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Chicago

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Author Topic: Chicago  (Read 3744 times)
Christa Loecher
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2009, 04:10:19 am »

Topography

Chicago is located in northeastern Illinois at the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan. It sits on the continental divide at the site of the Chicago Portage, connecting the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes watersheds. The city lies beside Lake Michigan, and two rivers — the Chicago River in downtown and the Calumet River in the industrial far South Side — flow entirely or partially through Chicago. The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal connects the Chicago River with the Des Plaines River, which runs to the west of the city. Chicago's history and economy are closely tied to its proximity to Lake Michigan. While the Chicago River historically handled much of the region's waterborne cargo, today's huge lake freighters use the city's far south Lake Calumet Harbor. The Lake also moderates Chicago's climate, making it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

When Chicago was founded in the 1830s, most of the early building began around the mouth of the Chicago River, as can be seen on a map of the city's original 58 blocks.[20] The overall grade of the city's central, built-up areas, is relatively consistent with the natural flatness of its overall natural geography, generally exhibiting only slight differentiation otherwise. The average land elevation is 579 feet (176 m) above sea level. The lowest points are along the lake shore at 577 feet (176 m), while the highest point at 735 feet (224 m) is a landfill located in the Hegewisch community area on the city's far south side.

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