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
The Rocky Mountains, commonly known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the Southwestern United States. Within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges, the Rocky Mountains were initially formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny, in which a number of plates began to slide underneath the North American plate. The angle of subduction was shallow, resulting in a belt of mountains running down western North America. Since then, further tectonic activity and erosion by glaciers have sculpted the Rockies into dramatic peaks, at the end of the last ice age, humans started to inhabit the mountain range. The first mention of their present name by a European was in the journal of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre in 1752, the Rocky Mountains are commonly defined as stretching from the Liard River in British Columbia south to the Rio Grande in New Mexico.
The United States definition of the Rockies includes the Cabinet and Salish Mountains of Idaho and their counterparts north of the Kootenai River, the Columbia Mountains, are considered a separate system in Canada, lying to the west of the huge Rocky Mountain Trench. This runs the length of British Columbia from its beginnings in the middle Flathead River valley in western Montana to the bank of the Liard River. The Rockies vary in width from 70 to 300 miles, west of the Rocky Mountain Trench, farther north and facing the Muskwa Range across the trench, are the Stikine Ranges and Omineca Mountains of the Interior Mountains system of British Columbia. A small area east of Prince George, British Columbia on the side of the Trench. In Canada geographers define three main groups of ranges, the Continental Ranges, Hart Ranges and Muskwa Ranges, the Muskwa and Hart Ranges together comprise what is known as the Northern Rockies. The western edge of the Rockies includes ranges such as the Wasatch near Salt Lake City, the Great Basin and Columbia River Plateau separate these sub-ranges from distinct ranges further to the west, most prominent among which are the Sierra Nevada, Cascade Range and Coast Mountains.
The Rocky Mountain System within the United States is a United States physiographic region, the Rocky Mountains are notable for containing the highest peaks in central North America. The ranges highest peak is Mount Elbert located in Colorado at 14,440 feet above sea level, Mount Robson in British Columbia, at 12,972 feet, is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. The Continental Divide of the Americas is located in the Rocky Mountains, triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park is so named because water that falls on the mountain reaches not only the Atlantic and Pacific, but Hudson Bay as well. Farther north in Alberta, the Athabasca and other rivers feed the basin of the Mackenzie River, see Rivers of the Rocky Mountains for a list of rivers. Human population is not very dense in the Rocky Mountains, with an average of four people per square kilometer, the human population grew rapidly in the Rocky Mountain states between 1950 and 1990. The 40-year statewide increases in range from 35% in Montana to about 150% in Utah
Las Animas County, Colorado
Las Animas County is one of the 64 counties in the U. S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,507, the county takes its name from the Mexican Spanish name of the Purgatoire River, originally called El Río de las Ánimas Perdidas en Purgatorio, which means River of the Lost Souls in Purgatory. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 4,775 square miles. It is the largest county by area in Colorado, comanche National Grassland Lake Dorothey State Wildlife Area James M. The population density was 3 people per square mile, there were 7,629 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile. 41. 45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race,29. 70% of all households were made up of individuals and 14. 30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the family size was 2.97. In the county, the population was out with 24. 20% under the age of 18,7. 90% from 18 to 24,24. 00% from 25 to 44,25. 90% from 45 to 64.
The median age was 41 years, for every 100 females there were 95.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.70 males, the median income for a household in the county was $28,273, and the median income for a family was $34,072. Males had an income of $27,182 versus $20,891 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,829, about 14. 00% of families and 17. 30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20. 00% of those under age 18 and 17. 20% of those age 65 or over
Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both natural and man-made features. A topographic map is published as a map series, made up of two or more map sheets that combine to form the whole map. A contour line is a line connecting places of equal elevation, however, in the vernacular and day to day world, the representation of relief is popularly held to define the genre, such that even small-scale maps showing relief are commonly called topographic. The study or discipline of topography is a broader field of study. Topographic maps are based on topographical surveys, performed at large scales, these surveys are called topographical in the old sense of topography, showing a variety of elevations and landforms. This is in contrast to older cadastral surveys, which primarily show property, the first multi-sheet topographic map series of an entire country, the Carte géométrique de la France, was completed in 1789. Topographic surveys were prepared by the military to assist in planning for battle, as such, elevation information was of vital importance.
As they evolved, topographic map series became a resource in modern nations in planning infrastructure. Excluding borders, each sheet was 44 cm high and up to 66 cm wide, although the project eventually foundered, it left an indexing system that remains in use. TIGER was developed in the 1980s and used in the 1990, digital elevation models were compiled, initially from topographic maps and stereographic interpretation of aerial photographs and from satellite photography and radar data. Since all these were government projects funded with taxes and not classified for security reasons. Initial applications were mostly professionalized forms such as innovative surveying instruments, by the mid-1990s, increasingly user-friendly resources such as online mapping in two and three dimensions, integration of GPS with mobile phones and automotive navigation systems appeared. As of 2011, the future of standardized, centrally printed topographical maps is left somewhat in doubt, the various features shown on the map are represented by conventional signs or symbols.
For example, colors can be used to indicate a classification of roads and these signs are usually explained in the margin of the map, or on a separately published characteristic sheet. Topographic maps are commonly called contour maps or topo maps. In the United States, where the national series is organized by a strict 7. 5-minute grid. Topographic maps conventionally show topography, or land contours, by means of contour lines, contour lines are curves that connect contiguous points of the same altitude. In other words, every point on the line of 100 m elevation is 100 m above mean sea level
Colorado is a state in the United States encompassing most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. Colorado is part of the Western United States, the Southwestern United States, Colorado is the 8th most extensive and the 21st most populous of the 50 United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Colorado was 5,540,545 on July 1,2016, the state was named for the Colorado River, which Spanish travelers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains. The Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28,1861, Colorado is nicknamed the Centennial State because it became a state in the same year as the centennial of the United States Declaration of Independence. Colorado is noted for its landscape of mountains, high plains, canyons, rivers. Denver is the capital and the most populous city of Colorado, residents of the state are properly known as Coloradans, although the term Coloradoan has been used archaically and lives on in the title of Fort Collins newspaper, the Coloradoan.
Colorado and Utah are the states which have boundaries defined solely by lines of latitude and longitude. The summit of Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet elevation in Lake County is the highest point in Colorado, Colorado is the only U. S. state that lies entirely above 1,000 meters elevation. The point where the Arikaree River flows out of Yuma County and this point, which holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state, is higher than the high elevation points of 18 states and the District of Columbia. A little less than one half of the area of Colorado is flat, East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains of the High Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Nebraska at elevations ranging from roughly 3,350 to 7,500 feet. The Colorado plains were mostly prairies, but they have many patches of forests, buttes. Eastern Colorado is presently covered in farmland and rangeland, along with small farming villages. Precipitation is fair, averaging from 15 to 25 inches annually, wheat, hay and oats are all typical crops, and most of the villages and towns in this region boast both a water tower and a grain elevator.
Irrigation water is available from the South Platte, the Arkansas River, and a few other streams, heavy use of ground water from wells for irrigation has caused underground water reserves to decline. As well as agriculture, eastern Colorado hosts considerable livestock, such as cattle ranches. Roughly 70% of Colorados population resides along the edge of the Rocky Mountains in the Front Range Urban Corridor between Cheyenne and Pueblo, Colorado. This region is protected from prevailing storms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rockies in the middle of Colorado. The Front Range includes Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and other townships, on the other side of the Rockies, the significant population centers in Western Colorado are the cities of Grand Junction and Montrose
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its resources. The organization has four science disciplines, concerning biology, geology. The USGS is a research organization with no regulatory responsibility. The USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior, the USGS employs approximately 8,670 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia. The USGS has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, the current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is science for a changing world. The agencys previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its anniversary, was Earth Science in the Public Service. Prompted by a report from the National Academy of Sciences, the USGS was created, by a last-minute amendment and it was charged with the classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.
This task was driven by the need to inventory the vast lands added to the United States by the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the legislation provided that the Hayden and Wheeler surveys be discontinued as of June 30,1879. Clarence King, the first director of USGS, assembled the new organization from disparate regional survey agencies, after a short tenure, King was succeeded in the directors chair by John Wesley Powell. Administratively, it is divided into a Headquarters unit and six Regional Units, Other specific programs include, Earthquake Hazards Program monitors earthquake activity worldwide. The National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location, the USGS runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System. The USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, and it maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research.
It conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards, USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast. The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time, the USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data are available online, since 1962, the Astrogeology Research Program has been involved in global and planetary exploration and mapping. USGS operates a number of related programs, notably the National Streamflow Information Program. USGS Water data is available from their National Water Information System database
A summit is a point on a surface that is higher in elevation than all points immediately adjacent to it. Mathematically, a summit is a maximum in elevation. The topographic terms acme, apex and zenith are synonymous, the UIAA definition is that a summit is independent if it has a prominence of 30 metres or more, it is a mountain if it has a prominence of at least 300 metres. This can be summarised as follows, A pyramidal peak is an exaggerated form produced by ice erosion of a mountain top, Summit may refer to the highest point along a line, trail, or route. In many parts of the western United States, the term refers to the highest point along a road, highway. For example, the highest point along Interstate 80 in California is referred to as Donner Summit while the highest point on Interstate 5 is Siskiyou Mountain Summit, geoid Hill List of highest mountains Maxima and minima Nadir Summit accordance Peak finder
San Isabel National Forest
San Isabel National Forest is located in central Colorado. The forest contains 19 of the states 53 fourteeners, peaks over 14,000 feet high, including Mount Elbert and it is one of eleven national forests in the state of Colorado and contains the Sawatch Range, the Collegiate Peaks, and Sangre de Cristo Range. It has an area of 1,120,233 acres spread out over parts of eleven counties in central Colorado. In descending order of area it is located in Chaffee, Lake, Fremont, Saguache, Las Animas, Costilla. San Isabel National Forest is co-managed by the Forest Service together with Pike National Forest, Cimarron National Grassland, there are local ranger district offices located in Cañon City and Salida. There are seven designated wilderness areas lying within San Isabel National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Four of them extend into neighboring National Forests, and of these, another one extends onto land of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Igneous rock, or magmatic rock, is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava, the magma can be derived from partial melts of existing rocks in either a planets mantle or crust. Typically, the melting is caused by one or more of three processes, an increase in temperature, a decrease in pressure, or a change in composition, solidification into rock occurs either below the surface as intrusive rocks or on the surface as extrusive rocks. Igneous rock may form with crystallization to form granular, crystalline rocks and metamorphic rocks make up 90–95% of the top 16 km of the Earths crust by volume. Igneous rocks form about 15% of the Earths current land surface, most of the Earths oceanic crust is made of igneous rock. In terms of modes of occurrence, igneous rocks can be either intrusive or extrusive, the mineral grains in such rocks can generally be identified with the naked eye.
Intrusive rocks can be classified according to the shape and size of the intrusive body, typical intrusive formations are batholiths, laccoliths and dikes. When the magma solidifies within the earths crust, it cools slowly forming coarse textured rocks, such as granite, the central cores of major mountain ranges consist of intrusive igneous rocks, usually granite. When exposed by erosion, these cores may occupy huge areas of the Earths surface, intrusive igneous rocks that form at depth within the crust are termed plutonic rocks and are usually coarse-grained. Intrusive igneous rocks that form near the surface are termed subvolcanic or hypabyssal rocks, hypabyssal rocks are less common than plutonic or volcanic rocks and often form dikes, laccoliths, lopoliths, or phacoliths. Extrusive igneous rocks, known as rocks, are formed at the crusts surface as a result of the partial melting of rocks within the mantle. Extrusive igneous rocks cool and solidify quicker than intrusive igneous rocks and they are formed by the cooling of molten magma on the earths surface.
The magma, which is brought to the surface through fissures or volcanic eruptions, hence such rocks are smooth and fine-grained. Basalt is an extrusive igneous rock and forms lava flows, lava sheets. Some kinds of basalt solidify to form long polygonal columns, the Giants Causeway in Antrim, Northern Ireland is an example. The molten rock, with or without suspended crystals and gas bubbles, is called magma and it rises because it is less dense than the rock from which it was created. When magma reaches the surface from beneath water or air, it is called lava, eruptions of volcanoes into air are termed subaerial, whereas those occurring underneath the ocean are termed submarine. Black smokers and mid-ocean ridge basalt are examples of volcanic activity
A drainage divide, water divide, ridgeline, water parting, is the line that separates neighbouring drainage basins. In hilly country, the divide lies along topographical ridges, and may be in the form of a range of hills or mountains. In flat country—especially where the ground is marshy—the divide may be harder to discern, a valley floor divide is a low drainage divide that runs across a valley, sometimes created by deposition or stream capture. Settlements are often built on valley-floor divides in the Alps, examples are Eben im Pongau, Kirchberg in Tirol and Waidring. Extremely low divides with heights of less than two metres are found on the North German Plain within the Urstromtäler, for example, between Havel and Finow in the Eberswalde Urstromtal. In marsh deltas such as the Okavango, the largest drainage area on earth, or in large areas, such as the Finnish Lakeland. Another case is bifurcation, where the watershed is effectively in the river bed, in pre-industrial times, water divides were crossed at portages.
Later, canals connected adjoining drainage basins, a key problem in such canals is ensuring a sufficient water supply, Drainage basins List of watershed topics European watershed Scottish watershed River source
La Veta, Colorado
The Town of La Veta is a Statutory Town in Huerfano County, United States. The town population was 800 as of the 2010 United States Census, a post office called La Veta has been in operation since 1876. The community was named for a deposit near the original town site. La Veta is located at 37°30′28″N 105°0′29″W, according to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.37 square miles, all of it land. At one time there were sulphur springs in La Veta owned by Dr. Acker and they were last managed by W J Pierce of Colorado Springs As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 800 people,415 households, and 222 families residing in the town. The population density was 583.9 people per square mile, there were 566 housing units at an average density of 413.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 91. 1% White,0. 9% American Indian,0. 4% Pacific Islander,2. 6% from other races and Latinos of any race were 11. 4% of the population. 42. 7% of all households were made up of individuals, the average household size was 1.93, and the average family size was 2.60.
The median age in the town was 52.8 years. 18. 9% of residents were under the age of 18,2. 9% were between the ages of 18 and 24,16. 4% were from 25 to 44,39. 2% were from 45 to 64, and 22. 6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 46. 8% male and 53. 2% female, the median income for a household was $37,457, and the median income for a family was $66,964. Males had an income of $50,577 versus $26,250 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,066, about 12. 0% of families and 10. 9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19. 3% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over. There is one school in the town of La Veta, La veta RE2 and it has a total of 229 students. La Veta has the highest CSAP scores in Huerfano county, the school sports team are the La Veta Redskins, which for the last few years have been going to state tournaments in almost every sport. OLD LA VETA PASS Overall History, Before there was a railroad, the woods were discovered by botanists collecting plants for Harvard College.
Next, the Denver & Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Railroad was built in 1877 over the Sangre de Cristos/Rockies, the D&RG Railroad was active from 1877 to 1900 when the railroad over Veta Pass was decommissioned & the rails and ties removed. In the absence of rails the beautifully constructed dirt road one of the few roads crossing the Rocky Mountains for early automobile trips
Spanish Peaks Wilderness
The Spanish Peaks Wilderness is a 19,226 acres wilderness area in Huerfano County and Las Animas County, United States, located 20 miles southwest of Walsenburg. All of the area is located within San Isabel National Forest. The Spanish Peaks are prominent landmarks along the front of the southern Rockies. The West Spanish Peak with an elevation of 13,623 feet, this difference is not readily discernible from a distance. The Peaks have traditional and religious significance to American Indian tribes including the Apache, summer thunderstorms, which often form near the summits, were evidence the rain gods worked their magic on the peaks. The common Indian name appears in at least three different spellings in various accounts, reflecting different renditions of oral expression and these are Wahatoya, Huajatolla or Guajatoyah, roughly interpreted as breasts of the earth. The Spanish Peaks are geologically distinct from the faulted and uplifted mountains of the Sangre de Cristo range to the west. To the geologist the Spanish Peaks are prime examples of stocks which are defined as large masses of rock which intruded layers of sedimentary rock and were exposed by erosion.
When mapped by geologists the Peaks were found to be masses of granite, among the most unusual features of the Spanish Peaks are the great dikes which radiate out from the mountains like spokes of a wheel. These walls of rock are often spectacular and they are easily visible from the highway north of the peaks, and pictures of them have been used as type examples in more than one introductory geology textbook. Several can be seen up close on back dirt roads