Lecture 7 - I II Regional Overview(Rocky Mountains A Areas...

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I. Regional Overview (Rocky Mountains) A. Areas Included 1. Utah 2. Wyoming 3. Montana 4. Washington state 5. Into Canada including Alberta and British Columbia B. Overall Character 1. High rugged mountains 2. Wildlife 3. Forested 4. Snow and glaciers 5. Scenic beauty 6. Sparsely populated 7. Mining towns, some are ghost towns (deserted of humans) 8. Outdoor tourism and recreation. II. Physical Geography A. Climate and ocean influence 1. Highly variable climates (localized micro climates) 2. Summers in Rockies tend to be dry and mild, afternoon thunderstorms but that is usually it. 3. Winters are cold and snowy not necessarily as cold as the plains but still cold. 4. Elevation drives the climate, as you go up and down you get changes in precipitation etc. 5. Glaciers, Alpine Glaciers (do not disappear). 6. Moisture tends to drop on western slopes of Rocky Mountains. Orographic precipitation. B. Topography and Soils 1. Major north south mountain chain in North America. 2. High, very steep, granite. 3. Highest: southern Rocky Mountains and gets lower as you go north. 4. Colorado = highest state, over a mile high. Has the most tall mountains in the U.S it has 54 mountains over 14,00ft mountains. * Mt. Elbert = tallest mountain. 5. Alaska has the 11 th tallest mountains in North America. And Mt. Whitney in California is 61 ft higher than Mt. Elbert. 6. Soils: Alfisols, Andisols, Entisols, and some barren rock. 7. Main problem is cold and short growing seasons and very steep. C. Water bodies 1. Source of many rivers that are drunk elsewhere. 2. Very important source of water for the U.S. D. Vegetation and Wildlife
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1. Valleys and basins tend to be treeless. 2. Upper tree line * too cold and windy for trees to grow on top of mountains. Lower tree line, tends to be too dry for trees. * 3. Affects of climate on vegetation: As you go from low to high elevation: tropical rain forest, temperature deciduous forest, needleleaf forest, tundra, ice and snow. This is
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Lecture 7 - I II Regional Overview(Rocky Mountains A Areas...

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