United States (US) Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in United States (US)?

Geography - note

The world's third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); Mt. McKinley is the highest point in North America and Death Valley is the lowest point on the continent.

Climate

Mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semi-arid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

United States (US) Use of Natural Resources

United States (US) Environment

Climate:

Mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semi-arid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

Terrain:

Vast central plain, mountains in the west, hills and low mountains in the east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii

Natural Resources:

Coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber

Note: the United States has the world's largest coal reserves with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of the world's total

Natural Hazards:

Tsunamis; volcanoes; earthquake activity around the Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the Midwest and Southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development

Volcanism: volcanic activity in the Hawaiian Islands, Western Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and in the Northern Mariana Islands; both Mauna Loa (elevation 4,170 m) in Hawaii and Mount Rainier (elevation 4,392 m) in Washington have been deemed "Decade Volcanoes" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pavlof (elevation 2,519 m) is the most active volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Arc and poses a significant threat to air travel since the area constitutes a major flight path between North America and East Asia; Mount St. Helens (elevation 2,549 m), famous for the devastating 1980 eruption, remains active today; numerous other historically active volcanoes exist, mostly concentrated in the Aleutian arc and Hawaii; they include: in Alaska: Aniakchak, Augustine, Chiginagak, Fourpeaked, Iliamna, Katmai, Kupreanof, Martin, Novarupta, Redoubt, Spurr, Wrangell; in Hawaii: Trident, Ugashik-Peulik, Ukinrek Maars, Veniaminof; in the Northern Mariana Islands: Anatahan; and in the Pacific Northwest: Mount Baker, Mount Hood

Irrigated Land:

102,872 Square Miles
266,440 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

Air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the United States and Canada; the United States is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; limited natural freshwater resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification

Environment - International Agreements:

Party To: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes

United States (US) Geography

Geographic Location North America
Total Area 3,794,079 Square Miles
9,826,675 Square Kilometers
Land Area 3,537,435 Square Miles
9,161,966 Square Kilometers
Water Area 256,644 Square Miles
664,709 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 7,478 Miles
12,034 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 102,872 Square Miles
266,440 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,141 km

Note: United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is leased by the United States and is part of Cuba; the base boundary is 28 km
Coastline 12,380 Miles
19,924 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 38 00 N, 97 00 W
Terrain Vast central plain, mountains in the west, hills and low mountains in the east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii
Highest Point 6,194 Meters
Highest Point Location Mount McKinley (Denali) 6,194 m (highest point in North America)
Note: the peak of Mauna Kea (4,207 m above sea level) on the island of Hawaii rises about 10,200 m above the Pacific Ocean floor; by this measurement, it is the world's tallest mountain - higher than Mount Everest (8,850 m), which is recognized as the tallest mountain above sea level
Lowest Point -86 Meters
Lowest Point Location Death Valley -86 m
Natural Resources Coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber

Note: the United States has the world's largest coal reserves with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of the world's total
Time Zone UTC-5 (during Standard Time)

Note: the 50 United States cover six time zones
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins the second Sunday in March; ends the first Sunday in November
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