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Geography
Geography of the West Region, Part 2

Geography
Geography


Geography of the West Region, Part 2
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.04

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    interesting, semi, subregion, tributary, droughts, irrigation, hawaii, northwestern, extremely, zone, violent, rainfall, tends, canyons, elevation, drier
     content words:    West Region, Mojave Desert, In Utah, Great Salt Lake Desert, Saguaro National Monument, Mountain West Region, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Pacific Ocean, Continental Divide

Other Languages
     Spanish: Geografía de la Región Oeste, Parte 2


Geography of the West Region, Part 2
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     The West Region has many interesting landforms. You have read about its mountains, canyons, ranges, and valleys. Now you will learn about its drier and wetter landforms.
 
2     There are desert and semi desert areas in the West Region. Semi desert areas are not as dry and bare as desert areas. The Mojave Desert is in southern California. In Utah, there is the Great Salt Lake Desert. These deserts receive very little rain each year. Very few plants are able to survive in deserts. They have to live with very little water. One type of desert plant is a cactus. Cactuses can survive for long periods without water. You may be surprised to know that there are 2,000 different types of cactuses. The Saguaro National Monument is a great place to see cactuses. This desert area has giant saguaro cactuses.
 
3     You may be surprised to learn that some cities are located in desert areas. In the Mountain West Region, Las Vegas, Nevada, is located in a desert area. It is one of our country's most famous cities. Its population has grown in recent years. You can also visit Reno, Nevada, and Salt Lake City, Utah. Both are found in desert areas.
 
4     The West Region has rivers that empty into the Pacific Ocean. In fact, the Mountain West Region has a line that divides our continent in half. This line is called the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide is a line of ridges. It runs north and south through the Rocky Mountains. All rivers that begin west of the divide flow into the Pacific Ocean. Rivers that begin east of the divide flow into the Gulf of Mexico or towards the Atlantic Ocean. The Continental Divide is the reason rivers in the West Region flow into the Pacific.
 
5     The Mountain West's rivers have shaped its land. The Colorado River is responsible for the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau. It is the region's most important river. People in the West region rely on it for drinking water and irrigation. One of our most famous dams is located on this river. It is the Hoover Dam. The Colorado, which begins in the Rockies, flows south and west. It flows through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. The river empties into the Gulf of California. The gulf then flows into the Pacific Ocean. In northwestern Wyoming, there is the Snake River. If you find it on a map, you will see why it has this name. The river is curved like a snake. The Snake River flows through Idaho into Washington State. Since it begins in the western Rocky Mountains, it flows toward the Pacific Ocean. It combines with the Columbia River as it flows through Washington.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
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