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Location and Landscape
Miami City sits on Biscayne Bay, an offshoot of the Atlantic Sea; around 60 kilometers from the shore’s southern end and occupies around 93 square kilometers (How stuff works, 2013). The city, located at the source of Miami River, lies on a wide plain amid the Florida Everglades on the west and Biscayne Bay on the eastern side and generally has a flat terrain with average heights rarely crossing the forty feet mark (Miami Living, 2013).
Miami city is home to Biscayne artesian basin, a natural subterranean origin of fresh water, which stretches from the southern Palm Beach County up to Florida Bay and has its peak in the cities of Miami Springs and Hialeah (Miami Living, 2013).
A tributary of Ohio River, Miami River, flows through the city of Miami, as does Oleta River, in Biscayne Bay (Miami Living, 2013). Miami area has a unique landscape in the form of both manmade and natural barrier islands in their hundreds (Miami Living, 2013).
Miami has a tropical monsoon climate characterized by hot and dumps summers and balmy winters, which have dry seasons and mean monthly temperatures of around 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit (Miami Living, 2013).
The city is hot between October and March with most of the year being balmy and humid while it’s summers closely resemble those of the Caribbean tropics (Miami Living, 2013). The wet periods start from May and end in October giving way to dry periods characterized by average temperatures (Miami Living, 2013).
The city receives enough precipitation and rates highly in terms of precipitation amidst big cities in the United States (Miami Living, 2013). Long rains take place from mid-May up to October and contribute to the yearly rainfall of around 60 inches (Miami Living, 2013). Its Hurricane period starts officially from 1st June to 30th November and its most probable time to experience the hurricane’s devastation is during the climax of Cape Verde period that starts mid way August to September (Miami Living, 2013).
The city has never experienced a three-digit degree climate. The highest ever-recorded temperature was at 98 degrees Fahrenheit and the lowest was at around 30 degrees Fahrenheit (Miami Living, 2013).
Its location between the two water masses makes it rank as the most susceptible big city in the world to the risk of a hurricane but fortunately, the city has not experienced another direct hurricane after Hurricane Cleo in 1964 though it has indirectly suffered from various hurricanes including Hurricane Katrina (Miami Living, 2013).
It is positioned together with two other cities that are most susceptible to hurricanes arising from its locality and the fact that it has the ocean around it (Miami Living, 2013).
Miami has different types of vegetation, which fall into seven types depending on the area in the city. The plains host open forests containing sixty species of flowers while the scrublands are home to small sand pines (MiamiHabitat.com, 2013).
The American lotus, water hyacinth, and the water lettuce inhabit the savannas while the Everglades grow in the grassy marshy areas. The salty marshy areas are home to mangroves and Pinelands (MiamiHabitat.com, 2013).
The city is home to native animal species, with some of these endangered, and as such, is under protection. The most striking of the animals are the mockingbirds and the alligators (MiamiHabitat.com, 2013). Others include crocodiles, manatees, Florida panther, the black bear, the bottlenose dolphin, and the orca or the killer whale (MiamiHabitat.com, 2013).
Miami city has three types of soils all of which came from limestone thousands of years ago. These include the rocky soil, which is rough ground and drains water quickly after the rains (Wright, 2013).
The second type of soil, the sandy soil, remained after the erosion of lime deposits while the third type, marl soil, is rich in calcium. The marl type of soil exhibits in lowlands that submerge in water during summer and winter is rich in peat and drains at a slower rate (Wright, 2013).
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There is a very low probability that the area could experience an earthquake. The probability is less than five percent and the same goes for any volcanic activity in Miami since the nearest fault line is in Haiti (Jacksonville.com, 2010).
Miami is a good place to live due to its scenic views and beautiful beaches as well as the fair weather throughout the year. The temperatures are neither too high nor too low, this makes it ideal to work, and engage is site visits most of the time and especially those that have the indigenous plants and animal species.
Miami is not prone to earthquakes and volcanic activities and therefore, it is possible to live a fear-free life. It offers an ideal ground for studies on soils for those interested in its rich history of soil formation. Though only one hurricane has taken place in the last fifty years, the knowledge that a hurricane is likely to strike makes Miami less appealing.
How stuff works. (2013). Georgraphy of Miami. Retrieved from http://geography.howstuffworks.com/united-states/geography-of-miami.htm
Jacksonville.com. (2010, January 14). Florida unaffected by fault line in Haiti earthquake. Retrieved from http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-01-
Miami Living. (2013). Miami Geography. Retrieved from http://miamiliving.org/about- miami/miami-geography/
MiamiHabitat.com. (2013). Animals and Plants in Miami. Retrieved from http://www.miamihabitat.com/animals-plants-miami-area.asp
Wright, J. J. (2013). Types of South Florida Soil. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/list_7698423_types-south-florida-soil.html