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The nations of North America are very rich

Updated on March 7, 2016

The Future of American Cities

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North America Canada Yukon

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The Cascade Range

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The Rockies are most important ranges in the Western Cordilleras

North America is a recently discovered continent. In 1501, the Italian navigator, Amerigo Vespucci sailed to the coast of the mainland. Then the continent was called by the first word of his name Amerigo, America. The continent is mostly inhabited by Europeans and Spaniards. The made use of Mexico's gold. The French built up profitable fur trade in Canada, the British exploit the fisheries and forests of the Atlanta Provinces of Canada and of New England.

The sound resource base combined with development in science and technology, a large domestic market, international trade relationship, development of good means of transportation etc., have helped North America to become one of the most developed regions of the world. So The nations of North America are very rich and called one of the economically prosperous continents. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the continent as a model for progress for other continents.

North America is located entirely to the north of the equator. North America is third largest continent in area 16.4 percent in the world after Asia and Africa.

The Continent of North America is divided into four major physical divisions. There are-

1. The Western Cordilleras or Rocky Mountains

2. The Great and Central plains

3. The Appalachian Highlands (Canadian)

Western Cordilleras- These are the young fold mountain ranges like the Himalayas of India. The Western Cordilleras run from north of Alaska to South of Panama. They continent of a series of plateaus eg. Colorado, Mexican Yucatan plateau and form a series of parallel fold mountains.

The Rockies are most important ranges in the Western Cordilleras. The height of the range is low towards Alaska (Brooks) and it increases enormously towards Mexico. Mount McKinley 6194 meters is the highest peak and death Valley 86 meters below sea level is the lowest part in this region. The cascade and Sierra Nevada are other ranges. The Whitney mountain and White mountain in California are well known for their rugged slopes and scenic beauty. There are some inter-mountain plateaus found between these ranges. Plateau of Columbia, Colorado and Mexican plateau are the important among them. River Colorado cuts the Colorado plateau and has given to the Grand Canyon.

The great and central plains - The Central plains are also referred to as the Great plains of the Prairies. They lie between the Appalachians in the east and the Cordilleras in the west. The plain continents of vast expanse (3/5 of the total area of NA) of flat to gently rolling land. These plains are formed by the River Mississippi, Missouri and their tributaries. This is one of the most fertile plains of the world and is a good farming region. The denudation of the area by ice sheets has resulted in the formation of a large number of basins. These basins are covered by lakes.

Canadian Shield (Laurentian Shield of Laurentian Plateau) - The Canadian Shield lies around the Hudson Bay in the north part of North America. This is Made up of some of the oldest rocks in the world, like those of Deccan plateau in India. The whole shield is submerged in the centre, under Hudson Bay.

Gold Mining Equipment -

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Important minerals In North America

North America is blessed with abundant resources. Its natural resources are variety of soils, expansive grasslands, minerals, power resources and forest wealth.

The continent has rich deposits of different valuable minerals. The deposits of gold had once attracted people to this continent. Besides this Iron ore, Copper, Nickel, Silver and Zinc are other major mineral deposits. The continent also abounds in coal, petroleum and natural gas.

Gold is the very first mineral mined in North America. California and Yukon valleys are important areas of gold mines. Lake Superior and its surrounding areas are known for having large deposits of Iron ore. The high grade iron ore id found in and around the Canadian Shield. Mexico is the world's major producer of silver. The USA is the leading producer of copper in the world. It is also mined in Canada.

Fossil fuels are exploited in considerable quantities throughout the continent. North America has a large deposits of high grade coking coal in Appalachian region. Pennsylvania alone produces 20 per cent world's total coal production. The USA is the world's largest coal exports. Oil and natural gas are found in Alaska, Texas, Louisiana, Kansas and it western Canada and parts of Mexico. Offshore region of the Pacific Ocean has gold deposits of Natural gas. The USA is the major producer of Petroleum. The USA is the leading producer of nuclear power in the world.

The North America contains 24 countries

The three large Countries are United States of America, Canada, and Mexico by their size. The Caribbean Islands are area included in the Physical area of North America.

The Rocky Mountains

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