North America is the third continent of our planet by area, which is 24.2 million square km. It is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean from the east, by the Pacific Ocean from the south and the Arctic Ocean from the north. The continent is strongly indented, that is the result of the movement of lithospheric plates. There are a lot of islands and archipelagos close to the mainland, the largest of which are Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Numerous bays and peninsulas constitute the coastline.
The western part of the continent is occupied by mountains – the Cordilleras. The highest peak, covered with snow and glaciers, is located in the northern part of the mountain range and is called Mount McKinley (6193 m). The mountains are extremely beautiful: deep cavities coexist with huge ranges and volcanoes, the mountains are dissected by deep valleys. Central and eastern parts of the continent are occupied by plains. In the east of the continent there are the Appalachian Mountains. These low mountains are badly damaged.
North America is rich in minerals: sedimentary rocks of the plains contain much oil, natural gas and coal. The northern part of the plains is distinguished by deposits of ores of metals: iron, copper, nickel. The Cordilleras are rich in ores of nonferrous and precious metals, oil, coal.
The largest river in North America is the Mississippi, with the inflow the Missouri River. The largest river of the Cordilleras is the Colorado River, which has created the canyon 320 km long through the mountains. The continent is characterized by its numerous lakes, especially its northern part, which many times was covered by a glacier in the recent geological past. Here is a group of the Great Lakes, occupying the record area of 250 thousand km.
Almost all natural zones are present on the continent – from the Arctic deserts to deserts. The indigenous population – Indians (Native Americans) and Eskimos. They inhabited the continent long before the penetration of Europeans.