Geography and landscapes United States
The United States or the land of contrasts: vertiginous cliffs of the Grand Canyon or the endless flatness of the Arizona desert, sparse farms in Montana or urban jungles on the East coast ... The gigantism of this country seems to embrace the entire palette of landscapes that exist on the planet!
We often talk about the vastness of the American territory, and for good reason: 9,4 million km ², 5 km from east to west and 500 km from north to south.
Landscapes in the American West
The Améaméci West Parks is the result of the American collision. The first slides under the second, which folds and rises, forming mountain ranges.
- - Rocky Mountains proper (Rocky Mountains) stand mainly in Wyoming and Colorado. Made up of several more or less parallel chains, they are bristling with numerous snow-capped peaks which overlook torrents, lakes and valleys covered with coniferous forests and meadows.
- In the southwest, the landscape changes radically. It is the domain of interior trays, large desert and arid expanses.
- Finally, in eastern California rises, from north to south, the Sierra Nevada, which constitutes a real barrier for precipitation from the Pacific.
California, 3rd State by area after Alaska and Texas, covers 424 km². It is bordered to the north by Oregon, to the west by the Pacific Ocean (over 1 km), to the east by Nevada and to the south by Mexico.
Western coastal chains, ridges, small valleys and rivers outline its landscape. Over a length of 800 km and a width ranging from 80 to 120 km, the coastal chains (rich in silver, non-ferrous metals, oil and hydroelectric potential) divide to make way for the San Francisco Bay. The rivers of the western Sierra Nevada ("snowy chain" in Spanish) and the plains of the Central Valley thread their way to join the Pacific.
La Central Valley, which stretches from the coastal ranges in the west to the Sierra Nevada in the east, is bounded on the north by the Sacramento River and on the south by the San Joaquin River. This immense valley is one of the richest and most varied agricultural areas in the country.
East of the Central Valley, the Sierra Nevada offers magnificent canyons formed by erosion. While walking in the national parks of Yosemite, Sequoia and Canyon Kings, we take advantage of these granite landscapes.
Further south is Mexico, with the united forests (86 below sea level). Finally, culminating at more than 1 m of altitude, the Mojave desert is the most irrigated and the highest.
The threat of the Big One
California is a unstable tectonic region ; seismic phenomena are numerous there. The main fault is the San Andreas fault, fracture of the earth's crust, which crosses the Pacific Ocean and crisscrosses under the State, between the Gulf of California and northern San Francisco.
Florida forms a long stretch of the United States, bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Gulf of Mexico.
Formerly, the territory is reestablished, at the edge of the ocean, it enjoys an ideal location on Biscayne Bay, which has made it a hub of traffic to the Caribbean and Latin America.
At its gates, the everglades national park reminds Florida of its distant past as a land invaded by water. Here, flora and fauna still reign supreme over more than 6 km².
Southbound (s & rsquoon here), anchoredUnis, located just 150 km from Cuba (closer than Miami!).
La coUnis, attracts lovers of old buildings (all the same very renovated!).
360 km north of Miami, Orlando, an important university town, is the capital of amusement parks. Millions of tourists disembark there each year, attracted by the magic of the parks of Walt Disney World Resort, and other theme parks: SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort ... At its doors, the great forest of Ocala, protected by a 1 km² park, where pines, cypresses, wet meadows and lakes in shambles come together.
On Western coast from Florida, Saint Petersburg et Tampa are the two most important cities. Inseparable, they face each other on either side of Tampa Bay. The conurbation extends south to Sarasota, before finding more natural landscapes. The beaches here are superb, sometimes deserted, and nature is more present - we will think in particular of the magnificent Sanibel Island.
In the north-west of the state flows the Suwannee river, Florida's main river (426 km), born in the swamps of the Okeechobee, on the border with Georgia. Shortly after begins the Panhandle, the "tail" of the Florida pan, which stretches 320 km in length to the gates of Louisiana. Very little visited by foreign tourists, the region nevertheless has splendid coastal islands in the Gulf Islands National Seashore, easily accessible from the town of Pensacola. On the program: beaches of fine white sand.
Landscapes in Lousiane
Baton Rouge is its capital. The face it presents is above all that of an industrial city, as evidenced by a huge oil refinery alongside the seaport.
- Cane plantations in Orleans along the River Road are part of a more pleasant landscape: these wood or brick buildings are planted in a vegetation of oaks or cypresses.
The landscape of northern Louisiana, around Natchitoches, is less attractive: agricultural plains and industrial sites (mainly petroleum).
On the other hand, further south, around Lafayette, New Iberia and Houma, here is the Cajun country, the one that presents the most attractions with the bayous region and the prairie region. The first, concentrated around Lafayette and Grand Isle, is governed by the waters. Here, the Louisiana landscape is faithful to its eternal image of a green and wild country: alligators, crayfish and many cypress.
Moreover, the swamps extend endlessly between Baton Rouge and Lafayette. The arms of the river and the lakes thus form a gigantic labyrinth called the Atchafalaya Basin. The prairie region (north and west of Lafayette) is, for its part, more peaceful.
Landscapes on the coUnis
From the dozen of large territories.
La New England lives up to its name: many towns and rather European town planning in Boston, verdant coastal landscapes with hedges and curtains of trees, marinas between Boston and New York. On the other hand, the north of the Appalachian chain, culminating at exactly 1 m (Mount Washington), rather evokes the Massif Central ...
- Big lakes form the border with Canada: Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, Ontario, in decreasing order of size, with Niagara Falls between the latter two. It is an industrial zone: in Detroit are the three largest world automobile groups.
- Connecticut (the river), Hudson and Delaware valleys (the river, again) cut perpendicularly the chain of Appalachians. These valleys were welcoming sites in the XNUMXth century for the first settlers from England. These connect the Great Lakes area to the Atlantic (let us recall in passing that the first port in the world, New York, prospered at the mouth of the Hudson). Going up the Delaware (from Philadelphia), we head towards the Niagara Falls.
The central Appalachians form a very green landscape, with ridges of homogeneous heights, which create an effect of the blue line of the Vosges (Blue Ridge Mountains). Their west face conceals important coal mines, in Pennsylvania in particular. You will cross them from the north if you want to reach Chicago as quickly as possible from the east coast.
The Southern Appalachians are also called “piedmont”. These are high "hills" covered with red clay where cotton was cultivated, before developing strong industrial activity.
Between the Appalachians and the Atlantic, south of Washington, extends a large monotonous plain with a very homogeneous climate. The climate is humid subtropical, and the coasts are flat and marshy.
Of course, if you hate a United States (BosWash) of nearly 50 million people.