Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Geographical position of America

The United States’ territory consists of three separate parts, different in size, natural features, level of development and population:
the main part, the United States proper, with an area of 7,800,000 square kilometres. It borders on Canada in the north and on Mexico in the south. It is washed by the Pacific Ocean in the west, the Atlantic Ocean in the east, and the Gulf of Mexico in the south-east;
 Alaska, which occupies the north-western part of the continent of North America, including a lot of islands.

Many rivers cross the country. The most important are the Mississippi, Missouri, Colorado, Sacramento. The main lakes in the USA are the Great Lakes in the north. 
The coastline length of the United States proper is 22,860 km. The Atlantic coast is mostly lowland and greatly indented. The Pacific coast is mountainous, in the northern part cut by numerous fiords.
The United States of America occupying a large territory, it is natural that a great diversity of climatic conditions can be observed in different parts of the country. Besides, being crossed by mountain ranges from north to south, the country is unprotected from blasts of cold air from the north and warm air from the south. This is the cause of great fluctuations of temperature.
The northern part of the Pacific coast enjoys a moderate climate of temperate zones with a cool summer and a rather warm (for these latitudes) winter without a permanent snow cover and an abundant rainfall on the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains (3000-6000 mm a year).The southern part of the Pacific coast (California) has a Mediterranean1 climate: a hot, cloudless and dry summer and a cool and rainy winter with the mean temperatures of 20-25 °C in summer and 5-10 °C in winter. The rainfall is rather small (400-600 mm a year).
The climate on the Atlantic coast is continental-marine with cool summers and rather warm winters with a permanent snow cover in mountainous regions. Further to the south the climate gets warmer, with warmer winters and hotter summers, gradually passing into the monsoon subtropical climate in the extreme south and Florida. The temperatures here are comparable to those on the Pacific coast of California, but the rainfall is heavier and occurs mostly in summer.
The Appalachian Mountains enjoy a continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters with a permanent snow cover.
The plateaus and tablelands of the Cordilleras have an extreme continental climate with very cold winters and very hot summers. The highest temperature is observed in the Death Valley (sometimes up to 56 °C).
                           Natural Resources
The United States of America is rich in coal, iron and oil. There are coal-mines in the Cordillera Mountains, in the Kansas City region and in the east near Birmingham and Pittsburgh. Iron is mined near the Great Lakes and in the Pittsburgh, Birmingham and Philadelphia areas. In California and Texas there are rich oil-fields. There are also deposits of silver and gold.
The United States is a country of highly developed economy.
Heavy industry includes such branches as mining, metallurgical engineering and chemical indus­tries. Detroit is a large motor-car industry centre. Shipbuilding is developed along the Atlantic coast and in San-Francisco on the Pacific coast.
Textile industry is also well-developed, especially in the South near large cotton plantations.
Agriculture is very wide-spread, above all in the prairie regions, where wheat and other grain crops are grown.
Cotton is grown in the Mississippi Valley, tobacco in Maryland and Virginia .
California is famous for its fruit plantations, and the West - for its cattle-farming.
Poultry-farming is wide-spread in the country­side near all big cities.

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