Bodies of Water/Geography

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The Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts have provided access to other parts of the world.

Atlantic Ocean

It was a highway for early explorers, settlers, and later immigrants.

Pacific Ocean

It was an early exploration destination.

Mississippi River

It was used to transport farm and industrial products; it linked U.S ports to other parts of the world.

Missouri River

It was used to transport farm and industrial products; it linked U.S ports to other parts of the world.

Ohio River

The "Gateway to the West"

Columbia River

Explored by Lewis and Clark

Colorado River

Explored by the Spanish (Coronado)

Rio Grande River

Forms the border between Texas and Mexico

St. Lawrence River

Forms part of the Northeastern border with Canada and connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean

Gulf of Mexico

Provided French and Spanish exploration routes to Mexico and other parts of America

Great Lakes (HOMES)

Inland port cities grew in the Midwest along the Great Lakes


A large inland body of water


A large natural stream of water that empties into and ocean or lake.


A smaller stream that flows into a river, ocean or lake


Large areas of sea or ocean partially enclosed by land


A body of water partially enclosed by land; typically smaller than a gulf


A natural elevation of the earth's surface having considerable mass; height greater than a hill


A well-defined natural elevation smaller than a mountain


Flatland that rises gradually from east to west Land eroded by wind and water.


A large flat, but elevated area of land


A land mass smaller than a continent surrounded by water


A piece of land that projects into a body of water and is connected with the mainland.


Lines that run from east to west. The Equator is located at zero degrees latitude.


Lines that run north to south. The Prime Meridian is located at zero degrees longitude.

Coastal Range (CBRGIAC)

Rugged mountains along the Pacific Coast that stretch from California to Canada. Contains fertile valleys.

Basin and Range (CBRGIAC)

Located west of the Rocky Mountains and east of the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades. Area of varying elevations containing isolated mountain ranges and Death Valley, the lowest point in North America.

Rocky Mountains (CBRGIAC)

Located west of the Great Plains and east of the Basin and Range. Rugged mountains stretching from Alaska almost to Mexico; high elevations. Contains the Continental Divide, which determines the directional flow of rivers.

Great Plains (CBRGIAC)

Located west of the Interior Lowlands and east of the Rocky Mountains. Flat land that gradually increases in elevation westward; grasslands. Flatland, plains; grows crops-agriculture; "Bread Basket"

Interior Lowlands (CBRGIAC)

Located west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Great Plains. Rolling flatlands with many rivers, broad river valleys, and grassy hills.

Appalachian Highlands (CBRGIAC)

Located west of the Coastal Plain extending from eastern Canada to western Alabama; includes the Piedmont. Old eroded mountains and are the oldest mountain range in North America.

Coastal Plains (CBRGIAC)

Located along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Broad lowlands providing many excellent harbors.

Canadian Shield (CBRGIAC)

Wrapped around Hudson Bay in a horseshoe shape. Hills worn by erosion and hundreds of lakes carved by glaciers.

Geographic features are related to:

Patterns of trade
Locations of cities and towns
Westward (frontier) movement
Agricultural and fishing industries


A body of water along the shore deep enough for docking boats also known as a port.


A mass of ice moving very slowly.


Rich and capable of producing a lot.


When water or wind eats away at rock and soil, changing the shape of the land.


One of the large landmasses of the earth. There are seven of them.

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