3.3 North American Landforms

Elaborate: At this rate, how long can we use resources?

Step 1: Go to the ArcGIS Online map, North American Landforms, and explore the map.
Step 2: Click Modify Map, then click the Show Contents button (on the Details pane).
Step 3: Turn on the Landform Marker layer; you will now see an Edit button at the top.
Step 4: Click the Edit button and then click the Landuse Marker.
Step 5: Click and drag the cursor around the map to “sketch” similar continuous regions, based solely on their appearance. (If necessary, zoom in to see more detail.)
  • Q: Describe how many unique regions you choose?

Step 7: To stop drawing, click the Edit button.

Step 8: If needed, click the button Show Contents (in the Details pane).

Step 9: Turn off the World Shaded Relief layer by clicking the checkbox.

Explore: More to landforms than texture

Step 10: Turn on the North American Landforms layer.

Step 11: Click the Basemap button, and then click Topographic.

  • : Which color is used to show the plains?

Step 12: Click several places across the plains.

  • Q: Which of the following are considered plains?
  • Q: Coastal plains get more precipitation and are more moderate in temperatures than mid-continental plains. T/F

Note how the imagery Basemap shows greener areas in the plains, particularly along the Gulf Coast.

Elaborate: Would a bay by any other name, sound the same?

Step 13: Click on each bookmark. Identify and differentiate among various types of landforms, as listed below.

  • Q: Coastal features
  • Q: Freshwater regions
  • Q: Ocean bodies
  • Q: River-formed landforms
  • Q: High elevation terrains
  • Q: Large ice features

Evaluate: Identifying landforms in your area

Step 14: Search for any of the landform types found in your local area. Use the Find Address Or Place search tool.

  • Q: Explain what the selected landform is and how it differs from similar features (e.g., those in Elaborate). ? If you have chosen a local cape, for instance, how is this different from a barrier island?


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