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5.1 - North American Landforms and Resources

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Landforms and resources of North America, including plains, mountains, rivers, lakes, etc.

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5.1 - North American Landforms and Resources

  1. 1. Landforms and Resources: North America
  2. 2. North America. It’s here:
  3. 3. <ul><li>Right now, we’re just concerned with the United States and Canada </li></ul><ul><li>These are the Anglo American parts and have a similar culture as opposed to Mexico which is Latin American because it has Spanish colonial influences instead of English. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Varied landforms </li></ul><ul><li>North America has a wide variety of landforms. It has mountains, plains, deserts, tundra, etc. Let’s look at a few. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The Eastern Lowlands </li></ul><ul><li>Flat level land by the eastern and Gulf coastal areas. </li></ul>The brown area along the coast is lowlands.
  6. 6. <ul><li>Appalachian Highlands </li></ul><ul><li>Mountain chain that runs along the eastern U.S. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The Appalachians (people who live in the Appalachians pronounce it differently than we do) are relatively old. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>That would make Coloradans yawn. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>The interior lowlands </li></ul><ul><li>Covers most of North America </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively level </li></ul><ul><li>May have been hilly at one point, but glaciers leveled it out during the last ice age </li></ul><ul><li>Also carved out rolling hills and lakes </li></ul><ul><li>Includes the Great Plains </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Also includes the Canadian Shield in Canada </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Huge area around Hudson Bay </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Rocky Mountains </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large western mountain chain. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>78 peaks of 12,000 feet or more above sea level </li></ul></ul>This is me at the top of Mt. Crested Butte (12,162 feet).
  11. 11. View from the bottom.
  12. 12. <ul><li>The Rockies are young scamps that haven’t faced the extra 320 million years of erosion that the Appalachians have suffered and so are much taller. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>The rain runoff and annual snowmelt from the Rockies also supply nearly ¼ of the U.S. with fresh water. </li></ul>Winter Summer
  14. 14. <ul><li>Cold reflective mountain reservoirs. Makes you want to go there, doesn’t it? </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Continental Divide </li></ul><ul><li>All rivers flow either east or west. The continental divide is the line at which they go one way or the other. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Islands </li></ul><ul><li>Canada has a nice assortment to the north in the Arctic Ocean. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>There’s also the Aleutian Islands tailing off of Alaska </li></ul><ul><li>Did you know that during WWII, two small Aleutian islands at the tail end were captured and held by the Japanese? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It was the last time a U.S. enemy invaded and held American soil. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>There are also the Hawaiian islands, but while they are part of the United States, they are not part of North America. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All the same, they’re beautiful and I will use this excuse to put up some beautiful pictures of the islands. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Jurassic Park falls
  20. 23. Sigh… I want to go back.
  21. 24. <ul><li>So what were we talking about? Oh yes… </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><li>North America is blessed with lots of natural resources. Among them: </li></ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s got oceans or seas on four sides (Arctic, Atlantic, the Gulf, and Pacific) which is good for fishing and trade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s got plenty of lakes including the… </li></ul></ul>
  22. 25. <ul><ul><li>Great Lakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 26. <ul><ul><ul><li>Nearly 20% of the earth’s fresh surface water is in the Great Lakes. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It’s about 6 quadrillion gallons. That’s 6,000,000,000,000,000. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It’s enough to cover the lower 48 states with 9.5 feet of water. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>That’s a lot of water. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 27. And they look pretty from space.
  25. 29. <ul><li>Rivers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>North America has a very large river system in the Mississippi-Missouri-Ohio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Missouri and Ohio rivers flow into the Mississippi, thus making them tributaries of the Mississippi </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 30. <ul><ul><ul><li>There’s also the MacKenzie River in Canada </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 31. <ul><li>North America also has lots of forests for timbers, lots of minerals, oil, natural gas, and a ridiculous amount of coal. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The trick is profitably getting the oil out of the sands. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>

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