In this lesson you will learn that Earth's surface has many features.
A landform is a feature of Earth's surface. Mountains, hills, plateaus, mesas, valleys, canyons, sand dunes and plains are all landforms.
Mountains are the highest landform. Mountains often have steep sides and pointed tops. Hills are shorter and rounder than mountains. A plateau is flat land with steep sides. It is higher than the land around it. Mesas are flat-topped hills or mountains.
A valley is the low land between hills or mountains. Water often rushes down into valleys. A canyon is a deep, narrow valley with steep sides. Canyons often have rivers at the bottom. Sand dunes are mounds of wind-blown sand. Plains are wide, flat lands.
Different bodies of water cover large parts of Earth, too. Earth's water features include rivers, lakes, oceans, coasts, bays, and glaciers.
Rivers are large streams of water that flow across the land. A lake is a body of water with land all around it. Oceans are very large bodies of salt water. They cover about 70/100 of Earth's surface. A coast is where the ocean meets land. A bay is a part of a lake or ocean that extends into the land. Glaciers are huge masses of ice that move slowly across the land.
Earth's surface in the United States includes both landforms and water features. For example, all states have small lakes. Nearly half of the states border an ocean. The Rocky Mountains run north to south, and they cover much of the west. Ranging between North Dakota and Texas are the Great Plains. Farmers on the Great Plains raise much of the food we eat.