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Chapter 4-1 From Seas to Shining Sea ****Essential Questions***** 1. Define the following terms a. Contiguous b. Megalopolis c. Coral reef 2. How does the US rank in size among all countries of the world? 3. Which US region once supported Native Americans and millions of buffalo? 4. What is the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world? 5. How were the Hawaiian Islands formed? 6. What challenges do you think result from the distance between Hawaii, Alaska and the other states? United States - 2807 miles east to west across the middle of NA - Contiguous states o All states except Hawaii 2400 miles SW of US o and Alaska o Aka – lower 48 o Bordered by Atlantic Pacific Gulf of Mexico Vast and Scenic Land - US is the 3rd largest country in the world. o Only Russia and Canada are larger o 5 main physical regions Coastal Plains Appalachian Mountains Interior Plains Mountains and Plateau Pacific Coast Alaska and Hawaii have their own separate landforms. - Coastal Plain o Lowland running along the eastern and southeastern coast of the US Eastern lowlands Atlantic Coastal Plain Southeastern lowlands Gulf Coastal Plain Excellent harbors Shipping ports Thin and rocky soil located in the northern section of this region o Major cities in the Atlantic Coastal Plain NY Philadelphia Baltimore Washington DC Create a megalopolis o Huge urban areas that are connected . Gulf Coastal Plain - Wider than Atlantic Coastal Plain - Soils are better - Large Cities include o Houston o New Orleans Essential question: 1. What river forms part of the border between the US and Mexico? 2. What is the highest mountain in elevation in the US? Appalachian Highlands - Hilly and fertile Piedmont area - Run from eastern Canada to Alabama - Oldest mountains in the US. How can you tell this? - Highest peak o Mt. Mitchell – 6684 feet Interior Plains Essential Question: What river divides much of the Interior Plains? - Located just west of the Appalachian mountains - East of the Mississippi River o Central Lowland Grassy hills Rolling flatlands Thick forests Fertile land Productive farms Important waterways - Great Lakes o Largest freshwater lakes in the world o Carved out by glaciers Superior Michigan Huron Erie Ontario Connected to Atlantic Ocean by the St. Lawrence River - Great Plains o West of the Mississippi River Grain fields Grassy pastures Checkerboard fashion o Google Earth o 500 miles wide West from the Rockies North into Canada South to Mexican border o Once home of millions of buffalo and lands of Native Americans o Used today to raise crops and livestock. Mountains and Plateaus - The Rocky Mountains o Begin in Alaska o Run south to Mexico Continental Divide Ridge along the tops of this mountain Separates the of the rivers o Some flow to the Pacific o Others flow to the Gulf of Mexico o The source of many rivers begin here. Rio Grande Missouri Platte Arkansas Red River All flow east Colorado Snake Columbia All flow west o Between the Rockies and the Pacific coast are Plateaus Flat land that rise above the land around them Canyons Deep valleys with steep sides Grand Canyon Deserts The Pacific Coast - Two mountain ranges o The Cascades Washington to California Active volcanoes o Sierra Nevada “snow covered” in Spanish - West of the mountain ranges o Fertile valleys Willamette Oregon Central Valley California o Both produce abundant crops Fruits and vegetables Alaska - Mountain ranges o Encircle northern, eastern and southern parts of Alaska o Mt. McKinley Highest peak in NA 20,320 feet Part of the Alaska Range - Arctic Ocean o Northern border o Can almost see Russia – 50 miles Most people in Alaska live along the southern coastal plain or in the central Yukon River valley. Hawaii - 8 large islands - More than 120 smaller islands - Formed by volcanic eruptions - Coral reefs o Formed by skeletal remains of small sea animals. Variety of Climates - Large area of US includes many climates - Lies in the middle latitudes o 23 1/2˚N to 60˚N o - Northeast US o Humid continental o Cold winters – hot summers - Southeast US o Humid subtropical o Near Gulf Coast and Caribbean o Subject to hurricanes and tornadoes - Pacific Coast o Marine West Coast o Mild temps all year long o Rainy - Mediterranean o Southern California o Dry warm summers o Mild rainy winters o - Great Plains o Dry steppe o Moisture blocked by mountain ranges o Southwest is arid with less rainfall Hot, desert like - Alaska o High latitudes o Subarctic o Tundra - Hawaii and Florida o Warm tropical climates o Heavy rainfall much of the year.