United States of America (USA)

Driving Directions United States of America (USA)

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) is the fourth-largest country in the world. It stretches across north-central America, from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and from Canada in the north to Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico in the south.

The world’s most developed nation, the USA, consists of fifty states, includ­ing outlying Alaska, northwest of Canada, and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. Two high mountain ranges dominate the country, the Rocky Mountains in the west and the Appalachian Mountains in the east. Between them lie the Great Plains – fertile, flatlands crossed by many rivers. The largest of these rivers is the Mississippi, and together with its main tributary, Missouri, it is the third-longest river in the world. The Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie) in the northeast form part of Canada’s border.

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The USA’s climate varies greatly, and weather patterns can shift dramatically, mainly due to the westerly winds sweeping across the country from the Pacific, in the south, during the wetter summer months. One or two hurricanes a year can rage across Florida, and, on a more local scale, tornadoes or “twisters” can cut a narrow path of destruction in the wake of a spring or summer thunderstorm.

Although agricultural production is high, it employs only a small workforce because of its advanced technology. The USA has a wealth of natural resources, including vast mineral reserves of oil, gas, coal, copper, lead, uranium, gold, tungsten, and timber. Iron and steel, chemicals, motor vehicles, aircraft, telecommunications, information technology, electronics, and textiles are the primary industries.

The USA is the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world.

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In its broadest topographic outline, the continental United States comprises an extensive, central lowland—accounting for close to half its total area—bordered on the east and west by highlands. The western highland area, which begins with the Rocky Mountains, is by far the more extensive of the two, accounting for about one-third of its total area. The highlands on the east, which is lower and less comprehensive, consists of the Appalachian Mountains. The Mississippi River and its tributaries dominate the lowland between the Great Lakes and the north. The western part of this lowland is known as the Great Plains. East and south of the Appalachian Mountains are coastal plains. Alaska has seven topographical regions: the southeastern coastal mountains, the glaciered coast; south-central Alaska; the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands; interior Alaska; the Seward Peninsula, and the Bering Coast Uplands; and the Arctic Slope. The Hawaiian Islands are basaltic volcanoes near the middle of the Pacific Ocean along a northwest-trending ridge.

The continental United States is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the southeast by the Gulf of Mexico, and west by the Pacific Ocean. Alaska lies amidst several water bodies: on the north are the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean; on the west are the Chukchi Sea, the Bering Strait, and the Bering Sea; and on the south is the Gulf of Alaska. The Hawaiian Islands lie in the North Pacific Ocean.

Did you know about the USA?

Yellowstone National Park is thought to contain roughly ten thousand hot springs and geysers, more than half of all such features on Earth.

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