Illinois Geography

Illinois Geography

Geography of Illinois

Illinois is situated in the north central part of the United States and shores of the Lake Michigan. Neighbouring states to Illinois are as follows: 

  1. Wisconsin in the north, 

  2. Iowa and Missouri in the west, 

  3. Kentucky in the south, and

  4. Indiana in the east.

Illinois also has Michigan on its boundaries, but just through a water periphery in Lake Michigan. Roughly the whole of the western edge is the Mississippi River, apart from the small number of regions where the river has changed its route.

Illinois Geography Facts

Longitude / Latitude Longitude: 87° 30' W to 91° 30' W
Latitude: 36° 58' N to 42° 30' N
Length x Width Illinois is 390 miles long and 210 miles wide.
Borders North: Wisconsin, Kentucky - south. On the east, Lake Michigan and Indiana. Illinois borders Iowa and Missouri on the west.
Total Area Illinois covers 57,918 square miles
Land Area 55,593 square miles of Illinois are land areas.
Water Area 2,325 square miles of Illinois are covered by water.
Highest Point The highest point in Illinois is Charles Mound at 1,235 feet above sea level.
Lowest Point The lowest point in Illinois is on the Mississippi River; 279 feet above sea level.
Mean Elevation The Mean Elevation of the state of Illinois is 600 feet above sea level.
Major Rivers Illinois River, Mississippi River, Ohio River, Wabash River
Major Lakes Lake Michigan, Rend Lake

Geographical Sub Divisions: Illinois

Illinois has three main sub divisions according to its Geography: Northern Illinois, Central Illinois, and Southern Illinois.

Together, central and southern Illinois are time and again recognised as "downstate Illinois"; however with political progress which began after the end of World War II, "downstate", in general, is used for the entire region of Illinois remote to the Chicago urban region.

Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois is greatly influenced by the Chicago urban region, together with the metropolis of Chicago, its rural regions, and the adjacent urban region into which the city is growing. As stated by the central administration, the Chicago urban region takes in a small number of provinces in Indiana and Wisconsin and extends to a greater part of north eastern Illinois, however not to as far as to Rockford, normally by the side of Interstates Highways 80 and 90. The entire area is multi-ethnic, very inhabited and developed.

Central Illinois

The second main sub division of Illinois is the Central Illinois, a region of grasslands apart from the regions by the length of the Illinois and the rivers of Mississippi that are hilly and have topography elevated above the rivers enabling a viewer to get an undisturbed sight for miles. The west regions to the Illinois River were initially the regions of the Military Tract of 1812 and together they shape up as the unique western hump of the state of Illinois. Central Illinois is marked by the townships and small metropolitans. Farming, mainly of corn and soybeans is very prominent. Most important cities comprise of Peoria, Springfield, the state capital city, and the municipalities of Champaign and Urbana.

Southern Illinois

The third sub-division is the Southern Illinois, taking in the regions south to U.S. Route 50, along with the Little Egypt, situated close to the region where the Mississippi River meets Ohio River. This sub division can be considered apart from the other two sub-divisions due to its hot weather and assortment of crops. The inhabitants in southern Illinois are intense in two areas: the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan Area and the in Johnston City region which is abode of more than 180,000 people.

The Shawnee Hills root up in southern Illinois. Illinoian Stage, approximately 132,000 to 300,000 years earlier, scaled the northern facade of the Shawnee Hills, but could not arrive at the peak. The majority of the Shawnee Hills, as a result, do not have glaciers.

Illinois Geology

Illinois has soil on most of its land, often thousands feet deep in a lot of places. A large amount of this soil is known as "Illite", and is the most widespread kind of soil on the earth. As such the observable geology of the Illinois is, mostly Quaternary, with rocks deep in the ground. The prosperity of Illinois is chiefly due to these large land regions covered with the soil.

Illinois is a most important state in terms of coal production. A great deal of the substratum surface belongs to the Pennsylvanian age, together with "cyclothemes", standard layers of sandstone, shale and coal deposits. The possibility of getting the bones of a dinosaur in the state of Illinois is approximately zero: the layers of the Pennsylvanian rocks existed here much prior to the dinosaurs.

Galena, a lead mine, is providing the valuable mineral in the northwest regions of the State. The ore was mined in the regions of Peru, Illinois, where river transportation was accessible to get the ore to a supplying source of coal. Approximately six tons of coal is desirable for every ton of ore.

Fluorite, i.e. calcium fluoride, is the mineral of the State. It is obtained from the southeastern parts of the State of Illinois, in the regions of Metropolis. Fluorine gas is created from fluorite.

Igneous rocks are established in the extreme south regions of the State. Earlier North America started cracking by the length of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Igneous rock ran up into the crack, as a new water body started developing. If this would have been continuous, Illinois probably would have looked like the Arabian Peninsula, a broken land in between the lands of two continents. This crack, nevertheless, was stopped and the continent was reclosed, with just a small number of igneous deposits, and a few oil deposits left behind as a proof that it took place.

Illinois Rivers

The fertile plains of the state are irrigated by over 275 rivers, the majority of which run through the Mississippi-Ohio arrangement. River Illinois is the biggest river of Illinois. Illinois is largely surrounded by rivers, and the Illinois River divides the state into two halves. Some rivers, together with the Fox and Rock Rivers come into the state of Illinois from Wisconsin. The Iroquois and Kankakee have their sources in the city of Indiana, but they lose their individuality before merging into the Mississippi.

List of Rivers in Illinois

Apple to Fox

  • Apple River
  • Big Muddy River
  • Beaucoup Creek
  • Boneyard Creek
  • Bonpas Creek
  • Cache River
  • Calumet River
  • Casey Creek, also known as Casey Fork Creek
  • Chicago River
  • Des Plaines River
  • DuPage River
  • Edwards River
  • Elm River
  • Embarras River
  • Fox River, northern Illinois
  • Fox River (Little Wabash tributary), southern Illinois

Galena to Lusk

  • Galena River
  • Galcoid River
  • Grand Calumet River
  • Green River
  • Henderson Creek
  • Illinois River
  • Iroquois River
  • Kankakee River
  • Kaskaskia River
  • Kishwaukee River
  • Kyte River
  • La Moine River
  • Leaf River
  • Lick Creek (Sangamon River tributary)
  • Little Calumet River
  • Little Embarras River
  • Little Mackinaw River
  • Little Marys River
  • Little Menominee River
  • Little Muddy River
  • Little Vermilion River (Illinois River tributary)
  • Little Vermilion River (Wabash River tributary)
  • Little Wabash River
  • Lusk Creek

Mackinaw to Rock

  • Mackinaw River
  • Macoupin Creek
  • Marys River
  • Mazon River
  • Menominee River
  • Middle Fork Vermilion River
  • Mississippi River
  • Ohio River
  • Palmer Creek (Columbia, IL)
  • Panther Creek (Mackinaw watershed)
  • Pecatonica River
  • Piscasaw Creek
  • Plum River
  • Red River
  • Rock River

Saline to Wood

  • Saline River
  • Salt Fork Vermilion River
  • Salt Creek (Des Plaines River tributary)
  • Salt Creek (Sangamon River tributary)
  • Salt Creek (Little Wabash River tributary)
  • Sangamon River
  • Shoal Creek
  • Sinsinawa River
  • Skillet Fork
  • Skokie River
  • Somonauk Creek
  • Spoon River
  • Sugar Creek (Sangamon River tributary)
  • Sugar River
  • Thorn Creek
  • Vermilion River (Illinois River tributary)
  • Vermilion River (Wabash River tributary)
  • Wabash River
  • West Okaw River
  • Wood River

Coast To Coast

  • Illinois River