The Gulf Coastal Plain is mainly a flat to rolling plain. Ages ago it was covered by oceans. The part adjoining the Appalachian
Highlands is called the Upper Coastal Plain. This is the oldest part, as well as the highest in elevation. South of it is a strip of nearly level land known as the Black Belt because of its dark-colored soils. The southeastern quarter of the state is known as the Wire Grass area because it was once covered with a kind of coarse grass called wire grass.
For many years the Coastal Plain was the heart of the cotton fields. It is changing gradually to an area where livestock graze and many different crops are grown.
Rivers, Lakes, and Coastal Waters
Alabama is drained by three major river systems. The Tennessee River dips down' into Alabama from the state of Tennessee. It flows westward through northern Alabama and then northward to join the Ohio River. The other major rivers of Alabama flow toward the Gulf of Mexico. The Mobile River system is made up of several important rivers. The Tombigbee River and its main tributary, the Black Warrior River, drain the western part of the state. The Coosa and the Talla-poosa rivers flow through east central and eastern Alabama. They join near Montgomery to form the Alabama River, which flows southwestward toward the Tombigbee. North of Mobile, the Alabama and the Tombigbee rivers join to form the Mobile River, which drains southward into Mobile Bay. The Chat-tnhoochee is the major river of southeastern Alabama. Guntcrsvillc Lake is the largest of the many lakes in the state.
The Tennessee-Tombigbee (Tenn-Tom) Waterway project was designed to provide a water route from the Tennessee Valley to the Gulf of Mexico, by way of the Tombigbee River. It includes a canal in the northeastern corner of Mississippi that links the rivers.
Alabama's general coastline on the Gulf of Mexico is 85 kilometers (53 miles) long. If the shorelines of inlets, bays, and offshore islands are added, the total shoreline is 977 kilometers (607 miles).
People sometimes think of Alabama as an uncomfortably hot, tropical state, but this impression is false. Actually, there is a wide variety of climate from the highlands of the north to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.
Winter temperatures in the southern half of the state rarely drop below freezing. Snow is so rare that many children have never seen a snowfall. In the northern part of the state, winters are not so mild. Northwest winds bring cold snaps, but they are usually short and are followed by mild weather.
Summer temperatures tend to be about the same over the state. The summer is long, but extended heat waves are almost unknown. Along the coast the hot days are relieved by frequent breezes blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico. Nights are cool and comfortable even in midsummer. In the north, summer temperatures are relieved by the higher altitudes and by cool forest shade. Spring and autumn are long and delightful. Autumn extends from early September to well after Thanksgiving.
LOCATION: Latitude—30° 13' N to 35" N
.Longitude—84" to 53' W to 88° 28' W.
Tennessee to the north, Mississippi on the west, the Florida panhandle and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Georgia on the east.
ELEVATION: Highest—Cheaha Mountain, 734 m (2,407 ft). Lowest—Sea level, along the Gulf of Mexico.
LANDFORMS: Highlands (the Interior Low Plateau and the Appalachian Highlands) in the northern part of the state; lowlands (the Gulf Coastal Plain) in the south and west.
Реферат опубликован: 17/09/2007