North America Geography

By | May 26, 2022


The continent is surrounded by a large number of islands and archipelagos, among which the Arctic archipelago and the island of Greenland stand out, the largest among all the islands in the world where the closest land point to the North Pole is located. North America is surrounded by three oceans: the Arctic to the north, the Atlantic to the east, where the Gulf of Mexico stands out., as the southeast boundary and the Pacific to the west. The North American coastline is bathed by the waters of three oceans: Atlantic, Glacial Arctic and Pacific. The seas deeply dissect the northern and eastern coasts; that of the west of the continent is much less dismembered. The continent is characterized by a great latitudinal extension which undoubtedly influences its other physical-geographic characteristics, which together with the arrangement of its relief cause diversity in its landscapes, reflecting the interaction between all the components of nature as a manifestation of the laws of nature. Its coasts are very irregular and torn, especially in the northern portion of the continent, due to the fact that this region was affected by the fourth glaciation. It should be noted that not all its coastal features have the same origin, since the glaciation did not affect the entire continent, but mainly the northern portion. Its coastal features include large gulfs, wide bays and extensive peninsulas.


Among the peninsulas of Alaska and Labrador stand out, which form two of the vertices of the continental triangle. On the Alaska Peninsula, is Cape Barrow. The Bothia and Melville peninsulas are found in the Arctic Ocean. In the Atlantic Ocean that of Nova Scotia and in the southern end of it, Cape Sable. Also on this eastern coast are Cape Cod and Hatteras. To the southeast, the Florida peninsula, which ends at Cape Sable, and the Yucatan where Cape Catoche is located. In the Pacific Ocean the Baja California peninsula, which is nothing more than a horst or tectonic pillar, whose southern end is made up of Cape Falso. Further north, Cape Mendocino and the great ledge at the southwestern tip of the Alaska Peninsula. According to COUNTRYAAH.COM, the largest country by area is Canada.


On the north coast are: the Beaufort Sea, which remains frozen for a good part of the year, the Gulf of Amundsen, the Strait and the Gulf of Bothia, the sea or Hudson Bay, shallow, because it is within the platform continental, is one of the most extensive; James’s Bay is located in the southeastern portion of it. The Davis and Hudson Straits allow communication with the Atlantic Ocean. When this ocean penetrates the eastern coasts of the continent, it gives rise to the following features: Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Bay of Fundy, where the highest tides on our planet occur, and the bays of Delaware and Chesapeake. On this coast, ports of great importance such as: Boston, New York and Philadelphia stand out. Towards the southeast of the continent, the gulfs of Mexico and Campache in which are the ports of New Orleans, Tampico and Veracruz. In the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Tehuantepec, the Gulf of California, the Bay of San Francisco, where the port of the same name is located, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the port of Vancouver; the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea where Bristol Bay is located and the Bering Strait, between North America and Asia that connects the Pacific Ocean with the Arctic Ocean.


America is found in some parts bordered by islands, while in others it is devoid of them. The origin of these islands is very varied, thus there are islands formed by the depression of the continental borders, by the fracture of these borders, by the outcrop of the continental platform, some oceanic of volcanic origin, etc. In the Arctic Glacial Ocean there is a large archipelago made up of a multitude of large islands, including: Baffin, Banks, Victoria Land, Prince of Wales, Ellesmere and others, always covered by polar ice. In the Atlantic Ocean is the island of Newfoundland, to the south of this island the archipelago of Saint Pierre and Miquelon constituted, in addition to these islands, by a dozen islets. In the Gulf of Saint Lawrence we find: Anticosti, Prince Edward and the island of Cape Breton. Further south, a series of islands can be seen, among which Long Island stands out, and away from the coast is the Bermuda archipelago, which consists of 360 islands and islets. This archipelago is a British colony where the US has naval bases. Towards the south and southwest of the Florida peninsula there is a row of islets or coral cays, among which Key West stands out, the largest and most important of these. In the Pacific Ocean are the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Archipelago, Prince of Wales Island and the Alexander Archipelago. The Aleutian or Aleutian archipelago extends beyond the southwestern tip of the Alaska peninsula. In the Bering Sea, that of San Lorenzo stands out.

Natural Regions

The relief of this continent is the result of different orogenic movements that have affected this region, as well as the erosive process that it has suffered through the different geological eras, which has determined that it is very varied. Thus, to the north and northeast of the continent, a very eroded, peniplane region, formed by very old rocks, can be seen; to the east a region of ancient mountains and to the west a series of mountain ranges stretching from north to south, the high peaks of which denote his youth. Between the western and eastern mountains are extensive plains, and bordering the coast, coastal plains. These inequalities in relief have led to the following natural regions being considered in North America:

  • Laurentine Region or Canadian Shield
  • Appalachian Region
  • Cordilleras Region
  • Central Plains Region
  • Coastal Plains Region

North America Geography