Amazon River
North America

North America Geography

Vegetation and climate

The vegetation and climate in North America are very varied: it has most of the climates of the world. In the north there are arctic tundras (eg Greenland, Yukon), passing through a great variety of forests (Rocky Mountains, Appalachians and the three Mother Sierras), tropical forests (Lacandon Forest, Hawaii and the Chimalapas), deserts (El Pinacate, Zone of Silence), plains (Great Plains, Comarca Lagunera), mangroves (Ex. Luisiana, Tabasco), etc.

North America’s main river basin is made up of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, which are about the same length as the Amazon River. The basin is 3,160,000 square kilometers. Plant life is also special in this area. For example, lichens, mosses and low grasses are typical of arctic vegetation in the north. In Canada and the western United States, the extensions of conifers, especially redwoods, pines and firs, stand out.

The Actaea pachypoda that it receives, also the name “Doll’s Eyes” is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the buttercup family and is native to North America. See North American countries.


Throughout the Palearctic region: Eurasia and North America a type of spider is distributed, the Aculepeira armida whose food is insects.


On the North American plate a relief has developed that is characterized by the extension of its main elements in the direction of the meridians; to the west, the Cordilleras system, close to the Pacific Ocean coast, from Alaska to Mexico, extends for 9000 km; to the east, the Appalachians are a lower system. Between these two systems and from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, an uninterrupted zone of high and low plains appears. In the northern part surrounding Hudson Bay an area of great antiquity that is known as the Canadian Shield or Labrador Shield whose maximum height is between 500 and 700 m of altitude

This structure is the one that predominates over the Arctic archipelago where in some islands the plain is under the thickness of the ice. To this same platform zone belongs the Central Plain between the Shield to the north, the Appalachians to the east, and the mountain ranges to the west. The height of it ranges between 200 and 500 meters and its highest elevation is the Ozark Dome that exceeds 700 m. The great plains constitute an area within these platforms but closer to the Cordilleras to the west whose current relief is formed by plateaus whose height ranges between 1200 and 1700m., Where the Black Hills stand out as the maximum elevation with more than 2000 m.

To the east of the continent bordering the old platform is a smooth-looking mountainous relief without large peaks as evidence of the erosive process that they have suffered given their antiquity where Mount Mitchel stands out at 2037 m and is the highest elevation of the Appalachians. Towards the south and southeast, the platform presents a depression covered by alluvial sediments, which is known as the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico and the coastal plain of the Atlantic where there is a great development of the karst relief. The westernmost part of the continent is occupied by the mountain system of the Cordilleras, which extend from Alaska to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec., presenting a complex relief where zones that go from the massifs to the mountain ranges themselves alternate without failing to consider the plateaus between mountains, as well as great seismic activity.

Associated precisely with its geological structure and seismic and volcanic activity, a great variety of mineral resources appear, among which the non-ferrous minerals stand out towards the Canadian shield. Towards the center of the shelf and in the Appalachian area are coal or coal minerals, petroleum, and lignite. Other minerals found in North America are asbestos, salt, copper, lead, zinc, and tungsten, as well as deposits of molybdenum, titanium, and uranium. all reflecting the complex geological evolution of the continent. Its location in all latitudes of the northern hemisphere and the altitude of its elevations, originate the diversity of its landscapes. The longitudinal extension of its mountains and plains determines the exchange of air masses, limits the influence of the oceans, creates considerable atmospheric contrasts (stronger than in other continents) and determines the horizontal extension of the zones. The peculiarities of the development and geological structure of North America have much in common with Eurasia, when considering its geographical position. Both continents present similar regularities in the formation of climates and the same types of zonal landscapes, relief, etc. But the differences in dimensions and contours, in orography, in the correlation of the structural elements, they originate the geographic specificity of each of these continents. North America looks like Eurasia, but at the same time, it has unmistakable geographic peculiarities, unique in its kind, inherent only to it. In North America, almost all the climatic zones of the northern hemisphere are represented with the exception of the subequatorial and the equatorial. The great latitudinal extension of the continent, the influence of the disposition of the relief and the marine currents among other factors are the fundamental causes of the notable differences in the behavior of the meteorological variables of the continent at different times of the year.

Amazon River