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 Geography of Pennsylvania

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مُساهمةموضوع: Geography of Pennsylvania   الإثنين يونيو 08, 2009 5:15 am

Pennsylvania is one of the 50 states of the United States of America. It is located in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. The capital of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg, and the largest city is Philadelphia. Other major cities are Allentown, Erie and Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania is bordered by Maryland and Delaware to the South, West Virginia to the Southwest, Ohio to the West, New York to the North and New Jersey to the East. With a length of 170 miles and width of 283 miles, Pennsylvania covers an area of 44,817 square miles. In terms of area, it is the 33rd largest state of the United States. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is divided into 67 counties for administration. It is the 6th most populous state in the United States, with a population of 12,448,279.

Geography of Pennsylvania
The plains of the Great Lake and Appalachian Plateau converge in the northwestern part of Pennsylvania. The Appalachian mountains diagonally bisect the state from northeast to southwest. The Allegheny plateau lies to the northwest of the folded mountains. A number of water bodies cutting through this plateau makes it appear like a mountainous range. The sedimentary rocks of Mississippian age lie beneath this plateau. These plateaus have rich deposits of natural resources such as oil, coal and gas. Mount Davis, with a height of 3,213 ft, is the highest point of Pennsylvania.

Rivers and Lakes in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has a 45,000 mile river network, 50 natural lakes and 2,500 man-made lakes. Rivers like Delaware, Susquehanna, Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio are the major rivers in Pennsylvania. Delaware and Susquehanna drain the eastern parts of the state, while Monongahela and Allegheny drain the western parts. Over the course, Monongahela and Allegheny join to form the Ohio river. The river system of Pennsylvania adds to the beauty of the state by creating natural water gaps and passageways. Pennsylvania has 57 mile shoreline along the Delaware River estuary. Lake Erie, the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes, lies in Pennsylvania. Other prominent lakes are Conneaut lake, Porters Lake, Pymatuning Lake and Wallenpaupack Lake.

Pennsylvania Climate
Pennsylvania is broadly divided into three climatic zones. The lower regions of the state experience a moderate continental climate, characterized by hot and humid summer and cold winter. The highland areas experience a severe continental climate, with warm and humid summers; and cold and snowy winters. The extreme southeastern part of the state experiences a humid subtropical climate, with hot and humid summers and mild winters.

Flora and Fauna
The forested area of Pennsylvania consists of trees like hemlock, maple, oak, pine, walnut and birch. Sweet gum species are more common in southwest while red pine and paper birch are found in the forested areas of north. Small trees like June berry and New Jersey tea are also found in abundance. Northeastern bulrush species, which were once very commonly found in this area are listed as endangered today, while species like small whorled pogonia and Virginia spirea are enlisted as threatened.

The white tailed deer is the state animal of Pennsylvania, while the ruffed grouse is the official state bird. Black bear, gray foxes, musk rat, raccoon snowshoe hare and flying squirrels are some mammals common to this part of the world. More than 150 species of fishes delve in the water bodies of Pennsylvania, most common being the grass pickere, pirate perch and white bass. Birds like robin, cardinal, barn swallow and the English sparrow are found here in abundance.

With its spectacular geographical features and abundant natural resources, Pennsylvania is one of the most gifted state, not just in the United States, but the World as well.
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