What is the Land Like in North America?
North America is the continent located in the northern part of the western hemisphere. It contains the American and Canadian mainlands, as well as the areas in Central America and the Caribbean Islands. There are five main regions that North America could be divided into: The Canadian Shield; The Appalachian Mountains; The Atlantic-Gulf Coastal Plain; The Interior Lowlands; as well as the North American Cordillera.
In the Western Hemisphere, in the northern part, that’s where you’re going to find the continent of North America, as well as all related offshore islands that lie north of the Isthmus of Panama, which is toward the bottom of what would be called Central America, which is still a part of the continent of North America.
People often call Canada and the United States “Anglo-America” and they call Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean “Middle America”. Let’s clarify that a little. North America and South America are both continents.
Even though there are going to be other countries making up the whole of them, North America is considered a continent and South America is considered a continent. Now, the area between the United States and South America is Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean islands.
That area, even though it is classified in one part of Central America, is still part of the North American continent. North America is going to include Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean islands, and other islands that lie north of the Isthmus of Panama down to the tip of Central America.
The North American continent is very large and it will be the third largest in the world. North America can be divided into five different regions. The Canadian Shield is an area of stable ancient rock that occupies the northeast corner of the continent, including Greenland.
Even though Greenland may not be connected to the rest of Canada and there’s some water that separates them, they are on a large piece of land that is known as the Canadian Shield. This large piece of rock, even though some of it dips below the water where water separates part of Canada from Greenland, it’s still on the same basic plate, the tectonic plate that is this piece of ancient rock known as the Canadian Shield.
The Appalachian Mountains are classified as another region. They are an old and worn down mountain system extending from the Gaspé Peninsula to Alabama. The Gaspé Peninsula is up in Canada and it extends all the way down to Alabama. This is a long mountain chain, but it is an older, worn down mountain chain.
The peaks aren’t as high as in other areas of North America and other areas of the world. The Atlantic Gulf Coastal Plain is a third region. This is a stretch of lowlands running from New England to Mexico. It’s the Atlantic Gulf Coastal Plain. That makes sense.
It’s going to be along the coast where North America touches the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. That plain, that area of lowlands close to the coast, is stretching from New England where it touches the Atlantic Ocean and then down into the southern states and then Mexico, which touch the Gulf of Mexico.
That is all known as The Atlantic Gulf Coastal Plain. The interior lowlands are also going to be lowlands but they are more interior. They aren’t along the coast. They extend from Central Canada down to the Gulf Coast.
When we reach the Gulf Coastal region, that is where the interior lowlands are ending, but they do start up in the middle of central Canada and just work their way down. They are going to be lowlands. They’re not going to have mountain chains. It’s like the lower area between different mountain chains.
The North American Cordillera is a mountain system more to the west of the North American continent. It includes both the Pacific Margin and the Rocky Mountains. Another lesser formation, the Transverse Volcanic Range extends below Mexico City.
All of this area is considered the North American Cordillera and it is on the western side of the North American continent. These would be the five regions that North America is divided into. You’ve got the Canadian Shield, the Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Gulf Coastal Plain, interior lowlands, and North America Cordillera.
There are also a number of large islands off the coast of North America, but these are still counted as part of the North American continent. These include Greenland, the Arctic Archipelago, the Greater and Lesser Antilles, the Alexander Archipelago, and the Aleutian Islands.
There are a lot of large islands that have a lot of land mass themselves but are separated geographically by water from the mainland part of North America. They are still considered part of the North American continent. The highest point in North America is Mount McKinley, which is located in Alaska.
The lowest point is in Death Valley, which is located in California. There are a lot of different kinds of landforms ranging from very high to very low, drier areas to wetter areas, mainland into islands, but all of these different areas are making up the North American continent.