America, The land of innovations also home to number of spectacular sights carved by mother nature. The lush forests, mind bending rock formations, majestic canyons and pristine lakes plays an important role in the tourism industry of the country. These protected areas also keeps ecosystem of nature healthy and resilient. Followings are 10 breathtaking natural wonders of United States.
10 Mount McKinley, Alaska
Mount McKinley also known as Denali, The highest mountain in North America at 20320 feet, located in Alaska state. In 1917 US President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill for preserving Denali mountain region as a national park, encloses vast area of 24500 square kilometer. This national park also home for wide varieties of animals and plants. Every year Denali National Park attracts more than four lacks of tourists, mountaineering, wildlife watching and backpack becomes famous activities.
Unusual species of wood frogs are also resident to Denali National Park. What makes this species of frog so strange is they can freeze during winter season, can keep body temperature between -1 degree Celsius to -6 degree Celsius. During this period they won’t breath, heart rate also comes to zero. In the next spring season they restore their body temperature to normal range. This national park also features 12200 ponds and 18000 miles of streams.
9 Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
One of the most active volcanoes in the world, erupting continuously since 1983. It is the most long lived eruption from volcanoes documented in the history. The name ‘Kilauea’ have meaning of ‘Much spreading’ in Hawaiian language. It is located in big island of Hawaii State. Kilauea is a shield type volcano, entirely made of fluid lava flows. Kilauea volcano have an age of 50000 years and oldest eruption dated back to 2800 – 2200 years.
The constant eruption from Kilauea since 1983 make it’s shield continue to grow, now it is 80 miles long and 50 miles wide. The rate of lava flow and point of eruption changed several times during course of continuous eruption. In between current eruption from Kilauea lava flow also met Hawaiian ocean which is about 12 km away. In 1990 the lava flow from Kilauea destroyed more than 100 homes of Kalapana village.
8 Redwood Forest, California
The redwood national and state parks in California state much known for preserving coast redwood, tallest trees on Earth. This national park contains 133000 acres of land, also protects different species of animals and plants. The oak redwoods have height of 370 feet and have average life span of 500-700 years. It is not at all massive as sequoias, have a narrow shape.
Coast redwood grows close to each other and maintain interweaving of roots, falling only happens rarely. In fact the redwood national and state parks protects 45 percentage of remaining coast redwoods in the world. Wild rivers and streams also flows through this national park, also have 40 miles of pristine Pacific coastline. In that way the entire area support for rich wildlife diversity and balance the ecosystem of nature.
7 Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Mammoth cave is the longest cave system in the world, have length of 651 km, located in Kentucky state. It is a world heritage site and biosphere reserve, established as a national park in the year 1941. In fact total length of this cave is unknown to the world, only 65 km have been mapped, new networks of caves are continuously being discovered.
There are two different layers of stones located in southern Kentucky, upper one is sandstone and lower one is limestone. When these layers react with water sinkholes will form. This process causes the formation of mammoth cave system, took thousands of years.
Mammoth cave features stalactites, stalagmites, endemic wildlife and 4000 years old human history. An underwater river named echo river, at depth of 350 feet from surface also flow through this cave system. Different species of bats, eyeless cave fish, and crickets are main species of animals found within this cave system. Frozen Niagara is the most spectacular attraction offers by this cave system. Visitors can also make boat ride within underground river.
6 Natural Sandstone Arches, Utah
Arches national park in Utah contains more than 2000 natural arches. Upon them the delicate arch, a 65 foot tall natural arch is the most recognizable one. The park also includes number of pinnacles, rock domes and giant balanced rocks within 76350 acres of land. These arches are carved by weathering and erosion around 350 million years ago.
Most of the arches within this national park made of red sandstones. The harsh weather conditions also causes falling many of these arches. The natural forces also makes small depressions within these arches. Cyanobacteria, algae, fungi and lichens also grows within number of wet places within arches national park.
5 Yosemite Valley, California
Yosemite valley is the focal point of Yosemite National Park, located in central valley of California. The valley have length of 11 km and width of 1.6 km. The base of Yosemite valley contains both forest and grass land. It also offers breathtaking view of seven major waterfalls of the national park, including Bridalveil falls, Yosemite falls, Venal falls and Ribbon falls.
The granite cliffs around Yosemite valley stands at height of 3000 to 4000 feet. Every part of Yosemite valley includes some kind of geological formations, Monolith EI Capitan, glacier point, half dome and three brother rock formations are some of them. The valley also includes 400 species of vertebrates and many rare species of insects.
4 Yellowstone, Wyoming
Yellowstone national park in Wyoming much popular for it’s geothermal features, contains majority of world’s geysers. Yellowstone caldera the largest super volcano in the continent also located within this national park, underneath of hot springs. It measures 52 by 72 kilometers, formed by supereruptions that happened 2.1 million years ago. The last lava eruption from this super volcano date back to 64000 years ago.
Yellowstone national park hold 300 geysers in total, which is about two third of a;ll geysers in the world. Old d faithful, a cone geyser within this national park erupt in every 1.30 hours. It shoot 4000 to 8000 gallons of hot water, will goes up to a height of 110 to 180 feet into the air.
The hottest and largest geyser in the world Norris geyser basin within yellowstone makes different coloration caused by mineral oxides. Grand prismatic spring, the largest spring in United States also becomes another major attraction within this national park, reflect vivid colors. Yellowstone national park also features number of other geysers, hot springs, valleys, and waterfalls.
3 Niagara Falls, New York
Niagara falls located on border of United States and Canada, actually made of three major water falls, American falls, Bridalveil falls and horseshoe falls. These three waterfalls combine to produce average water flow rate of 85000 cu ft /s, highest flow rate than any other waterfalls in the world. Both American falls and Bridalveil falls located within US region and most part of horseshoe waterfalls lies on Canadian range.
The largest vertical drop at Niagara measured for horseshoe falls, which is about 173 feet. Interestingly the deep section within Niagara falls also measure between 165-170 feet. In fact a large number of waterfalls in the world is taller than that of Niagara but most of them only have small rate of water flow.
The bright green coloration of water flowing over Niagara falls is caused by mixing up of salts and rock flavor with water at high rate. During winter season ice bridges will forms at Niagara falls, mainly at base of falls. But the speed and volume prevent Niagara from frozen solid.
2 Death Valley, California
The hottest, driest and lowest place in North America, 282 feet below sea level. It is the largest national park in United States, have vast land of 3.1 million acres. Extreme dry weather is very common within death valley because all sides of this desert valley bounded by mountains.
The discovery of salt pans from death valley indicated that once the entire valley was an inland sea and formed in to today’s shape by warming of Earth in Holocene period. Many incredible formations of crystalline limestone and sandstone also can found within death valley. It is also home to large number of geysers and hot springs.
Many historical evidence also shows that Timbisha, ancient American tribe have lived within region of death valley for more than thousands of years. There is no other vegetation can found within this desert valley other than low lying shrubs. Mountain lions, bighorn sheeps, bob cats, kit foxes and number of other species of small mammals ans reptiles also lives within death valley.
1 Grand Canyon, Arizona
Grand canyon is one of seven natural wonders of the world, a steep-sided canyon located in US state of Arizona. Grand canyon is carved by Colorado river, have length of 277 miles and width of 18 miles. The colorful rocks layers, cliffs and copper colored Colorado river within Grand Canyon attractions over 5 million visitors every year.
Surprisingly the metamorphic rocks found within bottom of grand canyon have age of 2 billion years, about half of Earth’s age. In that way these rocks within grand canyon can reveal many datas about evolution of Earth over different period of time, about 40 percentage of history of living planet. At same time the limestone rocks found within upper rim of grand canyon have age of 230 million years.
Grand canyon also found as an important site for geological research as different types of rocks visible within the site. Different species of vascular plants, fungi, moss, lichen and 34 mammal species are found within Grand canyon. Many evidence from this canyon also revealed that ancient American-Indian have lived within region of gran canyon for thousands of years. Nowadays millions of tourist visit grand canyon for sightseeing, hiking and rafting.