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5.1   landforms and resources

5.1 landforms and resources






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    5.1   landforms and resources 5.1 landforms and resources Presentation Transcript

    • Landforms and Resources:North America
    • North America. It’s here:
    • Right now, we’re just concerned with the United States and Canada
      • These are the Anglo American parts and have a similar culture as later we’ll discuss Mexico.
    • Varied landforms
      • North America has a wide variety of landforms. It has mountains, plains, deserts, tundra, etc. Let’s look at a few.
    • The Eastern Lowlands
      • Flat level land by the eastern and Gulf coastal areas.
      The brown area along the coast is lowlands.
    • Appalachian Highlands
      • Mountain chain that runs along the eastern U.S.
      • The Appalachians are relatively old.
      • Because they’ve been around for a long while, they’ve worn down and aren’t all that tall: they average 3,000 feet and the tallest peak, Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina is just 6,684 feet tall.
    • The interior lowlands
      • Covers most of North America
      • Relatively level
      • May have been hilly at one point, but glaciers leveled it out during the last ice age
      • Also carved out rolling hills and lakes
      • Includes the Great Plains
      • Also includes the Canadian Shield in Canada
      • Huge area around Hudson Bay
    • Rocky Mountains
      • Large western mountain chain.
      • 78 peaks of 12,000 feet or more above sea level
      • The Rockies are young and haven’t faced the extra 320 million years of erosion that the Appalachians have suffered, so they are much taller.
      • The rain runoff and annual snowmelt from the Rockies also supply nearly ¼ of the U.S. with fresh water.
      • Cold reflective mountain reservoirs. Makes you want to go there, doesn’t it?
    • Continental Divide
      • All rivers flow either east or west. The continental divide is the line at which they go one way or the other.
    • Islands
      • Canada has a nice assortment to the north in the Arctic Ocean.
      • There’s also the Aleutian Islands tailing off of Alaska
      • Did you know that during WWII, two small Aleutian islands at the tail end were captured and held by the Japanese?
      • It was the last time a U.S. enemy invaded and held American soil.
      • There are also the Hawaiian islands, but while they are part of the United States, they are not part of North America.
      • All the same, they’re beautiful and I will use this excuse to put up some beautiful pictures of the islands.
    • Jurassic Park falls
    • Back to facts…
      • North America is blessed with lots of natural resources. Among them:
      • Water
      • It’s got oceans or seas on four sides (Arctic, Atlantic, the Gulf, and Pacific) which is good for fishing and trade
      • It’s got plenty of lakes including the…
      • Great Lakes
      • On a trivia item, note that Lake Michigan is the only great Lake that’s entirely within U.S. boundaries. The rest are shared with Canada.
      • Nearly 20% of the earth’s fresh surface water is in the Great Lakes.
      • It’s about 6 quadrillion gallons. That’s 6,000,000,000,000,000.
      • It’s enough to cover the lower 48 states with 9.5 feet of water.
      • That’s a lot of water.
    • And they look pretty from space.
      • Rivers
      • North America has a very large river system in the Mississippi-Missouri-Ohio
      • The Missouri and Ohio rivers flow into the Mississippi, thus making them tributaries of the Mississippi
      • North America also has lots of forests for timbers, lots of minerals, oil, natural gas, and a ridiculous amount of coal.
      • The oil sands of Alberta are estimated to hold up to 180 billion barrels of oil, second only to Saudi Arabia’s 259 billion barrels.
      • The trick is profitably getting the oil out of the sands.
      • As for coal, the U.S. has so much that it’s estimated that even with increased demand, there’s enough to last us another 300-400 years.