Continental Divide

From Academic Kids

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The Continental Divide is the border between the red and green areas
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The Continental Divide as it passes through Yellowstone National Park (7988'/2436m)
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The Continental Divide as it passes through CO at the Loveland Pass


The Continental Divide or Great Divide is a ridge of mountains in North America, which separates the watershed area of streams and rivers that flow west into the Pacific Ocean from those that flow east into the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. The majority of the divide follows the crest of the Rocky Mountains.

It begins at Cape Prince of Wales in Alaska and continues into the Yukon Territory and British Columbia in Canada and then heads south through Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico in the United States. It then continues south into Mexico and Central America following the crest of the Sierra Madre Occidental.

The southern portion of the border between the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta is defined by the Continental Divide.

There is a portion of the divide that actually splits and goes around the Great Divide Basin in Wyoming which, having no natural outlet except as groundwater, is neither in the Atlantic nor Pacific watersheds.

The Continental Divide Trail follows the divide through the U.S. from the Mexican border to the Canadian border.

For other continental divides, see: continental divide.

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