FC: Our Trip Through The Physical Regions Of North America By: Alex Lloyd & Breanne Ostrosky
1: Our Route through The Physical Regions Of North America We started off our trip in the Appalachian Region. While there, we visited the Statue Of Liberty. In the daytime, we passed by the ocean, and saw whales far out swimming. We started out in Nova Scotia, and from there took a boat to P.E.I. Soon we were going across the ocean at top speed, until we reached New Brunswick. Alex decided to rent us a jeep for our long trip around North America. We drove through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama, until we reached the Coastal Plains. In the Coastal Plains we drove through Mississippi, and Louisiana until we reached the Intermountain Region. We drove through Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, British Columbia, Yukon Territory, and Alaska in the Intermountain Region. It was very cold and snowy those nights, and we got the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. We also saw a grizzly bear catching a fish in the Fraser River. We were in the Arctic for 2 days before we decided to fly out of their right away due to the cold, and fly to the Western Cordillera. We took a series of tour buses through British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California. While we passed through British Columbia, we took BC Ferries to a small area called, The Sunshine Coast. There we ate at a restaurant called Molly's Reach where the "Beach Combers" was filmed. We went further down the coast until we reached a fishing area called Davis Bay. We eventually flew back up north to the Canadian Shield. We took a bunch of tours with our personal taxi drivers through Nunavut, Manitoba, and Ontario. We visited Hudson Bay and James Bay while we drove through. Soon we entered the Interior Plains, with our new rental convertible. We headed through Minnesota, Iowas, Illinois, Indianna, and Ohio. Once there we took a few days to relax, and catch up on our sleep. After a week, we took flight for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowland. While there we finally got to see the amazing Niagra Falls. There were some beautiful sunsets. Luckily, Alex brought her camera. After months of travelling we're happy to be home.
2: Appalachian Region The Appalachian Mountains are made up of many different mountain regions. Most were formed about 300 million years ago.They are now only rolling mountains and hills because they have been worn down by erosion. The many rivers provide transportation. The Appalachian used to be heavily forrested with mixed coniferous and deciduous trees. These trees could survive in poor and unproductive mountain soil. They would grow on the plateaus and in the river valleys where the soil was way more productive. The climate is affected my two ocean currents. The Labrador current brings cold water south from the Arctic and causes freezing in the South during the winter months. The Gulf Stream brings brings warn water North from the Caribbean.
3: The Coastal Plains The average elevation of this area is less than 200 meters above sea level. The Surface is mostly flat or gently rolling. More than half of this area is less than 30 meters above sea level. There are lots of marshes and swamps. Soem of the rivers go for many miles inland. The Mississippi Delta is a place of furtile agricultural land. The soils of the Coastal Plains are mainly very sandy. In some areas lush jungles have developed. The original vegetation of this area was pine forrests. The climate varies greatly in the different regions of the Coastal Plains. In the North there are cold, snowy winters with hot and humid summers. The South has a sub-tropical climate, with mild to warm winters. In the South there are lots of hurricanes. Hurricane season is usually between late summer and early winter.
4: The Intermountain Region The streams in this area sometimes never reach the sea. Instead they flow into lakes or they disappear into desert sinks. In some areas production can be made possible by irrigation. The vegetation of this region includes sparse grassland to plants that can survive in desert conditions. The higher areas are covered with a thin pine forrest. Depending on the area winters can be cold and wet to hot and dry. In the South the winters are warm and short with little precipitation. The North also has little precipitation, although its climate is more moderate; with moist winters and hot, dry summers.
5: The Arctic Much of the Arctic ner the ocean is very flat. The mountains of the far north were formed by folding and are now covered by glaciers. There are very few forms of life, besides lichen , can grow on the mountains of the Arctic. Trees can't grow on the tundra because the climate is too dry and cold and only a small amount of thawing occurs in the summer. Only smal shrubs, mosses and lichen can grow here. The climate here is very severe because it is so far from the equator. In the far north winter lasts for ten months and summer is very short an dnot very warm. Because it has such a low amount of precipitation it is classified as a desert.
6: The Western Cordillera The Western Cordillera is comprised of new mountians not yet worn down by erosion. They are more than twice as high as the Appalachian Mountains in the east. There are many different mountain ranges in this region. The Rocky Mountains, to the east, form the Continental Divide. All the rivers east of the Rockies flow east, finding their outlets in the Gulf of Mexico or the Arctic Ocean, or Hudson Bay and James Bay. West of the Rockies, rivers drain towatds the Pacific Ocean. Western Cordillera vegetation varies enormously from one side of amountain to the other. On the moist, windward slopes, evergreens, such as Douglas fir, western hemlock, and western red cedar, grow to tremendous age and size on the lower slopes. Some are as high as a 30 story office building. The giant sequoia, the largest tree in the world, grows near Yosemite. Higher up, the trees are smaller. At the very tops of the mountains, the vegetation becomes similar to that of the tundra, or is ceases entirely. On the leewatd slopes, grasses and cactuses grow in he dry valleys. Farther south, the great evergreens no longer grow, since the rainfall is less. The west coast has a maritime climate. Although it caries from north to south, the west coast is moist and mild. Most parts of it are among the wettest regions on Earth. Moderated by the water of the Pacific Ocean, winters are usuall above freezing. Summers are cooler than in the interior of the continent. Valleys are warmer than mountain slopes, and windward slopes are much wetter than leeward slopes, which are often very dry because of the rain-shadow effect.
7: The Canadian Sheild During the Ice Age, glaciers removed most of the soil, leaving a barren rock surface in many places. As well, the retreat of the glaciers affected the drainage of the Shield to a significant degree. Debris deposited by the glaciers damned up rivers, or forced them to flow in different directions. As a result, the Shield consits of a chaotic pattern of rivers, lakes, swamps, and muskeg. The average elevation of the Shield is about 100 meters above sea level in the north, rising to about 500 meters in the south. The center of the Shield is much lower in elevation than its outer portion. The areas around Hudson Bay and James Bay lowland areas covered with clay. As a result, most rivers in this region flow into these two bays. Boreal forest covers most of the Shield, since evergreens, such as spruce, pine, and fir, are more suited to the thin, sandy soil. Some deciduous trees, such as poplar and white birch, are also present. These trees are small and weak, more suited to the pulp and paper industry than to lumbering. North of the tree-line, however, no trees are able to grow. That is because the growing season is too short, there is too little precipitation, and there is a permafrost. The climate varies throughout the vast area covered by the Canadian Shield. As you travel north, the winters become increasinly long and cold, with the summers becoming shorter and cooler.
8: The Interior Plains In the US, the Interior Plains are divided into the Central Lowland and the Great Plains. The northern boundary of the Central Lowland is formed by the Canadian Shield, the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence River. The Great Plains are higher in elevation than the Central Lowland, rising from about 600 meters to 1500 meters above sea level in the west. In Canada's Prairie provinces, the Interior Plains contain three different elevations, which are separated by escarpments. In general, the Plains are gently rolling, gradually sloping down from west to east. To the north of the Prairies, the Interior Plains continue to the Arctic Ocean. Originally, the Central Lowland east of the Mississippi was covered with mixed deciduous trees and scattered evergreens. West of the Mississippi, in the Great Plains, prairie grasses grow as tall as a person. The natural vegetation of the Canadian prairies was also grassland, which are trees that grew only in the river valleys. In the northern portion of the Interior Plains, boreal forest grows, gradually becoming tundra towards the Arctic Ocean. The climate of the Interior Plains is a continental climate, affected by its location in the heart of the continent, which is far from the moderating influence of the oceans. It is a climate of extremes, including long, hot, summers, cold winters, and little precipitation. Farther north, the winters are colder and longer, and summers are shorter and cool. The northern portion of the region has an Arctic climate, with extrememly long, cold winters, and short, cool summers.
9: The Great Lakes - St Lawrence Lowland The Great Lakes section of this region has a rolling landscape, created mainly by glacation. Flat plains are broken by hills and deep river valleys. The St. Lawrence section consists of flat plains on either side of the river, which gradually begin to rise into the Canadian Shield and the Appalachians. Originally this region, which has very fertile soils, was heavily treed. The Great Lakes portion once had Canada's largest broad leafed forests, because its soil and climate conditions allowed maple, beech, hickory, and black walnut trees to thrive. Elsewhere in the region, the vegetation was mixed forest of both deciduous and confers, such as maple, beech, oak, ash, and birch, along with spruce, fir, pine, and cedar. The climate is essentially a humid continental climate. It is humid because of the presence of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes tend to cool the temperature during the summer. By storing heat, the Great Lakes warm the surrounding areas in winter. Winters vary from cool to cold, and summers from warm to hot.
10: BIBLIOGRAPHY BOOKS: Cranny, M., & Jarvis, G. (1988). Regional Geography of North America. In Crossroads, A Meeting of Nations (pp. 160-178). Toronto, Canada: Anita Borovilos. SITES: [Google. (n.d.). Retrieved February 6,7,8,9, 2008, from http://google.ca Google Maps. (n.d.). Retrieved February 9, 2008, from http://google.com/maps Yahoo. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2008, from http://yahoo.com