Physical geography of north america a land of contrasts
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Physical Geography of North America – A Land of Contrasts. Landforms and Natural Resources. Landforms and Resources. U.S. and Canada are bound together by both physical geography and cultural heritage as well a s strong economic and political ties

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Physical Geography of North America – A Land of Contrasts

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Physical geography of north america a land of contrasts

Physical Geography of North America – A Land of Contrasts

Landforms and Natural Resources


Landforms and resources

Landforms and Resources

  • U.S. and Canada are bound together by

    both physical geography and

    cultural heritage as well as strong

    economic and political ties

  • Both rank among the largest in the world

  • Both are rich in natural resources

    • Fertile soils, ample supplies of H20, vast forests and large deposits of a variety of minerals

    • Popular with immigrants from around the world


Physical geography of north america a land of contrasts

Many and Varied Landforms


Varied landforms

Varied Landforms

Eastern Lowlands

Appalachian Highlands

  • Flat, coastal plain along the narrower Atlantic coast from the Northeast to Florida

  • Offers many excellent harbors

  • Gulf Coastal Plain is much broader from Florida to Texas

  • Low plateau – called the Piedmont (rolling hills) – connects the lowlands to the mountains

  • Runs north to south from Alabama into Canada

  • Contain several other mountain ranges w/in (Catskill, Blue Ridge, Great Smoky Mountains)


Varied landforms1

Varied Landforms

Interior Lowlands

Mtn. Plateaus & Basins

  • Mainly level landsflattened by huge glaciers 1000’s of years ago

    • Includes lowland, rolling hills, thousands of lakes and rivers + some of the most fertile soil

  • Divided into 3 sub-regions:

    • Interior Plains – Appalanchains to 300 miles west of Mississippi

    • Great Plains – largely treeless area up to 4,000 ft.

    • Canadian Shield – rocky, mainly flat area covering 2 million sq. mi.

  • Rocky Mtns – Massive & rugged

    • Relatively young - 80 million years old – not eroded like Apps

    • Continental Divide – highest point of the Rockies that splits rivers flowing east and west

  • Sierra Nevadas & the Cascade Range run parallel to Pacific coastline

    • Highest peak is Mt. McKinley 20,320’

    • Steep cliffs, deep canyons and lowland desert areas called basins


Varied landforms2

Varied Landforms

The Islands

Natural Resources

  • Canada’s northernmost lands are islands near the Arctic Circle

    • 3 islands – Ellesmere, Victoria & Baffin – are only smaller than Greenland

  • U.S. - Aleutian Islands - volcanic, rugged and treeless - off of Alaska and Hawaii – lush, tropical – both reside outside of continental U.S.

  • Oceans and Waterways

    • Atlantic, Pacific, Artic and Gulf of Mexico

    • Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario

  • Lands and Forests

  • Minerals and Fossil Fuels

    • Gives U.S. & Canada means to industrialize

  • U.S. = world’s biggest consumer of energy resources

    • Canada’s exports to energy to U.S.


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