Maine ranks 39th in size among the states, with an area of 91,647 sq km (35,385 sq mi). The area includes 5,864 sq km (2,264 sq mi) of inland water and 1,588 sq km (613 sq mi) of coastal water over which it has jurisdiction. It is by far the largest state in New England and has an area nearly equal to that of all the other New England states combined. The state’s greatest east-west distance is 325 km (202 mi); the greatest north-south distance is 500 km (311 mi). The mean elevation is about 180 m (600 ft). All of Maine was once covered by glaciers, the last of which receded about 10,000 years ago. Because of the glaciers, much of Maine is covered with stones, boulders, and clays. Many of the hills and mountains have been rounded, lakes have been formed, and river courses have been changed. Although glaciers covered all of Maine, there are nevertheless substantial physiographic differences in the regions of the state.
Maine can be divided into three major physiographic areas, or natural regions: the White Mountain section, the New England Upland, and the Seaboard Lowland. These three regions are part of the New England province, which in turn forms part of the Appalachian Region.
The White Mountains occupy much of the western and central parts of the state and are the most rugged and thickly forested area of Maine. Elevations of the mountains are mostly between 750 and 1,200 m (2,500 and 4,000 ft).
Mount Katahdin, in the central part of the state, is Maine’s highest mountain, with an elevation of 1,605 m (5,267 ft). The mountains are composed largely of granite and have been severely worn down by glaciers or otherwise eroded. Hundreds of lakes are located within this region, and most of Maine’s rivers rise there. The New England Upland occupies northern, eastern, and central Maine and is the largest natural region in the state.
It is a rolling plateau, with elevations reaching 600 m (2,000 ft). Like the White Mountain section, this natural region is dotted with hundreds of rivers and lakes. It also has fertile soil, and state’s sizable potato crop is grown and harvested here. The Seaboard Lowland in Maine lies between the New England Upland and the Atlantic Ocean. It varies in width from about 30 km (about 20 mi) near the New Hampshire border to about 100 km (60 mi) near the New Brunswick border. This natural region rises to about 120 to 150 m (about 400 to 500 ft) near its border with the New England Upland. The Seaboard Lowland has mostly gently rolling terrain, but in isolated spots rugged mountains and steep hills are found. An example is Cadillac Mountain (466 m/1,530 ft), on Mount Desert Island. It is the highest mountain on the Atlantic coast north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "Maine" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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