Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power.
The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.
In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. It is defined by size, being finer than gravel and coarser than silt, Sand can refer to a textural class of soil or soil type, i. e. a soil containing more than 85% sand-sized particles by mass. The second most common type of sand is calcium carbonate, for example aragonite, for example, it is the primary form of sand apparent in areas where reefs have dominated the ecosystem for millions of years like the Caribbean. Sand is a non renewable resource over human timescales, and sand suitable for making concrete is in high demand, in terms of particle size as used by geologists, sand particles range in diameter from 0.0625 mm to 2 mm. An individual particle in this size is termed a sand grain. Sand grains are between gravel and silt, a 1953 engineering standard published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials set the minimum sand size at 0.074 mm. A1938 specification of the United States Department of Agriculture was 0.05 mm.
Sand feels gritty when rubbed between the fingers. ISO14688 grades sands as fine and coarse with ranges 0.063 mm to 0.2 mm to 0.63 mm to 2.0 mm. In the United States, sand is commonly divided into five sub-categories based on size, very fine sand, fine sand, medium sand, coarse sand, and very coarse sand. These sizes are based on the Krumbein phi scale, where size in Φ = -log2D, on this scale, for sand the value of Φ varies from −1 to +4, with the divisions between sub-categories at whole numbers. The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources. The gypsum sand dunes of the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico are famous for their bright, arkose is a sand or sandstone with considerable feldspar content, derived from weathering and erosion of a granitic rock outcrop. Some sands contain magnetite, glauconite or gypsum, Sands rich in magnetite are dark to black in color, as are sands derived from volcanic basalts and obsidian. Chlorite-glauconite bearing sands are typically green in color, as are sands derived from basaltic with a high olivine content, many sands, especially those found extensively in Southern Europe, have iron impurities within the quartz crystals of the sand, giving a deep yellow color.
Sand deposits in some areas contain garnets and other resistant minerals, the study of individual grains can reveal much historical information as to the origin and kind of transport of the grain. Quartz sand that is weathered from granite or gneiss quartz crystals will be angular. It is called grus in geology or sharp sand in the trade where it is preferred for concrete. Sand that is transported long distances by water or wind will be rounded, people who collect sand as a hobby are known as arenophiles
A seashell or sea shell, known simply as a shell, is a hard, protective outer layer created by an animal that lives in the sea. The shell is part of the body of the animal, empty seashells are often found washed up on beaches by beachcombers. The shells are empty because the animal has died and the parts have been eaten by another animal or have rotted out. The term seashell usually refers to the exoskeleton of an invertebrate, most shells that are found on beaches are the shells of marine mollusks, partly because many of these shells endure better than other seashells. Apart from mollusk shells, other shells that can be found on beaches are those of barnacles, horseshoe crabs, marine annelid worms in the family Serpulidae create shells which are tubes made of calcium carbonate that are cemented onto other surfaces. The shells of sea urchins are called tests, and the shells of crabs. While most seashells are external, some cephalopods have internal shells, Seashells have been used by humans for many different purposes throughout history and pre-history.
However, seashells are not the kind of shells, in various habitats, there are shells from freshwater animals such as freshwater mussels and freshwater snails. When the word refers only to the shells of marine mollusks. The study of the entire molluscan animal is known as malacology, Seashells are commonly found in beach drift, which is natural detritus deposited along strandlines on beaches by the waves and the tides. Shells are very often washed up onto an empty and clean. Empty seashells are often picked up by beachcombers, the majority of seashells which are offered for sale commercially have been collected alive and killed and cleaned, specifically for the commercial trade. This type of large-scale exploitation can sometimes have a negative impact on local ecosystems. The word seashell is often used to only the shell of a marine mollusk. These shells are often the most commonly encountered, both in the wild, and for sale as decorative objects. Marine species of gastropods and bivalves are more numerous land and freshwater species.
The shells of species often have more sculpture and more color. Although there are a number of species of shelled mollusks that are large, there are vast numbers of extremely small species too
Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column, derived from the notochord. This includes all animals apart from the subphylum Vertebrata, familiar examples of invertebrates include insects, crabs and their kin, clams and their kin, sea-urchins and their kin and worms. The majority of species are invertebrates, one estimate puts the figure at 97%. Many invertebrate taxa have a number and variety of species than the entire subphylum of Vertebrata. Some of the invertebrates, such as the Tunicata and Cephalochordata are more closely related to the vertebrates than to other invertebrates. This makes the term invertebrate paraphyletic and hence almost meaningless for taxonomic purposes, the word invertebrate comes from the form of the Latin word vertebra, which means a joint in general, and sometimes specifically a joint from the spinal column of a vertebrate. In turn the jointed aspect of vertebra derived from the concept of turning, coupled with the prefix in-, meaning not or without.
The term invertebrates is not always precise among non-biologists since it does not accurately describe a taxon in the way that Arthropoda. Each of these describes an valid taxon, subphylum or family. Invertebrata is a term of convenience, not a taxon, it has very little circumscriptional significance except within the Chordata, the Vertebrata as a subphylum comprises such a small proportion of the Metazoa that to speak of the kingdom Animalia in terms of Vertebrata and Invertebrata has limited practicality. That would at least circumscribe the Chordata, even the notochord would be a less fundamental criterion than aspects of embryological development and symmetry or perhaps bauplan. The following text reflects earlier scientific understanding of the term and of animals which have constituted it. According to this understanding, invertebrates do not possess a skeleton of bone and they include hugely varied body plans. Many have fluid-filled, hydrostatic skeletons, like jellyfish or worms, others have hard exoskeletons, outer shells like those of insects and crustaceans.
The most familiar invertebrates include the Protozoa, Coelenterata, Nematoda, Echinodermata, Arthropoda include insects and arachnids. By far the largest number of described species are insects. The following table lists the number of described extant species for major invertebrate groups as estimated in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species,2014.3. The IUCN estimates that 66,178 extant vertebrate species have been described, the trait that is common to all invertebrates is the absence of a vertebral column, this creates a distinction between invertebrates and vertebrates
The Pacific Flyway is a major north-south flyway for migratory birds in America, extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Every year, migratory birds travel some or all of this both in spring and in fall, following food sources, heading to breeding grounds, or travelling to overwintering sites. Any given bird species travels roughly the route every year. Ornithologists and bird lovers can often predict to the day when a species will show up in their area. Along the Pacific Flyway, there are many key rest stops where birds of many species gather, sometimes in the millions, to feed, some species may remain in these rest stops for the entire season, but most stay a few days before moving on. Notable locations include, Boundary Bay, British Columbia, has listed as an Important Bird Area by the Canadian government in recognition of its value to migratory birds. Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges Complex consists of different wildlife refuges on the border of Oregon. The Summer Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, located on Hwy 31, across from the Summer Lake Lodge, sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of several wildlife refuges in the northern Central Valley of California.
San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of wildlife refuges in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Suisun Marsh, next to the exit of the inverted Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, has protected portions, San Francisco Bay, protected estuaries and mountain open space preserves. Coyote Valley, a section of the Santa Clara Valley with one of the highest recorded bird species richness. Great Salt Lake, Utah, a Great Basin hub of flyway, monterey Bay, protected estuaries and mountain open space preserves. Ballona Wetlands between the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Playa del Rey and Marina del Rey and adjacent city-owned lagoons, salton Sea, an inland Colorado Desert saline endorheic lake in Southern California, hosts many birds and has surrounding wildlife refuges. Seeking Refuge and Landscapes of the Pacific Flyway 245 pages Important Bird Areas of Canada
Limonium is a genus of 120 flower species. Members are known as sea-lavender, caspia or marsh-rosemary, despite their common names, species are not related to the lavenders or to rosemary. They are instead in Plumbaginaceae, the plumbago or leadwort family, the generic name is from the Latin līmōnion, used by Pliny for a wild plant and is ultimately derived from the Ancient Greek leimon. The genus has a distribution in Europe, Africa, Australia. Sea-lavenders normally grow as perennial plants, growing 10–70 cm tall from a rhizome. Many species flourish in saline soils, and are common near coasts and in salt marshes. Many of the species are apomictic, the fruit is a small capsule containing a single seed, partly enclosed by the persistent calyx. Several species are popular garden flowers, they are known to gardeners as statices. They are grown both for their flowers and for the appearance of the calyx, which remains on the plant after the flowers have fallen. There are between 120-150 species in the genus, many of them local endemic species with a restricted range.
Species not given a name here are generally referred to simply as sea-lavender, statice. L. tataricum, have now transferred to the separate genus Goniolimon
Clay is a fine-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure. Clays are plastic due to water content and become hard, brittle. Depending on the content in which it is found, clay can appear in various colours from white to dull grey or brown to deep orange-red. Although many naturally occurring deposits include both silts and clay, clays are distinguished from other fine-grained soils by differences in size, which are fine-grained soils that do not include clay minerals, tend to have larger particle sizes than clays. There is, some overlap in size and other physical properties. The distinction between silt and clay varies by discipline and soil scientists usually consider the separation to occur at a particle size of 2 µm, sedimentologists often use 4–5 μm, and colloid chemists use 1 μm.
Geotechnical engineers distinguish between silts and clays based on the plasticity properties of the soil, as measured by the soils Atterberg limits, ISO14688 grades clay particles as being smaller than 2 μm and silt particles as being larger. These solvents, usually acidic, migrate through the rock after leaching through upper weathered layers. In addition to the process, some clay minerals are formed through hydrothermal activity. There are two types of deposits and secondary. Primary clays form as residual deposits in soil and remain at the site of formation, secondary clays are clays that have been transported from their original location by water erosion and deposited in a new sedimentary deposit. Clay deposits are associated with very low energy depositional environments such as large lakes. Depending on the source, there are three or four main groups of clays, montmorillonite-smectite and chlorite. Chlorites are not always considered to be a clay, sometimes being classified as a group within the phyllosilicates.
There are approximately 30 different types of clays in these categories. Varve is clay with visible annual layers, which are formed by deposition of those layers and are marked by differences in erosion. This type of deposit is common in glacial lakes
The savannah sparrow is a small American sparrow. It is the widely accepted member of the genus Passerculus. The common name comes from Savannah, where one of the first specimens of this bird was collected and this passerine bird breeds in Alaska, northern and Pacific coastal United States and Guatemala. The Pacific and Mexican breeders are resident, but other populations are migratory, wintering from the southern United States across Central America and it is a very rare vagrant to western Europe. This species has a typically sparrow-like dark-streaked brown back, and whitish underparts with brown or blackish breast and it has whitish crown and supercilium stripes, sometimes with some yellow. The cheeks are brown and the throat white, the flight feathers are blackish-brown with light brown or white border. The feet and legs are horn-colored, as is the part of the bill. The Savannah sparrow is a variable species, with numerous subspecies. The different forms vary principally in the darkness of the plumage, the variation generally follows Glogers rule, with Alaskan and interior races the palest, and southwestern coastal forms the darkest.
There are some exceptions, most conspicuously in some populations that presumably were strongly affected by founder effects. The general pattern of variation has a clear divide, southwest of which the birds become notably darker. Savannah sparrows show some variation in size across subspecies, the total length can range from 11 to 17 cm, wingspan ranges from 18 to 25 cm and body mass from 15 to 29 g. In the nominate subspecies, the weight averages 20.1 g. The Savannah sparrows proper are very similar, and migrant birds can not usually be related to a population with certainty. The resident or partially migratory subspecies are distinguishable by size and. These birds forage on the ground or in low bushes, particularly in winter they are found in grazed low-growth grassland. They mainly eat seeds, but eat insects in the breeding season and they are typically encountered as pairs or family groups in the breeding season, and assemble in flocks for the winter migration. The flight call is a thin seep, sensu lato, the Savannah sparrow is considered a threatened species by the IUCN
Mudflats or mud flats, known as tidal flats, are coastal wetlands that form when mud is deposited by tides or rivers. They are found in sheltered areas such as bays, lagoons, mudflats may be viewed geologically as exposed layers of bay mud, resulting from deposition of estuarine silts and marine animal detritus. Most of the sediment within a mudflat is within the intertidal zone, in the past tidal flats were considered unhealthy, economically unimportant areas and were often dredged and developed into agricultural land. Several especially shallow mudflat areas, such as the Wadden Sea, are now popular among those practising the sport of mudflat hiking. On the Baltic Sea coast of Germany in places, mudflats are exposed not by tidal action and these wind-affected mudflats are called windwatts in German. Tidal flats, along with salt marshes and mangrove forests, are important ecosystems. They are often of importance to migratory birds, as well as certain species of crabs, mollusks. In the United Kingdom mudflats have been classified as a Biodiversity Action Plan priority habitat, the maintenance of mudflats is important in preventing coastal erosion.
However, mudflats worldwide are under threat from predicted sea level rises, land claims for development, dredging due to shipping purposes, in some parts of the world, such as East and South-East Asia, mudflats have been reclaimed for aquaculture and industrial development. For example, around the Yellow Sea region of East Asia, mudflat sediment deposits are focused into the intertidal zone which is composed of a barren zone and salt pan. Within these areas are various ratios of sand and mud that make up the sedimentary layers, the associated growth of coastal sediment deposits can be attributed to rates of subsidence along with rates of deposition and changes in sea level. Barren zones extend from the lowest portion of the zone to the marsh areas. Beginning in close proximity to the bars, sand dominated layers are prominent. Common bedding types include laminated sand, ripple bedding, and bay mud, bioturbation has a strong presence in barren zones. Marshes contain an abundance of plants while the sediment layers consist of thin sand.
Mudcracks are a common as well as wavy bedding planes, marshes are the origins of coal/peat layers because of the abundant decaying plant life. Salt pans can be distinguished in that they contain thinly laminated layers of clayey silt, the main source of the silt comes from rivers. Dried up mud along with wind erosion forms silt dunes, when flooding, rain or tides come in, the dried sediment is re-distributed
Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in Southern California. The city is named after American businessman Henry E. Huntington, the population was 189,992 during the 2010 census, making it the most populous beach city in Orange County and the seventh most populous city in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim MSA. Its estimated 2014 population was 200,809, Huntington Beach is known for its long 9. 5-mile stretch of sandy beach, mild climate, excellent surfing, and beach culture. The ocean waves are enhanced by an effect caused by the edge-diffraction of open ocean swells around Santa Catalina Island. The area was occupied by the Tongva people. The main thoroughfare of Huntington Beach, Beach Boulevard, was originally a cattle route for the industry of the Rancho. Since its time as a parcel of the enormous Spanish land grant, it became known as Fairview and Pacific City, as it developed into a tourist destination. The Huntington Beach pier was built in 1904 and was originally a 1,000 foot-long timber structure, Huntington Beach was incorporated on February 17,1909 during the tenure of its first mayor, Ed Manning.
Its original developer was Huntington Beach Company, a development firm owned by Henry Huntington. The Huntington Beach Company is still a major land-owner in the city, the company is now wholly owned by the Chevron Corporation. The lucky buyers got more than they had bargained for when oil was discovered in the area, and enormous development of the oil reserves followed. Though many of the old reserves are depleted, and the price of land for housing has pushed many of the rigs off the landscape, Huntington Beach was primarily agricultural in its early years with crops such as celery and sugar beets. Holly Sugar was an employer with a large processing plant in the city that was converted to an oil refinery. The citys first high school, Huntington Beach High School, located on Main Street, was built in 1906, the schools team, the Oilers, is named after the citys original natural resource. Meadowlark Airport, a general aviation airport, existed in Huntington Beach from the 1940s until 1989. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 31.9 square miles.
26.7 sq mi of it is land and 5.1 sq mi of it is water, the entire city of Huntington Beach lies in area codes 657 and 714, except for small parts of Huntington Harbour, which is in the 562 Area Code. Huntington Beach has a borderline semi-arid/Mediterranean climate, the climate is generally sunny and cool, although evenings can be excessively damp
Seal Beach, California
Seal Beach is a city in Orange County, California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,168, Seal Beach is located in the westernmost corner of Orange County. To the northwest, just across the border with Los Angeles County, lies the city of Long Beach, to the southeast are Huntington Harbour, a neighborhood of Huntington Beach, and Sunset Beach, part of Huntington Beach. To the east lie the city of Westminster and the neighborhood of West Garden Grove, to the north lie the unincorporated community of Rossmoor and the city of Los Alamitos. A majority of the acreage is devoted to the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach military base. Early on, the area that is now Seal Beach was known as Anaheim Landing, as the boat landing, the site of Anaheim Landing is now registered as a California Historical Landmark. By the 20th century, it was known as Bay City, when the time of incorporation on October 27,1915, the town was named Seal Beach. The town became a recreation destination in the area. The Joy Zone, an amusement park built in 1916, was the first in Orange County.
With closure of the Concord Naval Weapons Station in Northern California, the deadliest mass killing in Orange County history occurred in Seal Beach. On October 12,2011, a shooting took place at the local Salon Meritage hair salon. Eight people inside the salon and one person in the lot were shot. The suspect in the shooting, 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai, was arrested without incident and charged with eight counts of murder, prior to the shooting, there had been only one murder in Seal Beach during the previous four years. Seal Beach is located at 33°45′33″N 118°4′57″W, according to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.0 square miles. 11.3 square miles of it is land and 1.8 square miles of it is water, Seal Beach has a semi-arid climate with Mediterranean characteristics. The 2010 United States Census reported that Seal Beach had a population of 24,168, the population density was 1,853.3 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Seal Beach was 20,154 White,279 African American,65 Native American,2,309 Asian,58 Pacific Islander,453 from other races, hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,331 persons.
The Census reported that 23,943 people lived in households,22 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, there were 383 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 66 same-sex married couples or partnerships