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Arkansas State Flag Arkansas

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The Geography of Arkansas

Click here  for a few definitions.

Longitude / Latitude Longitude: 89° 41' W to 94° 42' W
Latitude: 33° N to 36° 30' N
Arkansas map
Arkansas base and elevation maps
East to West
North to South
276 miles: greatest distance East to West.
240 miles: greatest distance North to South.
Geographic Center
Explanation
The geographic center of Arkansas is located in Pulaski County, 12 miles NW of Little Rock.
Longitude: 92° 18.1'W
Latitude: 34° 48.9'N
Borders Arkansas is bordered by Missouri on the north and Louisiana on the south. Missouri, Tennessee, and Mississippi border Arkansas on the east. The Mississippi River marks Arkansas' eastern border with these three states. On the west, Arkansas is bordered by Texas and Oklahoma.
Total Area Arkansas covers 53,182 square miles, making it the 29th largest of the 50 states.
Land Area 52,075 square miles of Arkansas are land areas.
Water Area 1,107 square miles of Arkansas are covered by water.
Highest Point The highest point in Arkansas is Magazine Mountain at 2,753 feet above sea level. Visit Mt. Magazine State Park.
Lowest Point The lowest point in Arkansas is the Ouachita River at 55 feet above sea level.
Mean Elevation The Mean Elevation of the state of Arkansas is 650 feet above sea level.
Major Rivers Arkansas River, Mississippi River
Major Lakes Lake Ouachita, Bull Shoals Lake

The Land

Five land regions of Arkansas including Crowley's Ridge
Map courtesy of Rockhounding Arkansas
The Highlands of Arkansas are in the north and western part of the state. The Ozark Plateau and the Ouachita mountains are located here. The Lowlands of Arkansas lie to the south and the east. Arkansas can be divided into five main land regions; the Ozark Plateau, the Arkansas Valley, the Ouachita Mountains, the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (referred to as the Mississippi Embayment on the map to the left), and the West Gulf Coastal Plain.

Ozark Plateau: The Ozark Plateau lies in the northwestern and north central part of Arkansas. Also covering parts of Missouri, Illinois and Oklahoma, the Ozark Plateau is an area of rugged hills and deep valleys. Much of the area, sometimes referred to as the Ozark Mountains, is heavily forested. To the south, river gorges up to 1,500 feet deep, carved by swiftly flowing streams, cut through the plateau. The steep hills in this area of the Plateau are called the Boston Mountains. The Boston Mountains give way to the Arkansas Valley to the south of the Plateau. The Ozark Plateau is home to Mammoth Springs, one of the largest springs in the United States. Visit The Ozarks by Carmen Borne for more information about the Ozark Plateau.

Arkansas Valley: Separating the Ozark Plateau to the north and the Ouachita Mountains to the south is the Arkansas Valley. Cutting through the Arkansas Valley, is the Arkansas River, the largest river in the state. Though the elevation of the Arkansas Valley is generally lower than the Ozark Plateau to the north and the Ouachita Mountains to the south, a few mountains dot the landscape. Magazine Mountain, the highest point in Arkansas, is found in the Arkansas Valley. Visit River Valley by Carmen Borne for more information about the Arkansas Valley.

Ouachita Mountains: One of two major ranges in the United State that runs east to west, the Ouachita Mountains consist of parallel ridges and valleys that run from eastern Oklahoma to central Arkansas. The Ouachita River runs through a section of the mountains. The Ouachita Mountains are known for mineral and timber resources and for their hot springs. The world-famous Hot Springs are located in the Ouachita Mountains north of Lake Hamilton. Visit Ouachitas by Carmen Borne for more information about the Ouachita Mountains.

Mississippi Alluvial Plain: The Mississippi River forms most of the eastern border of Arkansas between Tennessee and Louisiana. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain lies along the Mississippi River and covers the eastern third of Arkansas. Though most of the region is level Lowlands, the Mississippi Alluvial Plain is broken by a narrow strip of hills running north to south through the central Plain. These hills form Crowley's Ridge. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain is sometimes referred to as the Delta region and is covered with rich soil carried by the Mississippi River and its tributaries. For more information about the Mississippi Alluvial Plain in Arkansas, visit Delta by Carmen Borne.

West Gulf Coastal Plain: In Arkansas, the West Gulf Coastal Plain covers the southeastern and south central portions of the state along the border of Louisiana. This Lowland area of Arkansas is characterized by pine forests and farmlands. Natural resources include natural gas, petroleum deposits and beds of bromine flats. The lowest point in the state is found on the Ouachita River in the West Gulf Coastal Plain of Arkansas. Visit Gulf Coastal by Carmen Borne for more information on the West Gulf Coastal Plain.

For additional information on some of the land areas of Arkansas, visit this page from the Department of Agriculture's National Resources Conservation Service.

( Arkansas Close-up )

Climate (All temperatures Fahrenheit)
Highest Temperature The highest temperature recorded in Arkansas is 120°, Fahrenheit. This record high was recorded on August 10, 1936 at Ozark.
Lowest Temperature The lowest temperature in Arkansas, -29°, was recorded on February 13, 1905 at Pond.
Average Temperature Monthly average temperatures range from a high of 93.6 degrees to a low of 26.6 degrees.
Climate Arkansas enjoys the four seasons in moderation, and the longer spring and fall seasons provide a mild climate. January average temperatures range from 35° to 4° F; the average temperature in July is 81° F. The annual relative humidity averages 57 percent. Arkansas receives approximately 44 to 54 inches of rainfall annually, while the capital city of Little Rock receives less than 4 inches of annual frozen precipitation.

Average yearly precipitation for Arkansas, from 1971 to 2000, is shown on this chart from Oregon State University.

Sources:
The World Almanac of the U.S.A. by Allan Carpenter and Carl Provorse, Copyright © 1998.
The United States Geological Survey Website
Arkansas. A. Chicago: World Book, Inc., 1988. 696. Print.
Maps.comhttp://www.maps.com
To Arizona geography. To California geography.

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