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Maryland State Flag Maryland

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The Geography of Maryland

Click here for a few definitions.

Longitude / Latitude Longitude: 75° 4'W to 79° 33'W
Latitude: 37° 53'N to 39° 43'N
Maryland map
Maryland base and elevation maps
Length x Width Maryland is about 250 miles long and 90 miles wide.  
Geographic Center
Explanation
The geographic center of Maryland is located in Prince Georges County, 4.5 miles NW of Davidsonville.
Longitude: 77° 22.3'W
Latitude: 39° 29.5'N
 
Borders Maryland is bordered by Pennsylvania on the north and by Chesapeake Bay and a small piece of Virginia on the south. On the east, Maryland is bordered by Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean. West Virginia and Virginia border Maryland on the west.
Total Area Maryland covers 12,407 square miles, making it the 42nd largest of the 50 states.
Land Area 9,775 square miles of Maryland are land areas.
Water Area 2,633 square miles of Maryland are covered by water.
Highest Point The highest point in Maryland is Hoye-Crest on Backbone Mountain at 3,360 feet above sea level.
Lowest Point The lowest point in Maryland is sea level at the Atlantic Ocean.
Mean Elevation The Mean Elevation of the state of Maryland is 350 feet above sea level.
Major Rivers Patapsco River, Patuxent River, Potomac River, Susquehanna River
Major Lakes Deep Creek Lake ( History ), Lake Oakland, Loch Raven Reservoir, Prettyboy Reservoir

The Land

Maryland is divided into two obvious sections by Chesapeake Bay. One section of Maryland lies to the east of Chesapeake Bay on the Delmarva Peninsula (Name: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia ). This section of the state is referred to as the East Shore. The section of Maryland that lies to the west of Chesapeake Bay is referred to as the West Shore. Despite Maryland's small size, five major land areas define the landscape.

Atlantic Coastal Plain: The Atlantic Coastal Plain, that stretches from New Jersey to Florida, around the Gulf of Mexico, south to Mexico and to the Yucatan Peninsula. It covers the East Shore and part of the West Shore of Maryland. Maryland lies in an area some refer to as the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. From the northeastern tip of Maryland, the plain extends south and west across Maryland almost to Washington, D.C. near the Virginia border. The plain is flat and low rising to around 400 feet on the West Shore. Marshy areas can be found on the East Shore, including the Pocomoke Swamp. The West Shore has been used for farming since colonial times, particularly for growing tobacco.

Piedmont: The Piedmont runs from New Jersey, southwest, to Alabama. About 50 miles wide as it cuts across the state from the northeast through central Maryland, the Piedmont is marked by low rolling landscapes and fertile valleys. Two ridges, the Dug Hill Ridge (1,200 feet), near the Pennsylvania border and Pars Ridge (880 feet) run in a southwesterly direction through Maryland. Rivers and streams to the west of the ridges flow into the Potomac River. Rivers and streams to the east of the ridges flow into Chesapeake Bay. Frederick Valley, along the Monocacy River, to the east of the ridges is a rich dairy farming area.

Blue Ridge Region: To the west of the Piedmont is the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge Region extends from southern Pennsylvania south to northern Georgia. In Maryland, the Blue Ridge is represented by a narrow, mountainous section of land between the Piedmont and the Appalachian Ridge and Valley. This region, mostly over 1,000 feet, lies in northern Maryland near the Pennsylvania border. South Mountain and Catoctin Mountain are in the Blue Ridge Region of Maryland.

Appalachian Ridge and Valley: The Maryland section of the Appalachian Ridge and Valley is the northern strip of land that separates West Virginia from Pennsylvania. The eastern part of the Appalachian Ridge and Valley is dominated by the Great Valley (Hagerstown Valley), supporting orchards and farmland. A landscape of northeast to southwest ridges lies to the west of the Great Valley. Elevations in this mostly forested area of Maryland reach almost 2,000 feet.

Appalachian Plateau: To the west of the Blue Ridge is the Appalachian Plateau. The Appalachian Plateau, in Maryland, covers a triangle of land in the westernmost portion of Maryland. The Allegheny Mountains cover most of this area. Backbone Mountain, the highest point in Maryland, is located in this region. Deep valleys, cut into the plateau by rivers, characterize this heavily forested area.

A Brief Description of the Geology of Maryland from the Maryland Geological Survey.

( Maryland Close-up )

Climate (All temperatures Fahrenheit)
Highest Temperature The highest temperature recorded in Maryland is 109°, Fahrenheit. This record high was recorded on July 10, 1936 at Cumberland and Frederick.
Lowest Temperature The lowest temperature in Maryland, -40°, was recorded on January 13, 1912 at Oakland.
Average Temperature Monthly average temperatures range from a high of 87.1 degrees to a low of 24.3 degrees.
Climate Average yearly precipitation for Maryland, 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
Edward C. Papenfuse and Robert D. Mitchell, "Maryland," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/347320, August 15, 2001.
The United States Geological Survey Website
Maps.com http://www.maps.com
To Maine geography. To Massachusetts geography.

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