Physical Regions of North America

Physical Regions
And Water Systems of the
United States
United States Facts
• Located in North America, which is the
third largest continent.
• North America is connected to South
America by an isthmus.
• United States classified into nine
physical regions. These regions are of
great contrast to each other.
Physical Regions
Pacific Coast
Intermountain Region
Rocky Mountain
Interior Plains
Ozark Highlands
Appalachian Mountains
Canadian Shield
Coastal Plains
Hawaiian Islands
Pacific Coast
• Western most in United States
• High mountain ranges that stretch from
Alaska to Mexico
• Noticeable feature is the San Andreas
Fault. What does this fault cause?
Intermountain Region
• This region has mountain peaks, high
plateaus, deep canyons, and dry sandy
• This region’s rugged terrain limits where
people can live.
• Noticeable features:
– The Grand Canyon which is more than a mile
– The Great Salt Lake, which is the nation’s largest
saltwater lake.
Rocky Mountains
• Rocky Mountains go from Canada,
through the United States and into
Mexico, where they are known as Sierra
• Include some of the highest peaks in
North America. Some have an
elevation of more than 14,000 feet.
• Known for their beauty and grandeur.
Interior Plains
• Broken into two parts
– The Great Plains is the western part and is
generally dry.
– The Central Plains is the eastern part of the
Interior Plains.
• Some parts of this region are rich in coal and
• Others are better suited for farming and cattle
Ozark Highlands
• Located in southern Missouri,
northern Arkansas, and eastern
• This region is thick with forest
and have moderate mountains
that have an elevation of 2,000
• Important industries are forestry,
agriculture and mining.
Appalachian Mountains
• These mountains run along the eastern
part of the United States and goes from
Canada to Mississippi.
• Highest peak is Mount Mitchell at 6,684
• Lower and less rugged than the
• Appalachian Trail goes throughout the
mountain range from Maine to Georgia.
Canadian Shield
• Lowland area that is mostly in Canada
buy has areas in Michigan, Wisconsin,
and Minnesota.
• Rich in minerals.
• Once a mountainous area, but
centuries of erosion has reduced the
area to low hills and plains.
Coastal Plains
• Eastern most region of the United
States and is a fairly flat, lowland area.
• Made up of two sub regions:
– Atlantic Plain is located between the
Atlantic Ocean and Appalachian
– Gulf Plain lies along the Gulf of Mexico
and has large deposits of petroleum.
Hawaiian Islands
• Hawaii is 2,400 miles from California.
• Made up of eight large islands and many
smaller ones.
• Islands are actually visual tops of
underwater volcanoes.
• Much of Hawaii has a wet, tropical climate
and has dense tropical rain forest.
American Lakes and Rivers
• Mississippi-Missouri River System
– Made up of the Mississippi River, Missouri
River and their tributaries.
– Carries water through the Interior Plains to
the Gulf of Mexico.
– Provides water to farmland in the Plains as
well as move goods through the middle of
the country.
American Lakes and Rivers
• The Great Lakes
– There are five great lakes: Superior,
Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.
– Form the largest body of fresh water in the
– Form border between the United States
and Canada
– Helps move goods to the Atlantic Ocean
and the Gulf of Mexico.
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