U.S. and Canada
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What was the climate like in the Great Plains?
**Not completely flat; areas of dunes, badlands, and mountains.
**Unpredictable; variable, extremes
**Vast north to south temperature
What is the demographic characteristics of urban areas vs. rural areas?
- population loss,
- Brain Drain=outmigrating of young people
- Decline of birth rate
- Access to medical services and businesses
- Difficult to recruit doctors/dentists/pharmacists
- Church and school consolidating
- Wal-Mart impact
- Increasing numbers of hispanics
What is Karst?
- Inland sea (200-65 mya) laid down limestone
- Limestone=Karst topography
What is an Aquifer?
- Water-holding rock formations
- Ogalla/high plains aquifer formed as Rocky Mts lifted
- -Eroded material (Sand/Gravel) was carried east
- Limestone and gravel = aquifer
- Most irrigated corn supported by ogalla aquifer
- Water level decline in the ogalla aquifer due to over irrigation
- - Dryland farming has returned
What is soil topography?
- Supports one of the greatest natural grasslands of the world
- **Tall grass prairie (east)
- **Short prairie grass (west)
- Mollisol Soils-most fertile in the world (Breadbasket soils)
- Prairie ecosystem=natural compost pile
What was the Dust Bowl?
1930 season of over farming and drought
What is the CRP?
- Conservation Reservation Program
- Oldest version-implemented after Dust Bowl
- Current-established in 1985 farm bill
- Paid farmers to retire poor farmland
- 10 years Voluntary contracts
- Primary Purpose-perserve soil, protect groundwater
Additional Benefits-wildlife habitat, increased crop prices
What was CPA aeres rise and fall?
10 year contracts are ending
Illinois CRP vs Cash Rent
- More cost effective to Cash Rent
- Most CRP is in the south
- Rolling hills/poor soil
- Not in competition with good cropland
South Dakota CRP vs Cash Rent
Cash rent rising due to effective irrigation and better crops
Why are cash rental prices up?
- Market demand
- Government subsides
- Exports-esp. Asia
- Ethonols (Biofuels)
cP and mT air masses; weather systems (Fronts)
- Weather Systems
- **Great Plains-clashes between differing air masses
- **Cool/dry air (North/West)
- **Warm, moist air (South)
- **Driven by low pressure systems-counter clockwise rotating
what is cT?
Continental tropical--> hot, dry air from mexico (summer)
What is cP?
Continental Polar--> Cold, dry air from canada (Winter/Summers)
What is mT?
Maritime Tropical--> Warm humid air from west coast and Gulf (Winter/Summer)
What is mP?
Maritime Polar--> Cool, humid air from NW pacific and NE atlantic (Winter/Summer)
What is severe weather and tornados?
- Clashing warm and cold fronts
- Tornados--->Violent windstorms that take the form of a rotating column of air or vortex
Tornado Alley-->Great plains-Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio
- Wall Cloud/Funnel
- Hook Echo
River Regions; Irrigation; Flooding
Missouri River-Heavily damned
Platte River-Braided river=full of sediment
Red River of the North-Flows North to Lake Winnipeg, Canada
Snow melt from rockies creates flooding
Important for irrigation/aquifer regeneration
What is political economy of the meat packing industry; vertical integration?
Labor disputes across the U.S. in the 1980s opened the doors for hispanic immigrants
1975 -->70% of unionized $18/hour wage
2008-->non-unionized $8/ hour wage
Implosion; a single entity controls all aspects of production
- Benefits- consistency in inputs
- - consistency of outputs
- -wider profit margins=$$$
Iowa Beef Processors (IBP)
- Build facilities that do not require skilled labor
- Build facilities located closer to cattle
- Western cattle shipped east (Chicago,etc)
- Moved by railed; caused stress and weight loss
- Skilled laborers needed to keep profits up
- Processing plants moved west
- Decreased shipping costs
- Boxed beef; repetitive, unskilled jobs
- Increased (Illegal) hispanic laborers
- JBS swift
- Nation Beef
- Sparsley population yet fast-growing
- **U.S. grew by 9.7%
Drivers of change
Amenities-->retirees and 2nd homes
Boom and Bust Cycle--> mining and extractive activties
Physical Geography of the Rockies
Composed of discontinuous mt.ranges 2,000 miles long
Example-->front ranges, sawatch range, San Juan Mts, Sangre de cristo
Colorado Fourteeners-->54 Mt. peaks over 14,000ft
Sculpted by geomorphic processes-->Tectonic uplift, volcanism, Glaciation, Fluvial activity
Granite and Metamorphic Rock-->2.5 bil-543 mya, Ancient Mts. eroded down, covered by sea
- 200mya-->tectonic forces broke N. Am from Europe
- Collided with pacific plate
- Columbia Orogeny
- 65mya-->2nd Collision:Laramide Orogeny
- Created today's Rockies
U and V Shaped valleys?
- Since formation=weathering
- water-rainfall and rivers=V Shaped
Alpine Glaciation=formed as glaciers descended from their accumulation zones = U SHAPED Valleys
Climate and Elevation
Elevation determines climate
- Elevation dictates which way precipitation will flow
- west=pacific ocean
- east=Atlantic ocean, Gulf of mexico, hudson bay
- Triple divide peak
- **Glacier Nation Park
- **water hitting the peak can flow into 3 water bodies
- -Gulf of Mexico
- -Hudson Bay
- -Pacific Ocean
What is a Rain Shadow?
- Warm moist air from the west rises-Windward
- Cools, condenses, and it cant "hold" it's moisture any longer
East side of Mt. Range is very dry-Leeward
Political Economy and Seasonal homes, tourism and amenities
- Political Economy-->Most of eastern U.S. is within 5 miles of some type of road, rail, or water ways.
- Settled early; used for agriculture
- Much of the rockies are too steep, high, or dry for agriculture, though "ranching" is found.
- Early settlers were drawn to: minerals, lumber, other natural resources.
- Primary--> Teertiary/Quaternary (Never Secondary)
Natural Amenities Scale
Measure of the physical (Characteristics at a county) area that enhances the location as a place to live.
High numbers of 2nd or vacation homes
Drivers of sector change--> tourism, fishing, ski resorts, national parks
What is forestry and logging, fires?
Cutting cycle--Clean cut vs. selective harvesting, Regrowth or planting, Continue the cycle
Pine Beetle Damage
3 Sub regions of California
- Costal Mountains
- Inferior Valley
- High East Mountains
Physical geography of California
- 1-Coastal Mountains and Valleys
- **Pacific Plate=North
- **N.Am Plate=South
- **Strike-Slip faults=San Andreas Fault
Coast Ranges-Mostly horizontal movement, some vertical- Mts tend to be 2,000 to 4,000 ft tall
- 2- Inferior Valleys
- One giant valley (Central Valley) drained by 2 major rivers
- Bakersfield(South) to redding(North)
- Sacramento Valley and River
- San Juaquin Valley and River
- 3-High Sierra and Cascade Ranges
- East of central valley
- East face rises abruptly; west is gradual
Minor Valleys of California
Napa Valley-Leading wine-producing valley in N. Am
Santa Clara Valley- Silicon Valley
Salinas Valley-"San Jose" Major vegetable producing area
San Fernado/Gabriel-L.A. and Hollywood
Volcanism; Mt. Shasta
Active Mt. Range--> ring of fire
Mt. Shasta--> Stratovolcano, active volcano, last erupted 200 years ago
Temp and Precipitation vary across the state and there is the far extremes
Winters precipitation maximum-->Moderately cool temperature, low pressure dominates; brings moisture
Summer precipitation minimum--> Long summers, warm/hot, high pressure dominates; little precipitation
- Import Water
- 70% of precipitation falls in its Northern Mts
- 80% of its population lives in the South and most agriculture takes place in dry regions
- Control of water=control of california
- Irrigation became legal in 1887- The Wright Act
- Reliance on irrigation for stable agriculture
- **Diversion of rivers mainly for agriculture
- **Doctrine of prior appopriation: first come, first served
- **Reclamation Act of 1902: Support for water works
- 90% of crops are now grown using irrigation
- 100% of L.A. population depends on importated water
Irish immigrant who became chief of the L.A. water department and designed the 233 mile aqueduct from owens lake to L.A. in 1913. Referred to as "the man who saced L.A.". 4 Aqueducts servering L.A.
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