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Rhode Island Geography: The Land
Geography and Landforms of Rhode IslandFind an overview of Rhode Island geography, topography, geographic land area, and major rivers. Access Rhode Island almanac furnishing more details on the state geography, climate and weather, elevation, land area, bordering states, and other statistical data.
Because Rhode Island is comprised of a small crescent of land and a large number of islands, the sea has always been important to its development. Natural forces have also shaped its history. In particular, hurricanes like Carol in 1954, Diane in 1955, and Gloria in 1985 have caused millions of dollars of damage to coastal areas.
Much of Rhode Island is woodland; lowlands in the south and rolling hills in the north and the west.
Rhode Island is made up of these Physiographic Areas
Southern New England
The Southern New England physiographic area covers parts of northern New Jersey, southern New York including Long Island, the majority of Connecticut, all of Rhode Island, most of eastern Massachusetts, the southeastern corner of New Hampshire, and south-coastal Maine. This area has experienced the greatest amount of urbanization of any part of the Northeast, including the entire Boston-to-New York City corridor. Urbanization and associated human activities severely threaten remaining high-priority habitats, especially maritime marshes and dunes, relict grasslands, and mature deciduous forests. Forest fragmentation, which is not a major issue in most parts of the Northeast, is a severe factor threatening forest bird populations. Currently, urban land covers roughly one-third of the physiographic area, with an additional 25 % of the region in agricultural production, primarily in the Connecticut River Valley, eastern Long Island, and northern New Jersey. Remaining forests are a mixture of oak-hickory and other hardwoods, white pine-red pine forest, and pine-oak woodlands or barrens.
Rhode Island Landscape and Landforms:
The Coastal Lowlands covers more than half of the mainland and the islands of Narragansett Bay. There are sandy beaches, salt ponds and lagoons west of Point Judith. Low, rounded slopes with few trees are to the east of Narragansett Bay. There are more rugged and forested woodlands to the west of Narragansett Bay.
Eastern New England Upland
Jerimoth Hill, the highest point in Rhode Island lies in the northwest corner of the state. This area is sometimes called the Western Rocky Upland because it is marked with rolling hills and higher elevations. This region rises from 200 feet above sea level ( east) to over 800 feet above sea level (northwest). There are many small lakes and ponds among the hills in this New England State.
Forty-eight of the States are in the single region between Canada and Mexico; this group is referred to, with varying precision and formality, as the continental or contiguous United States, and as the Lower 48. Alaska, which is not included in the term contiguous United States, is at the northwestern end of North America, separated from the Lower 48 by Canada. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. The capital city, Washington, District of Columbia, is a federal district located on land donated by the state of Maryland.
(Virginia had also donated land, but it was returned in 1847.) The United States also have overseas territories.