Covers an area of 9.3
million sq. miles.
Bounded by the
Atlantic Ocean to its
east and the Pacific
Ocean to its west.
I. Physical Features
A. In North American there are both old and
1. Young folded mountains run along the western
part of the continent from Alaska to the Central
American isthmus and include a number of active
a. Part of these mountains are the Rocky Mts.
b. Several peaks in the Rocky Mts. Exceed
2. The ancient Appalachian Mts. Run along the
eastern length of the USA; their highest peak,
Mt. Mitchell, has an altitude of 6,683 ft.
a. An extensive coastal plain lies between this chain
and the Atlantic Ocean.
b. Plains and lowlands are found in the continent’s
c. Glaciers, which covered much of this area during
the ice ages, sculpted the rocky plateaus of
Canada and deposited sediments as cast plains
that straddle Canada and the USA.
3. Several important rivers flow through North
a. Missouri River 2,540 miles
b. Mississippi River 2,340 miles
c. The St. Lawrence River links the Great Lakes of
Canada and the USA to the Atlantic Ocean.
d. The Rio Grande flows between the USA and
3. There are several large lakes of which Lake
Superior, which covers 31,699 sq. miles, is the
II. Climate and Vegetation
A. North America contains a board range of temperate
climates from warm temperate along the east coast
and Mediterranean in southern California to cooler
moist climates in northwest and northeast USA and
1. Most of N.A. is humid, except for a dry belt across the
southwest of the USA and basins within the Rockies.
2. An extensive tornado zone is found in the continental
interior of the USA.
3. Tropical Hurricanes often strike the southeastern parts of
B. Extensive forests occur in temperate North
America, ranging from the predominantly
deciduous forests found in eastern parts of
the USA to the short-tree boreal forests of the
1. Tall trees such as redwoods and firs are found
along the Pacific coastline.
a. Other trees include; maple, ash, and oak.
b. Deer, brown and grizzly bears, lynx, and
beavers are found in these forests.
2. Boreal forests are home to migrating animals
such as deer, elk, caribou, and moose.
C. Extensive grasslands cover the interior of the
1. Tall-grass prairies occur where rainfall in over 30 inches,
and short-grass prairies where precipitation is around 15
2. Large herds of bison once roamed these areas, but they
were practically eradicated by hunting.
D. In Alaska and Canada north of the boreal
forest, there is a belt of tundra where small
shrubs, lichens, and grasses grow.
1. Migrating herds of caribou, reindeer and
lemmings live in this zone, along with bears,
wolves, foxes, and lynx.
A. North America had a population of 529
1. High living standards are reflected in the high
a. 75.9 years for males.
b. 81 years for females.
2. The low population growth rate of less than one
percent also reflects an advanced level of
a. Approximately 80.8% of the population is
A. North America is gifted with water resources,
arable land, forests, and fishing areas.
1. These favorable conditions, coupled with
scientific farming practices, have enabled the
establishment of highly productive agricultural
a. These include grain farming, such as wheat
and maize; livestock for meat and dairying;
cotton; and intensive farming of fruit and
B. The extensive forests which still remain,
following large-scale deforestation in the
century, are exploited for their valuable
1. Large areas have been reforested in order to
produce a long-term sustainable industry.
A. Natural resources, technological innovation,
and well-developed infrastructure facilities,
including energy supplies, have combined to
make North America the world’s most
important manufacturing region.
1. Continuous innovation has enabled it to
withstand strong competition from European and
Asian industrial nations.
B. North America has extensive mineral wealth.
1. Extensive deposits of iron ore and coal have been
the cornerstone of the steel industry.
2. The Cordillera belt contains a large number of
metallic ores including copper, zinc,
molybdenum, gold, and silver.
3. Nickel and iron ore are extracted from ancient
plateau rock in Canada.
4. Among minerals used for energy supplies, coal,
petroleum, and natural gas deposits are
5. Although a large petroleum producer, the USA
must also import large quantities because of
A. English is the dominant language in
North America, except in the Canadian
province of Quebec, where French is the
1. Some surviving American Indian
languages are spoken by minority groups.
2. Spanish is spoken in many parts of USA.
a. California, New Mexico, Texas, Florida
and New York.
VII. Boundary disputes and Wars
A. There are no major boundary disputes in the region,
nor has the region been directly affected by land war
in recent decades.
1. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have left a
feeling of vulnerability, especially in the USA.