US geography is an interesting study in contrasts. The vast landmass of the United States houses a varied topography, with a surplus of physical features ranging from snow-capped mountains to the azure sea, from the rolling plains to the arid desert. The astounding variation in the geography of America translates into wide-ranging differences in its climate and environment too.
Geographical Location of US
The third largest country in the world, US is surrounded by Mexico in the south and Canada in the north. In the west is the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean is in the east and the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.
US is an join up of forty-nine states, and all except Hawaii and Alaska, form the continental block of the country. It is worth mentioning here that Alaska lies at the northwestern flank of America, separated from the US continental landmass by Canada, while Hawaii is a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean.
The landmass of US geography encompasses a wide area and a wider variety of land characteristics. United states is broadly divided into eight distinctive physiographic divisions with other insignificant physiographic subdivisions, like:
- Interior plains
- Intermontane plateaus
- Laurentian Highlands
- Rocky Mountain System
- Appalachian Highlands
- Pacific Mountain System
- Atlantic Plain
- Interior Highlands
Death Valley, Inyo County, and California 282 feet belowq the sea level are some of the lowest points of United States of America. On the other hand, the highest points of America include Mount McKinley, Denali Borough and Alaska 20,320 feet above the sea level.
When talking about continental U.S geography, you can easily subdivide the region into six major cultural specifications. These may include:
- New England – It lies in the upper northeast region of United States of America
- Mid Atlantic – The home of the populous city of New York
- South of America – It ranges from the coastal marshes to the highest peaks of the Appalachian Mountains and is drained by several large rivers
- Midwest Region of United States of America – It includes the land which lie between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes
- Southwest America – It is a dry climactic region and the area is noted for Grand Canyon
- West of America – It is the largest among the six cultural regions in America. The region is the homeland of several mountain ranges, large valleys and broad plateaus.
Climate of United States
US geography is the land of every global climate. Its temperate climate in most areas, semiarid in the Great Plains, arid in the Great Basin, tropical in Hawaii and Southern Florida, polar in Alaska and Mediterranean in coastal California.
Natural resources – a major context of US geography
Delve deep into the earth and you would be amazed to find an affluence of significant mineral contents including uranium, gold, mercury, copper, potash, tungsten, lead, petroleum, timber, silver, coal, phosphates, bauxite, natural gas, nickel, zinc, molybdenum and iron in US.
Environment in US geography
Environment in America has deteriorated abruptly causing acid rains in both US and Canada. US geography witnesses an all round pollution of land, air and water which if not controlled in time can prove extremely disastrous.