the Coastal Region except were development has taken place.

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Coastal Region

  • Temperature

  • The Coastal Region’s climate is the most moderate in the Pacific Northwest

  • Winter 35°F and 55°F

  • Summer 55°F to 75°F

  • With lots of rain fall

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Coastal Region

  • Precipitation

  • Coastal Region greatly exceeds the norm in the Pacific Northwest and the western United States.

  • 40 inches (101 cm) a year

  • 200 inches (508 cm) of rainfall annually in the Olympic Mountains

  • Rain shadow

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Coastal Region

  • Economic Activities

  • One result of the region’s mild rainy cli-mate is the abundance and variety of plant and animal life.

  • main economic activities include fishing, forestry, general farming, and tour-ism.

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Western Lowlands

  • located between the mountains and hills of the Coastal Region and the Cascade Range.

  • extends about 400 miles (640 km) north to south but is only 50 to 70 miles (80 to 110 km) wide

  • The region is the most heavily populated, urbanized, and industrialized in the Pacific Northwest.

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Western Lowlands

  • The Western Lowlands are made up of

  • three large subregions:

  • 1) the Puget Sound Trough

  • 2) the Chehalis-Cowlitz-Columbia river valleys

  • 3) the Willamette River Valley

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Western Lowlands

  • The Western Lowlands are made up of The Puget Sound area has hundreds of small and medium sized islands,

  • Such as: San Juan Islands, Whidbey Island, Vashon Island, and Bainbridge Island

  • It is also has many peninsulas Olympic Peninsula, Kitsap Peninsula.

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Western Lowlands

  • Puget Sound Trough

  • located in western Washington

  • It is a densely populated fertile lowland that is a hub of economic activity.

  • Major urban areas such as Seattle,Tacoma, Bellevue, Bremerton, Bellingham, Everett, and Olympia

  • All are centers of urban and industrial activities.

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Western Lowlands

  • Due to glacial erosion, Puget Sound has an irregular shoreline and numerous deep, sheltered harbors such as:

  • Hood Canal-Bangor, Elliott Bay-Seattle, Commencement Bay-Tacoma, Everett, Bremerton, Olympia, Anacortes, and Bellingham.

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Western Lowlands

  • Chehalis-Cowlitz River Valleys

  • The second subregion within the West-ern Lowlands contains three major river valleys:

  • 1) Chehalis River

  • 2) Cowlitz River

  • the Columbia River Gorge

  • Why are these regions not as populated?

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Western Lowlands

  • Willamette Valley

  • the third subregion

  • The Willamette River Valley was the historic objective of thousands of early pioneers.

  • The Willamette River produced a broad fertile valley that is a prime agricultural region.

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Western Lowlands

  • Willamette Valley

  • cities as Portland, Eugene,Salem, Springfield, Beaverton, Corvallis, Al-bany, Lake Oswego, Gresham.

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Western Lowlands

  • Physical Terrain

  • elevation ranges from sea level to about 1,000 feet (305 m).

  • This region is physically unique because of its many river valleys and flood plains. Thus, the total precipitation is generally less.

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Western Lowlands

  • Climate

  • Marine West Coast

  • The region receives slightly less precipitation than the Coastal Region.

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Western Lowlands

  • Precipitation

  • The Western Lowlands lie in the rainshadow of the Coastal Range and Olympic Mountains.

  • precipitation is generally less than on the windward slopes

  • average annual rainfall ranges from 15 inches (38 cm) at Sequim,and Eugene.

  • 100 inches (254 cm) in the western foothills of the Cascade Mountains

  • The region’s average is about 40 inches (100 cm) annually.

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Western Lowlands

  • Temperature

  • Winter temperatures range from 35°F to 55°F

  • summer temperatures generally range between 65°F and 85°F

  • The Western Lowlands economy is be-coming more industrialized.

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Western Lowlands

  • Economic Activities

  • Climate encourages

  • vegetables, berries, flower bulbs, fruits, nuts, nursery plants and shrubs, some grains, dairy products, and beef.

  • Western Lowlands economy is be-coming more industrialized.

  • Western Lowlands economy is be-coming more industrialized transportation equipment, electronics, and high technology

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Eastern and Western Cascade Mountains

  • Just east of the Western Lowlands, also lying along a north-south axis, are the Cascade Mountains.

  • They extend from southern British Columbia, Canada, through the states of Washington and Oregon and end in northern California.

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Cascade Mountains

  • Natural Barrier

  • a formidable physical, climatic, and transportation barrier.

  • averaging about 6,000 feet (1,800 m) in elevation with many volcanic peaks above 10,000 feet (3,000 m)

  • Cascade Range has only a few low mountain passes and only one major lowland, where the Columbia River cuts through the Columbia Gorge.

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Cascade Mountains

  • .Volcanoes

  • The Cascade Mountains are part of the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire.”

  • Tallest Mount Rainier 14,411

  • Smallest Mt. St. Helens 8,365 ft

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Cascade Mountains

  • Climate

  • these north-south mountains are a physical barrier to the region’s climate

  • West wet East dry

  • 100 inches (250 cm) on the western slope and decreases to only 20 inches (50 cm) on the eastern slopes

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Cascade Mountains

  • Rainier set the world record with 1,224.5 inches (3,110.2 cm) or 102 feet of snow between February19, 1971, and February 18, 1972.

  • heavy annual snowfall provides the late spring and early summer river runoff, especially significant for those eastern slope rivers flowing through the semiarid regions of Washington and Oregon.

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Cascade Mountains

  • Highland Climate

  • Due to great range in elevation have climates that are more moist and very mild. summer maximum temperatures are cooler, but the winter minimum temperatures are colder.

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Cascade Mountains

  • Difference in vegetation east vs. west

  • West dense evergreen coniferous forests Fir species

  • East pine

  • Animals birds, small animals, and big game animals, such as elk, black bear, cougar or mountain lion, mule deer,bighorn sheep, and mountain goats.

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Cascade Mountains

  • Inhabitants

  • The Cascade Mountain Region is sparsely populated.

  • Mountains is owned or controlled by either the state or federal government.

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Columbia Basin

  • The largest geographic region of the Pacific Northwest.

  • The region covers about 193,000 square miles

  • It is the world’s second largest lava plateau.

  • 400 miles (640 km) from north to south and 500 miles (800 km) east to west

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Columbia Basin

  • lies between the Cascade Mountains to the west, the Rocky Mountains to the east and north, and the Great Intermountain

  • The Columbia Plateau was constructed by as many as 55 different lava flows.

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Columbia Basin

  • Sub regions

  • northern part Columbia Basin

  • the sub regions include:

    • the Waterville Plateau

    • the Quincy Basin

    • the Channeled Scablands

    • the Palouse Hills

    • the Kittitas Valley

    • the Yakima Valley

    • the Pasco Basin

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Columbia Basin

  • The central parts of the Columbia Plateau are interrupted by the Seven Devils, Wallowa, and Blue mountain ranges.

  • On the Oregon side of the Columbia River is the Umatilla-Deschutes Plateau.

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Columbia Basin

  • The southern and southeastern sections are dominated by the Harney High Lava Plains and the Upper Snake River Valley respectively.

  • Climate

  • arid to semiarid region characterized by hot, sunny summers and cold winters.

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Columbia Basin

  • Precipitation

  • region is virtually surrounded by the Cascade and Rocky mountains. These mountain barriers have a drastic effect upon annual precipitation amounts received by the region

  • annual precipitation below 20 inches

  • Temperature

  • Summer 100°F Winter below zero

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Columbia Basin

  • Natural Vegetation

  • sparse grassland and sagebrush-bunch grass

  • Wildlife we know

  • human inhabitants are un-evenly distributed over this huge area.

  • Why?

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Columbia Basin

  • Economic Activities

  • mixture of farming and manufacturing

  • a long growing season, and abundant irrigation water allow farmers to produce outstanding yields of wheat, bar-ley, oats, hops, alfalfa, corn, beans, apricots, potatoes, sugar beets, apples, pears, peaches, grapes, cherries, vegetables, and specialty crops. In addition, the dry grasslands are excellent grazing areas for cattle, sheep, horses, and other livestock.

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Okanogan Highlands

  • Forms the northernmost subregion in eastern Washington.

  • It extends east of the Cascades across the northeastern portion of the state.

  • The Columbia and Spokane rivers form its southern boundary

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Okanogan Highlands

  • Physical Features

  • very rugged and mountainous.

  • It includes the Okanogan Highlands, San Poil and Selkirk mountains, and a small portion of the Rockies.

  • Includes several peaks over 8,500 feet

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Okanogan Highlands

  • Physical Features

  • The Columbia River divides this subregion into two parts.

  • The western portion includes the Methow, Okanogan, and San Poil rivers.

  • The eastern portion includes the Pend Oreille,Colville, and Spokane rivers..

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Okanogan Highlands

  • Climate

  • Cold winters and warm summers.

  • Summers are warm with little precipitation

  • The higher elevations have a highland climate, and lower elevations are semiarid.

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Okanogan Highlands

  • Vegetation

  • Forested with a variety of evergreen and deciduous trees

  • The undergrowth consists of brush and grasses

  • Valleys are covered with western larch, alder, ash, and maple trees.

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Palouse Hills

  • The Palouse Hills extend south from the Spokane River to the Blue Mountains.

  • In southeastern Washington State

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Palouse Hills

  • Physical Features

  • The rugged Blue Mountains

  • Dune shaped Palouse Hills

  • Are the major physical features in this sub region.

  • 6,401 feet highest elevation

  • Largest river of the region, is the Snake.

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Palouse Hills

  • Climate

  • A modified semiarid climate.

  • Receives more precipitation than other areas of eastern Washington.

  • Higher elevations of the Blue Mountains have a highland climate.

  • Winter tends to be very cold and windy.

  • Summers, are very hot and dry with little or no moisture after April.

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Palouse Hills

  • Vegetation

  • Steppe grasses and sagebrush cover most of the sub region.

  • The trees only grow on the moist upper slopes of the Blue Mountains.

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The Six Geographic Regions

of the Pacific Northwest

  • 1) Coastal

  • 2) Western Lowlands

  • 3) Western Cascade Mountains

  • 4) Eastern Cascades Mountains

  • 5) Columbia Basin

  • 6) Okanogan Highlands

  • 7) Palouse Hills

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