List of extreme points of the United States

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This is a list of points in the United States that are farther north, south, east, or west than any other location in the country. Also included are extreme points in elevation, extreme distances, and other points of peculiar geographic interest.

Contents

Extreme points in the 50 states: Point Barrow, Ka Lae, Sail Rock, Peaked Island ExtremeUS1.jpg
Extreme points in the 50 states: Point Barrow, Ka Lae, Sail Rock, Peaked Island
Extreme points in the contiguous 48 states: Northwest Angle, Ballast Key, Sail Rock, Bodelteh Islands USA-Extreme-Points.svg
Extreme points in the contiguous 48 states: Northwest Angle, Ballast Key, Sail Rock, Bodelteh Islands
Extreme points of the U.S. on the North American continent: Point Barrow, Cape Sable, West Quoddy Head, Cape Prince of Wales ExtremeUS3.jpg
Extreme points of the U.S. on the North American continent: Point Barrow, Cape Sable, West Quoddy Head, Cape Prince of Wales
Extreme points in all U.S. territory: Point Barrow, Rose Atoll, Wake Island, Peaked Island (red dots); Point Udall, Guam, and Point Udall, USVI are shown as green dots. The International Date Line is shown in yellow. ExtremeUS4.jpg
Extreme points in all U.S. territory: Point Barrow, Rose Atoll, Wake Island, Peaked Island (red dots); Point Udall, Guam, and Point Udall, USVI are shown as green dots. The International Date Line is shown in yellow.

Northernmost points

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Southernmost points

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Easternmost points

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Westernmost points

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Interpretation of easternmost and westernmost

There are three methods for reckoning the eastern and western extremes of the United States.

One method is to use the Prime Meridian as the dividing line between east and west. This meridian running through Greenwich, London, is defined as zero degrees longitude and could be called the least eastern and least western place in the world. The 180th meridian, on the opposite side of the globe, is therefore the easternmost and westernmost place in the world.

Another method is to use the International Date Line as the easternmost–westernmost extreme. On the equinox, the easternmost place would be where the day first begins, and the westernmost is where the day last ends.[ citation needed ]

Still another method is to first determine the geographic center of the country and from there measure the shortest distance to every other point. All U.S. territory is spread across less than 180° of longitude, so from any spot in the U.S. it is more direct to reach the easternmost point, Point Udall, U.S. Virgin Islands, by traveling east than by traveling west. Likewise, there is not a single point in U.S. territory from which heading east is a shorter route to the westernmost point, Point Udall, Guam, than heading west would be, even accounting for circumpolar routes. The two different Point Udalls are named for two brothers from the Udall family of Arizona; Mo Udall (Guam) and Stewart Udall (Virgin Islands), sons of Chief Justice Levi Stewart Udall of the Arizona Supreme Court, both served as U.S. Congressmen. [3]

Highest points

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Lowest points

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Other points

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Islands

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Lakes

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Rivers

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Extreme distances

Some map projections make diagonal lines appear longer than they actually are. The diagonal line from Kure Atoll, Hawaii, to West Quoddy Head, Maine, is 5,797 miles (9,329 km); and the diagonal from Cape Wrangell, Attu Island, Alaska, to Log Point, on Elliott Key, Florida, is 5,505 miles (8,859 km).

See also

Notes

  1. The summit elevation of Mount Whitney includes an adjustment of +1.869 m (+6.1 ft) from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.
  2. Furnace Creek, in Death Valley, California, set the world record for the highest reliably reported ambient air temperature of 134 °F (57 °C), on July 10, 1913. This record has been eclipsed only once, by a questionable reading of 136 °F (58 °C), recorded in 'Aziziya, Libya, on September 13, 1922.
  3. Sounding at 46° 54' 31"N, 86° 35' 52"W, on NOAA chart 14963, Grand Marais to Big Bay Point, scale 1:120,000, 2006. Chart datum (as shown on the chart) is 601.1 feet above mean sea level, at Rimouski, Quebec.
  4. Two identical soundings at 47° 45.2'N, 122° 26.0'W, and 47° 44.6'N, 122° 25.4'W, on NOAA chart 18446, Puget Sound: Apple Cove Point to Keyport, scale 1:25,000, 2005. Chart datum (as shown on the chart) is lower low water.

Related Research Articles

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Contiguous United States 48 states of the United States apart from Alaska and Hawaii

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This is a list of the extreme points of Europe: the geographical points that are higher or farther north, south, east or west than any other location in Europe. Some of these positions are open to debate, as the definition of Europe is diverse.

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This is a list of the extreme points of North America: the points that are highest and lowest, and farther north, south, east or west than any other location on the continent. Some of these points are debatable, given the varying definitions of North America.

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This is a list of the extreme points of Central America, the points that are farther north, south, east, or west than any other location on the region. The list also included highest and lowest points and identifies the most extensive lake.

Geography of Alaska State in the northwestern U.S.

Alaska is one of two U.S. states not bordered by another state; Hawaii is the other. Alaska has more ocean coastline than all of the other U.S. states combined. About 500 miles (800 km) of Canadian territory separate Alaska from Washington State. Alaska is thus an exclave of the United States that is part of the continental U.S. and the U.S. West Coast, but is not part of the contiguous U.S. Alaska is also the only state, other than Hawaii, whose capital city is accessible only via ship or air, because no roads connect Juneau to the rest of the continent.

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References

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