A. Location, Formation, and Physical Properties
The Appalachian Mountains are a mountain range of eastern North America. It is nearly parallel with the Atlantic Coast, and extending from the of Quebec in Canada to northern Alabama. This mountain chain is about 1500 miles long and varies from about 100 to more than 300 miles in width. Its altitude varies between 460 and nearly 2130 meters. The three divisions of the system- southern, central, northern- vary in geologic age, having been raised by a series of collisions that began during the Ordovician period and climaxed in Permian. The southern part of the Appalachian Mountain system begins in South Mountain in Pennsylvania, it stretches southwest in greater and greater heights, through Virginia and western North Carolina, where it divides, the northern branch continuing west to Georgia as the Great Smoky Mountains. The ranges of the central section are the Catskill Mountains, Allegheny Mountains, and Blue Ridge Mountains. Blue Ridge range is the uplift of the Appalachians. This range rises from the Piedmont Plateau to greater heights than the Alleghenies. The northern division, which includes the Green Mountains, White Mountains, the highlands of Maine, the Shicklock Mountains, and the Notre Dame Mountains of Quebec, ends in the hills of Newfoundland.The Appalachian Mountains consists of highlands running from the mountains of west-central New York in the north to central Alabama in the south. It includes a number of surrounding features. The mountains lie roughly parallel to the Atlantic Coast and rise from the .
The Appalachians are largely forested and contain deposits of iron ore, anthracite, bituminous coal, zinc, slate, limestone, asbestos, mica, granite, and emery. Along the western slope from southwestern New York through western Pennsylvania, into West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky, are coalfields.
Numbers of rivers make their way through the Appalachians. The most important are the Connecticut, Hudson, Potomac, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, James ,Delaware, and Rappahannock (flowing east or southeast) and the Cumberland, Kanawha, Allegheny, Monongahela, Tennessee, and others (flowing toward the west).
Eruption of Mount Saint Helens
Mount Saint Helens is in the southwestern portion of Washington state in the United States. It began to erupt on March 27, 1980, after a long period of . It continued to burble until its first large-scaled eruption on May 18, 1980. This tremendous blast sent clouds of ash and other volcanic substances into the atmosphere and killed 57 people. With the eruption, the mountain's elevation decreased from 9677 ft (2950 m ) to 8365 ft (2550 m ).
A. Overview of Mount Saint Helens
Mount Saint Helens is an active volcano in southwestern Washington. The volcano, which had been inactive since 1857, began to show signs of renewed activity in early 1980 when a column of began pushing up inside the mountain, making the north face of the mountain to bulge out. On May 18, 1980, an earthquake caused a landslide on the mountain's north side, taking off the top of the mountain. The landslide triggered the main eruption by "uncorking" the column of magma that had been building up. The eruption spewed a cloud of ash and gases as high as 12 miles or 19 kilometers. The blast killed 57 people and damaged life in an area of some 180 sq km (some 70 sq mi), and a large area was covered with ash, debris, and soot. As a result of the eruption, the mountain's was went down from 2950 m (9677 ft) to 2,550 m (8,365 ft). A minor eruption occurred in 1982, and the last magma-producing eruption was in 1986. The Mount Saint Helens National Volcano Monument was established there in 1983.
Rocky Mountains or Rockies, is a great chain of rugged mountain ranges in western North America, extending from central New Mexico to northeastern British Columbia, a distance of about 2000 mi (about 3220 km). The Rocky Mountains form part of the Great, or Continental, Divide, which separates rivers emptying into the Atlantic or Arctic oceans from those flowing toward the Pacific Ocean.
B. Different Sections of the Rocky Mountains
The Rockies may be divided into four principal
sections-Southern, Central, Northern, and Canadian. The Southern
Rockies, stretch from central New Mexico, through Colorado, to the Great
Divide, or Wyoming Basin, in southern Wyoming. The component parts include the
Sangre de Cristo and Laramie mountains and the Front Range, in the east, and the
San Juan Mountains and the Sawatch and Park ranges, in the west. The Southern
Rockies include the chain's loftiest point, Mount Elbert (4399 m/14,433 ft
high), in central Colorado. More than 50 other peaks of the Rockies rising above
4267 m (14,000 ft) are in Colorado; these include Longs Peak (4345 m/14,255 ft
high) and Pikes Peak (4301 m/14,110 ft high). The Central Rockies are in
northeastern Utah, western Wyoming, eastern Idaho, and southern Montana. They
surround the Bighorn, Beartooth, and Uinta mountains and the Absaroka, Wind
River, Salt River, Teton, Snake River, and Wasatch ranges. The Uinta Mountains
are the only major portion of the Rockies that extends east-west rather than
north-south. Among the peaks of the Central Rockies, which include Grand Teton
and Yellowstone national parks, are Gannett Peak (4207 m/13,804 ft high), Grand
Teton (4197 m/13,771 ft high), and Fremont Peak (4185 m/13,730 ft
high). The Northern Rockies are in northern Idaho,
western Montana, and northeastern Washington. They include the Sawtooth,
Cabinet, Salmon River, and Clearwater mountains and the Bitterroot Range. The
loftiest points in the section, which includes Glacier National. Park, are
Granite Peak (3901 m/12,799 ft high) and Borah Peak (3859 m/12,662 ft high). The
Canadian Rockies, are located in southwestern Alberta and eastern British
Columbia. They are composed of a relatively narrow belt of mountain ranges that
end at the Liard River lowland in northeastern British Columbia. The peaks of
the section, which takes in Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes, and Yoho
National Parks, include Mount Robson (3954 m/12,972 ft high), Mount Columbia
(3747 m/12,294 ft high), and The Twins (3734 m/12,251 ft high). Slopes generally
are very steep, and there are many glaciers.
The Rocky Mountains are complicated system with jagged peaks as well as almost flat-topped elevations. The Rockies were formed mainly by crustal uplifts in partly recent times, during the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary periods, and later were reshaped by glaciations during the Pleistocene Epoch. Today the Rockies receive fair amounts of , most of which occurs in the winter. Lower levels are covered chiefly by grassland, which gives way to extensive forests, principally of conifers. Above the woodland is a zone of grasses and scattered shrubs. Most peaks have little vegetation around the summit, and some have a year-round cap of snow and ice.
D. Population and
The Rockies are sparsely populated for the most part and contain few cities. The principal economic resources of the mountains are minerals, such as coal, copper, gold, iron ore, lead, molybdenum, petroleum and natural gas, silver, and zinc. Important mining centers include Leadville and Climax, Colorado; Atlantic City, Wyoming; Kellogg, Idaho; Butte, Montana; and Fernie and Kimberley, British Columbia. Major forest products industries, especially lumbering, are concentrated in the Northern and Canadian Rockies, and large numbers of sheep and cattle are raised in the Rockies of Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. The chain has many centers for outdoors and tourism.
A. Area and Historic Activities
A coastal plain is any flat, low-lying region near the sea such as the Atlantic Coastal Plain in the far east. The Atlantic Coastal Plain is one of four major regions of the United States. In varies of width, it stretches from Maine to Florida and is bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Piedmont Plateau, a region of the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. The Gulf Coastal Plain is a continuation of the Atlantic Plain. The Atlantic Coastal Plains have and several times since the end of the Mesozoic era. During the last Ice Age, when the sea level was hundreds of feet lower, the coastal plains were much broader and shorelines far offshore of their present positions. Now, the Atlantic Coastal Plain is mostly beaches where people relax.
In South Dakota's Black Hills, workers used dynamite and drills to carve the faces of Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson in the granite walls. American sculptor Gutzon Borglum designed and supervised the work on the memorial from 1927 until his death in 1941. Borglum's son, Lincoln, directed the conclusion of the work.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial was authorized in 1925. Located in southwestern South Dakota, in the Black Hills, the memorial shows carved in heads of United States presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt carved into a granite walls. The massive sculpture was carved into the rim of Mount Rushmore 152 m (500 ft) above the valley floor and are each about 20 m (about 60 ft) tall. The memorial cost nearly $1 million to make. The idea for creating the sculpture in the Black Hills came from South Dakota historian Doane Robinson in the early 1920s. American sculptor Gutzon Borglum designed the memorial and supervised its construction. Borglum envisioned a monument to the success and growth of the United States and its most important leaders and chose Mount Rushmore as the site. Borglum's original design was a sculpture of the four presidents down to their waists. Construction of the began in 1927. The head of Washington was completed first, followed by Jefferson and Lincoln. Roosevelt's head was not done when Borglum died in 1941 and his son Lincoln finished the work later that year. Borglum's studio, located near the , displays and tools used in making the statues.
Central Valley is located in central California, the valleys of the Sacramento River (in the north) and the San Joaquin River (in the south). The valley, which is about 720 km (about 450 mi) long, is almost totally surrounded by the Central Valley, also the Great Valley, central California. Central valley is one of the most productive regions in the United States. Massive activites move water from the humid northern half to the drier southern half.
A. Location, Name, and Physical Properties
Death Valley is a desert in southeastern California, between the Panamint Mountains to the west and the Amargosa Range to the east. It was named by one of the eighteen gold-seekers, many of whom died crossing the valley during the 1849 gold rush. Death Valley National Monument, extending partly into Nevada, was established in 1933; it became a national park in 1994. Its area is about 1,375,932 ha (3,400,000 acres), of which 142,500 ha (352,125 acres) are below sea level. The lowest point in the valley is 86 m (282 ft) below sea level, which is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere.
Much of the valley is below sea level, and near Bad water, at 86 m(282 ft). The valley is from 4 to 16 mi (6 to 26 km) wide and about 225 km (about 140 mi) long and is almost entirely enclosed by mountain ranges, volcanic in origin, bare and profoundly colored. The Panamint Range on the west, which rises to a maximum altitude of 3,368 m (11,049 ft) in Telescope Peak, shuts out the moist Pacific winds. On the east are the peaks of the Amargosa Range. It began to sink during the Miocene Epoch, perhaps 25 million years ago.
C. Temperatures and Life Forms
The valley is the hottest region in North America; the highest U.S. air temperature ever recorded, 57ş C (134ş F), occurred there in 1913, and ground temperatures sometimes exceeds to 79.4ş C (175ş F). Average temperatures of Death Valley are 163ş F. The Panamint Mountains block moist air and leave the valley proper with an average annual rainfall of only 38 mm (1.5 in). Furnace Creek and the Amargosa River carry mountain rains into the valley, but they are often dry. Prehistoric lakes left salt flats in the lowest areas, where nothing grows. The valley floor higher up consists of sand and salt grains that support coarse grass, mesquite, cacti, and poppies. Coyotes, kangaroo rats, horned toads, bighorn sheep, wild burros, and ravens inhabit the region.
Although gold, silver, lead, and copper have been mined, Death Valley was best known for borax, discovered in 1873 and brought out by mule teams. These mining ghost towns now draw tourists.
Answer each question.
1) How were the Rocky Mountains formed?
2) Who was Mount Rushmore's designer(s)?
3) When did Mount Saint Helen erupt?
4) What is the highest temperature in Death Valley?
5) How is the Atlantic Coastal Plain differ from when it was in the Ice Age?
To find out answers, look back at the articles where answers are sure to be found.
A. Overview of the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is located in northwestern Arizona, a spectacular created by the Colorado River into rocks the represent over a billion years of earth history. Its total length is 217 miles.
The canyon is more than 1 mile deep in places and from 4-18 miles in width. to the north and south rise 5,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level. On the bear walls, strata of limestone, sandstone, lava, and other rocks can be found.
Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, a Spanish explorer, was the first
European to see the canyon in 1540, but systematic exploration did not start
until 1850. John Wesley Powell was the first to travel through the Grand Canyon
by boat in 1869.
Page 1: Pictures on this page from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery.
Page 2: Photos from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery. Reference for report from Microsoft Encarta 2000 Encyclopedia and Grolier '94.
Page 3: Photos used from Microsoft Encarta 2000 Encyclopedia. Reference for report from Microsoft Encarta 2000.
Page 4: Photos from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery. Reference for report from Microsoft Encarta 2000 Encyclopedia, Microsoft Encarta '98 Encyclopedia, and Grolier 2000 Multimedia Encyclopedia.
Page 5: Photos from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery. Reference for report from Microsoft Encarta 2000 Encyclopedia.
Page 6: Animation from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery. Photo used from Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2000. Reference for report from Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2000, and Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia '98.
Page 7: Photo used from Microsoft Encarta 2000. Reference for report from Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia.
Page 8: Death Valley sign from www.mammothweb.com/sierraweb/ sightseeing/deathvalley/ Photo of Death Valley from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery. Reference for report from Grolier '94 Multimedia Encyclopedia, and Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia.
Page 9: Photo of Grand Canyon from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery. Reference for report from Grolier '94 Multimedia Encyclopedia.
Page 11: Background from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery and definitions of glossary words from Microsoft World English Dictionary 2000
agricultural- adj. the occupation, business, or science of cultivating the land, producing crops, and raising livestock agriculturally- adv.
basin- n. land draining into river or lake
comprising- v. include something
crustal plate- n. the first layer of the Earth
dormancy- adj. temporarily inactive dormant- n.
elevation- n. height above location, especially sea level elevational- adj
emerged- v. came out
geographical- adv. relating to geography geographic- adj.
geologically- adv. study of rocks and minerals geology- n. geologic- adj geological- adj
gorge- n. narrow valley gorger- n.
irrigation- n. supply an area with water irrigable- adj. irrigate- v. irrigational- adj. irrigative- adj irrigator- n.
magma- n. molten rock
memorial- n. something that is intended to remind people of a person who has died or an event in which people died, for example, a statue, speech, or special ceremony memorially- adv.
plaster models- n. models made from plaster
plateaus- n. raised area with level top
precipitation- n. rain, snow, or hail
province- n. administrative division of a nation
recreation- n. a activity a person takes place in for pleasure and relaxation rather than for work
subsided- v. to become less active or intense subsider- n.
Key n.-noun v.-verb adj.-adjective
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