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Massachusetts State Flag Massachusetts

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The Geography of Massachusetts

Click here  for a few definitions.

Longitude / Latitude Longitude: 69° 57' W to 73° 30' W
Latitude: 41° 10' N to 42° 53' N
Massachusetts map
Massachusetts base and elevation maps
Length x Width Massachusetts is 190 miles long and 50 miles wide at its most distant points.  
Geographic Center
Explanation
The geographic center of Massachusetts is located in Worcester County, in Rutland.
Longitude: 72° 1.9'W
Latitude: 42° 20.4'N
 
Borders Massachusetts is bordered by New Hampshire and Vermont in the north. In the south, Massachusetts is bordered by Connecticut and Rhode Island. To the east lies the Atlantic Ocean and to the west Massachusetts shares a border with New York.
Total Area Massachusetts covers 10,555 square miles, making it the 44 largest of the 50 states.
Land Area 7,838 square miles of Massachusetts are land areas.
Water Area 2,717 square miles of Massachusetts are covered by water.
Highest Point The highest point in Massachusetts is Mount Greylock at 3,487 feet above sea level.    Mount Greylock State Reservation
Lowest Point The lowest point in Massachusetts is sea level where Massachusetts meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Mean Elevation The Mean Elevation of the state of Massachusetts is 500 feet above sea level.
Major Rivers Charles River, Connecticut River, Hoosic River, Housatonic River, Merrimack River
Major Lakes Quabbin Reservoir

The Land

Massachusetts is characterized by a jagged indented coast from Rhode Island around Cape Cod. The land rises upward to the west with stony upland pastures in the central part of Massachusetts and gentle hill country in the west.

Though the state is only about 190 miles long, from east to west, it is comprised of six specific land regions; the Coastal Lowlands, the Eastern New England Upland, the Connecticut Valley Lowland, the Western New England Lowland, the Berkshire Valley, and the Taconic Mountains.

Coastal Lowland: The Coastal lowlands start in the east at the Atlantic Ocean and include the Elizabeth Islands, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Islands. The landscape is characterized by rounded hills, swamps, small lakes and ponds, and short, shallow streams and rivers. Yesterday's Island

Eastern New England Upland: Further to the west, lies the Eastern New England Upland area of Massachusetts. This area spreads westward from the Coastal Lowlands forty to sixty miles, rising to about 1,000 feet above sea level and, then, gradually sloping downward in the west to meet the Connecticut Valley Lowland. The Eastern New England Upland actually extends from Maine to New Jersey and is considered an extended part of the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Connecticut Valley Lowland: The Connecticut Valley Lowland is a long, narrow land area that extends from northern Massachusetts to southern Connecticut. The Connecticut River runs through this area providing fertile soil for farming. In Massachusetts the Connecticut Valley Lowland is about 20 miles wide.

Western New England Upland: This land area runs from Vermont through Massachusetts down into Connecticut and is an extension of the Green Mountains of Vermont. The land in this area rises in elevation from the Connecticut Valley to heights of over 2,000 feet above sea level. Twenty to thirty miles wide in Massachusetts, the Western New England Upland is home to the Berkshire Hills and Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts at 3,487 feet above sea level.

Berkshire Valley: To the west of the Western New England Upland and the Berkshire Hills lies the Berkshire Valley. This narrow valley, less than ten miles wide, runs between the Berkshire Hills to the east and the Taconic Mountains to the west. The valley is covered with green meadowlands.

Taconic Mountains: On the extreme western border of Massachusetts lie the Taconic Mountains. Less than six miles wide, this narrow band of hills stretches from northwestern Massachusetts to the south rising upward to Mt. Everett 2,602 feet above sea level.

( Massachusetts Close-up )

Climate (All temperatures Fahrenheit)
Highest Temperature The highest temperature recorded in Massachusetts is 107°, Fahrenheit. This record high was recorded on August 2, 1975 at Chester and New Bedford.
Lowest Temperature The lowest temperature in Massachusetts, -35°, was recorded on January 12, 1981 at Chester.
Average Temperature Monthly average temperatures range from a high of 81.8 degrees to a low of 15.6 degrees.
Climate Average yearly precipitation for Massachusetts, 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
Michael G. Mensoian, Robert L. Turner, and Winfred E. A. Bernhard, "Massachusetts," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/348140, August 15, 2001.
The United States Geological Survey Website
Maps.com http://www.maps.com
To Maryland geography. To Michigan geography.

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