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Geological Structures and Physiographic Provinces of the United States - Research Paper Example

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They are usually based on rock age and type, geological history and structure and normally parallel the major geologic units. They are actually…
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Geological Structures and Physiographic Provinces of the United States
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Geological structures and Physiographic provinces of the United s
Geological structures and physiographic provinces of the United States.
Ten geology or physiologic provinces on the map.
From North America’s Physiographic Regions (Geological Survey of the United States)
Physiographic regions are normally the largest landscape also known as first order divisions that are recognized on a continent. They are usually based on rock age and type, geological history and structure and normally parallel the major geologic units. They are actually thought of as divisions of landscape which are visible from space; mountain ranges and plains. At a closer examination, every region is alienated into physiographic provinces, whereby each is an area within a certain region whose model of landforms or relief features significantly differs from those of the adjacent provinces (DiePietro, 2004). On closer examination physiographic provinces can be subdivided into physiographic sections, each being an area inside a province basically due to geographic distribution. Every section can be separated into physiographic districts, each being an area in a local landforms section.
Geology and Topographic features of the pacific Province.
The pacific province has a number of features which include; Olympic Mountains, Puget Trough, Klamath Mountains, Oregon Coast Mountains, Los Angeles Ranges, California Coast Ranges and the California Trough. These materials provide a diversity of soils and river nutrients that originate from them. Geology differences and formation time of these ranges influence the hydrology, geomorphology, and the biology of rivers and streams which arise in individual regions (Lew, 2004). The entire pacific province mountain system has been described having been arranged in a chain. The pacific mountain’s climate is varied compared to all other regions; the annual cycle has been consistent every year. Although, extreme interannual variation occurs, leading to long drought periods and year’s extreme runoff and high rainfall for instance El Nino events.

From H.J. de Blij and Peter O. Muller, Physical Geography of the Global Environment, Figure 52-1, 1st Ed. © 1993
Differences between the Sierra Nevada mountain system and the Cascade mountain range.
The main distinct difference between the mountain system of the Sierra Nevada and the mountain range of Cascade is that the Sierra Nevada is a tilted fault block that rises 4,420 m which is equivalent to 14500 ft high. It also supports pine and fir trees while the Cascade is marked by several stratovolcanoes, which are relatively active. The Sierra mountain system stands alone while the Cascade Mountain Range stands to be chains of mountains. The Cascade Mountain Range is still active.
Geology and Topographic features of the Atlantic plain.
The coastal plain extends down the Atlantic Ocean Eastwards from the Fall Zone. Large tidal rivers, Rappahannock, James, York and the Potomac flow southeastward to the Chesapeake Bay where they empty into Atlantic Ocean. The topography is a terraced landscapes which stair-steps down into major rivers and the coast. The landscape which was formed over a million years ago as the sea level fell and rose in response to the frequent growth and melting of huge continental glaciers while the Coastal plain uplifted slowly.
From Murray, G. E. Geology of the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Province of North America. Figure 9-6 1961
Differences between the West Gulf Coastal Plain and the East Coastal Plain.
The global climate patterns appear between the West and East Coastal locations. The East Coast location is humid; this is because locations close to the equator are humid and warm while those far to the north are humid and cold (DiPietro, 2004). West coasts exhibit a high humidity pattern at the equator, dry at the south and north of the equator, at high latitudes its wet and dry towards the South and North Poles.
In conclusion, physiographic regions are the largest landscape which is also referred to as first order divisions. There are a number of differences between Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountain Range but the most distinct is that ranges are a series of mountains but Sierra stands alone. The topography of the Coastal Plain is terraced whereby stairs step into major rivers and the coast.
References
DiPietro, J. A. (2013). Landscape evolution in the United States: An introduction to the geography, geology, and natural history. Burlington, MA: Elsevier
Lew, A. (2004). The Mountain West and Southwest. Retrieved on 19th February 2013 from: http://www.geog.nau.edu/courses/alew/gsp220/text/chapters/ch9.html Read More
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