It occupies a land area of about 17 sq.
The direct geographical elements are the arrangement of land and sea (continents and islands standing in sharp contrast) and the vertical relief of the globe, which interposes barriers of a less absolute kind between portions of the same land area or oceanic depression.
Km.) is in excess of the land area (121 million sq.
In the Eurasian land area the greatest thickness of Carboniferous rocks is in the west; in North America it is in the east.
The accidental use of a single name, America, for the pair of continents that has a greater extension from north to south than any other continuous land area of the globe, has had some recent justification, since the small body of geological opinion has turned in favour of the theory of the tetrahedral deformation of the earth's crust as affording explanation of the grouping of continents and oceans.
The long chain of islands, numbering about 150, though with a collective land area of only 385 sq.
The rainfall is sufficient for good grazing, but except in the Flathead valley cultivation was long considered to be dependent on irrigation; and consequently farming was only incidental to stock raising and mining until after 1870, and as late as 1900 the ratio of improved farm land to the total land area was less than in any other state or territory except New Mexico, Wyoming, Arizona and Hawaii.
The old land area still existed to the north, but doubtless much reduced in height; against this land, detrital deposits still continued to be formed, as in Scotland; while over central Ireland and central and northern England the clearer waters of the sea furnished a suitable home for countless corals, brachiopods and foraminifera and great beds of sea lilies; sponges flourished in many parts of the sea, and their remains contributed largely to the formation of the beds of chert.
Of New Caledonia, with a total land area of about 1050 sq.
The total land area draining to the Pacific is estimated by Murray at 7,500,000 sq.