Physical Regions of North America

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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
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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
deserts.
• This region’s rugged terrain limits where
people can live.
• Noticeable features:
– The Grand Canyon which is more than a mile
deep.
– 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
Madre.
• 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
petroleum.
• Others are better suited for farming and cattle
grazing.
Ozark Highlands
• Located in southern Missouri,
northern Arkansas, and eastern
Kansas.
• This region is thick with forest
and have moderate mountains
that have an elevation of 2,000
feet.
• 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
feet.
• Lower and less rugged than the
Rockies.
• 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
Mountains.
– 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
world.
– Form border between the United States
and Canada
– Helps move goods to the Atlantic Ocean
and the Gulf of Mexico.
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