North America

North America

North America is the northern part of the American continent in surrounded north of the Arctic Ocean, east of the Atlantic Ocean and west of the Pacific Ocean. It is the third largest continent on earth, after Asia and Africa, and covers an area of ​​24,930,000 km² including Greenland, the Central American Land Bridge and the Caribbean. North and South America are geologically separate roads e lethal continents and were relatively late to the Central American combined land bridge.

South America and North America were named after Amerigo Vespucci. He came first to the conclusion that the land that Christopher Columbus discovered and as India had looked, a continent was.

The connection between North and South America is the isthmus of Panama. Occasionally Central America or Central America is mentioned as a separate continent, but according to prevailing opinion it is at most a region such as B. Western Europe and belongs to North America. Check Countryaah website for comprehensive guide to North America and all countries within this region.

Central America comprises the land bridge between North and South America and the West Indies. The mainland of Central America is known as Central America. The Lesser and Greater Antilles do not belong to the land bridge.

Country Share of tourist income in exports (percent)
Antigua and Barbuda 67.1 (2016)
Bahamas 77.9 (2016)
Barbados 42.8 (2013)
Belize 40.4 (2016)
Costa Rica 21.0 (2016)
Dominica 83.6 (2016)
Dominican Republic 37.0 (2016)
El Salvador 17.4 (2016)
Grenada 86.1 (2016)
Guatemala 11.6 (2016)
Haiti 31.6 (2016)
Honduras 10.4 (2016)
Jamaica 57.5 (2016)
Canada 3.9 (2016)
Mexico 5.2 (2016)
Nicaragua 12.4 (2016)
Panama 23.9 (2016)
Saint Kitts & Nevis 63.8 (2016)
Saint Lucia 78.9 (2016)
St. Vincent & the Grenadines 72.8 (2016)
Trinidad & Tobago 7.7 (2016)
USA 11.1 (2016)


Natural space

North America includes Greenland, which belongs politically autonomously to Denmark, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America and several Caribbean island states.

Almost the entire area of ​​North America is on the North American plate, part of it is on the Pacific plate. These are mainly the Baja California peninsula in Mexico and the coastal strip of California from San Diego to north of San Francisco. The rift between the Pacific and North American plates becomes the San Andreas Rift called. Both plates are constantly drifting north, the Pacific plate at a faster rate. As a result, both plates slide past each other. Since this does not happen smoothly, both plates get caught in different places and earthquakes occur in this area.

In the western part are the Alaska Range, the Rocky Mountains, the Western Cordilleras and the Sierra Madre Occidental, which were mainly formed by the pressure of the Pacific plate on the North American plate about 80 million years ago. The highest peak in North America is Denali (Mount McKinley, 6190 m) in the Alaska range. In the north Greenland with its ice sheet and further south between Canada and the USA the Great Lakes are worth mentioning, the legacies of the last ice ageare. Here is the second largest lake in the world after the Caspian Sea, the Upper Lake with an area of ​​around 82,000 square kilometers. On the eastern side are the Appalachian Mountains, which with an age of approx. 400 million years belong to the older mountains in the world. Between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains are the Great Plains, a central lowland through which the Missouri River and the Mississippi River flow. The Mississippi Valley is also called Tornado Alley, as tornadoes occur here.

Since 1931 applies Rugby, North Dakota officially as the geographical center of North America. The position was marked with a 4.5 m high stone obelisk.


North and South America are geologically different continents and were joined together at the Central American land bridge relatively late. In earlier geological history, North America was part of the primary continent Laurasia, while South America (with Africa and India) was part of Gondwana.

In the course of the continental drift, the Atlantic opened up, so that North America was separated from Europe. The same thing happened with South America and Africa. The long, north-south running mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains (rocky mountains) and the Andes are a consequence of this drift and cannot be found in such a pronounced form on any other continent.

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