North America is divided into five physical regions: the mountainous west, the Great Plains, the Canadian Shield, the varied eastern region, and the Caribbean.
- Missouri River is the longest river in North America
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The most familiar of the mountain ranges are probably the Rockies, North America’s largest chain.
The Rockies stretch from the province of British Columbia, state of New Mexico. The Sierra Madre stretch from the southwestern United States to Honduras. The Sierra Madre include many high volcanoes (up to 5,636 meters, or 18,500 feet). Some of the Earth’s youngest mountains are in the Cascade Range of the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, and California.
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The Great Plains lie in the middle of the continent. The Great Plains are also home to rich deposits of oil and natural gas.
The Canadian Shield is mostly flat plateau. It extends over eastern, central, and northwestern Canada. The Canadian Shield has a number of lakes.
The tundra stretches along the northern borders of Alaska and to the Hudson Bay area. Tundra has low temperatures and rain levels, which limits tree growth.