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Relief of Alaska


Mount McKinley Alaska
Mount McKinley Alaska

Alaska occupies the northwestern portion of North America. It includes the Aleutian Islands, a chain of about 150 islands that arcs westward across the Pacific Ocean for 1,800 km (1,100 mi).

Alaska has a total area of 1,717,854 sq km (663,267 sq mi), including 44,659 sq km (17,243 sq mi) of inland water and 70,057 sq km (27,049 sq mi) of coastal water over which the state has jurisdiction. Alaska has a larger area of lakes and rivers than any other state, equaling more than the entire land area of Massachusetts and Vermont combined.

The state’s greatest dimensions are about 2,240 km (about 1,390 mi) from north to south and about 3,550 km (about 2,210 mi) from east to west. The mean elevation is about 580 m (1,900 ft).

A large area, north of an imaginary line from the Seward Peninsula through Fort Yukon to the Canadian border, lies within the Arctic Circle. Alaska’s Little Diomede Island in the Bering Strait is 4 km (2.5 mi) east of Big Diomede Island, or Ratmanov Island, which belongs to Russia (see Diomede Islands). Fairbanks, in the center of the state, is 5,280 km (3,280 mi) by air from New York City, 5,670 km (3,520 mi) from Tokyo, and 6,810 km (4,230 mi) from London. This key position, at the northern end of the Pacific Ocean and close to Asia, is a major factor in Alaska’s continued economic importance. "USA" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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