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North American Geographic Regions & Landforms

Great Plains (#105)

At the very heart of North America, between the Rocky Mountains and east of the Mississippi River, we find one of the continent's largest regional landforms, The Great Plains. Its most striking feature is its flatness and wide open spaces. The Great Plains encompass all or part of 15 of the United States and three Canadian provinces. I [19 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: North America has 8 distinct geographic regions running north to south and extending east to west. This series examines the climate, soil, vegetation, animal life and landforms of each diverse geographic region, as well as the human impact on the area. Concise maps outline the location and size of each region and computer graphics help illustrate how notable geologic features are formed. Each program includes a description of continental drift and how North America was formed millions of years ago.

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  • Coastal Plains (#101)

    This programs provides an overview of the roughly 3,000 miles of the North American oceanfront known as the “Coastal Plain,” which can be as narrow as ten miles and as wide as 400 miles. [21 minutes]

  • Appalachian Mountains (#102)

    This episode provides details about the Appalachian Mountains--the oldest mountain range in North America, dating back about 650 million years. The highpoint of the eastern part of the continent, the Appalachians run from Newfoundland down to the central part of Alabama. [23 minutes]

  • Canadian Shield (#103)

    The Canadian Shield has a greater land area with fewer people living in it than any other geographical region on the North American continent. This geographic region has some of the hardest and oldest rocks to be found anywhere in North America. Included within the Canadian Shield are portions of five Canadian Provinces, 4 United States, and the world’s largest island, Greenland. [20 minutes]

  • Interior Lowlands (#104)

    The Interior Lowland of the North America is at the heart of the continent. This important region extends from the Canadian Arctic in the north to the Gulf of Mexico in the south. The region features terrain with broad river valleys, rolling hills, high bluffs, forested growth, open vistas and many lakes. [27 minutes]

  • Rocky Mountains (#106)

    The Rocky Mountains are like the backbone of the North American continent, stretched from top to bottom of the continent like a spine. In this case, the vertebrae are rugged mountain peaks. The true Rockies are found running from the Laird River Basin in the Canadian province of British Columbia to the Sacramento Mountains in the state of New Mexico. The Rocky Mountains span a distance of about 3,000 miles. [27 minutes]

  • Basin and Range (#107)

    Located between the Rocky Mountains to the east and the Coastal Ranges to the west, this gigantic Basin and Range Region runs for about 5,000 miles from the Bering Sea to the southern end of Mexico. [24 minutes]

  • Coastal Range (#108)

    The western coast of North America is a series of spectacular shorelines, where breathtaking waves from the Pacific Ocean crash upon amazing rock formations… at the base along the Coastal Range. It stretches for over 3,500 miles, from the Alaskan Peninsula in the north, to the tip of the Baja California Peninsula in the south. [25 minutes]

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