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Earth's Varied Topography



Earth's Varied Topography
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.26

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    circum-Pacific, soils, topography, characteristic, desert-like, low-lying, directly, generally, interior, lowest, region, coastal, material, livestock, meters, tops
     content words:    Rocky Mountains, Pacific Ocean, North America, South America, Blue Ridge, Great Smoky Mountains, Appalachian Mountain System, United States, Great Plains, Midwestern United States


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Earth's Varied Topography
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Have you ever driven through Kansas? The land is very flat in all directions. As you drive westward, suddenly you see the Rocky Mountains rising out of the land. As you get closer to Colorado, they grow taller and more beautiful. How boring earth would be if it were all flat land! Instead, we are lucky to have some interesting topography.
 
2     Topography is the shape of the earth's surface. These different physical features found in certain areas are referred to as landscapes. There are three main types of landscape regions. They are: mountains, plains, and plateaus.
 
3     Each type of landscape region has different characteristics. One characteristic is elevation. This refers to its height above sea level. Mountain regions have a high elevation. Some regions have elevations that are different from place to place. These differences in elevation are called relief. If an area has a high relief, there is a big difference in elevation between the highest points and the lowest points.
 
4     Mountain landscapes cover about twenty percent of the earth's surface. Most of these regions lie either below the ocean or near coastal areas of continents.

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