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 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.
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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