Physical geography of the united states and canada a land of contrasts
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Physical Geography of the United States and Canada: A Land of Contrasts. North America’s vast land and varied landscape and abundant resources have attracted immigrants and shaped the development of the United States and Canada. Section 1 Landforms and Resources.

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Physical geography of the united states and canada a land of contrasts

Physical Geography of the United States and Canada: A Land of Contrasts

North America’s vast land and varied landscape and abundant resources have attracted immigrants and shaped the development of the United States and Canada


Section 1 landforms and resources

Section 1Landforms and Resources

  • The United States and Canada have vast lands and abundant resources

  • These two countries share many of the same landforms


Landscape influenced development

Landscape Influenced Development

  • Anglo America

    • US, Canada: former British colonies, most people speak English

    • Strong economic and political ties with one another

    • Mexico is part of Latin America NOT Anglo America

  • Vast Lands

    • Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world by area; US is the 3rd largest

    • Together they cover 1/8th of the earth’s land surface


Landscape influenced development1

Landscape Influenced Development

  • Abundant Resources

    • Landmass and natural resources attract immigrants to both countries

    • US and Canada have developed into global economic powers

    • The 2 resources that helped the US and Canada develop into Global Economic Powers:

      • Fertile soil, water, forest, minerals


Many and varied landforms

Many and Varied Landforms

  • Major Landforms

    • All major landforms are found in the US and Canada

    • The two countries share mountain chains and interior plains

  • The Eastern Lowlands

    • Atlantic Coastal Plain extends from Delaware down to Florida

    • Gulf Coastal Plain goes from Florida, along Gulf of Mexico to Texas

    • Piedmont – low plateau between coastal plains, Appalachian Highlands


Many and varied landforms1

Many and Varied Landforms


Many and varied landforms2

Many and Varied Landforms

  • The Appalachian Highlands – Eastern Mountain Chain

    • Appalachian Mountains run 1,600 miles from Newfoundland to Alabama

      • Include Green and Catskill mountains in the north

      • Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountain in the south

    • More than 400 million years old

    • Erosion has created gentle slopes, peaks from 1,200 to 2,400 feet

    • The Appalachian Trail is a scenic hiking path along the chain.


Appalachian mountains

Appalachian Mountains


Many and varied landforms3

Many and Varied Landforms

  • The Interior Lowlands

    • Glaciers leveled the land, left fertile soil

    • Interior Plains extend from Appalachian to Missouri River

    • Great Plains extend from Missouri to Rocky Mountains

    • Canadian Shield – vast, flat area around Hudson Bay


Great plains

Great Plains

  • Mostly treeless area

  • 4,000 feet above sea level

  • Run through Southern Texas up through Southern Canada


Canadian shield

Canadian Shield

  • Rocky Flat Region

  • Lies far north in Canada

  • Covers about 18 million square miles

  • Encircles Hudson Bay


Many and varied landforms4

Many and Varied Landforms

  • The Western Mountains, Plateaus, and Basins

    • Rocky Mountains run 3,000 miles from Alaska to New Mexico

    • Relatively young: 80 million years old

    • Less erosion mean rugged, 12,000-foot, snow-covered peaks

    • Continental Divide – the line of highest point along the Rockies

      • Separates rivers that flow eastward from those that flow westward


Many and varied landforms5

Many and Varied Landforms

  • The Western Mountains, Plateaus, and Basins

    • Other Pacific mountain ranges: Sierra Nevada, Cascade

    • Continent’s highest peak: Mt. McKinley in Alaska

    • Major earthquake activity in Pacific ranges

    • Between ranges and Rockies: cliffs, canyons basins


Many and varied landforms6

Many and Varied Landforms

  • The Islands

    • Canada’s large, northern islands: Ellesmere, Victoria, Baffin

    • US: Aleutians (Alaska), Hawaiian (politically, not geographically)


Resources shape ways of life

Resources Shape Ways of Life

  • Oceans and Waterways

    • US and Canada are bounded by:

      • ATLANTIC, PACIFIC, ARTIC OCEANS

      • GULF OF MEXICO

      • Countries have many large, inland rivers and lakes that provide:

        • Transportation, hydroelectric power, irrigation, fresh water, fisheries


Resources shape ways of life1

Resources Shape Ways of Life

  • Oceans and Waterways

    • Great Lakes: HURON, ONTARIO, MICHIGAN, ERIE, AND SUPERIOR

    • Mississippi-Missouri-Ohio river system: continent’s longest, busiest river

    • Mackenzie River: longest in Canada, crosses Northwest Territories

  • Land and Forest

    • Fertile soil helps make North America world’s leading food exporter

    • Large forests yield lumber and other products

    • ½ of Canada and 1/3 of US is covered by FOREST!


Resources shape ways of life2

Resources Shape Ways of Life

  • Minerals and Fossil Fuels

    • Mineral quantity and variety make rapid industrialization possible

      • Canadian Shield: iron ore, nickel, copper, gold, uranium

      • Appalachians, Great Plains: COAL

      • Gulf of Mexico: oil natural gas

    • US: biggest energy consumer; gets most of Canada’s energy exports

    • NATURAL RESOURCES FOUND:

      • Iron Ore, Nickel, Copper, Gold, Uranium, Silver, coal, natural gas, oil


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