Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
WASHINGTON STATE IS 71,300 sq. mi. (184,666 sq km.), with inland water making up 1,553 sq. mi. (4,022 sq. km.), coastal water making up 2,535 sq. mi. (6,565 Washington sq. km.), and access to territorial water making up 666 sq. mi. (1,725 sq. km.). Washington's average elevation is 1,700 ft. (518 m.) above sea level, with a range in elevation from sea level on the Pacific Ocean to 14,410 ft. (4,392 m.) at the peak of Mt. Rainier. Western Washington lies on the Juan de Fuca Plate, with overriding by the North American Plate. Washington is fairly warm and is kept that way by ocean currents including frequent rain and the rain shadow effect. Moist air streams up slopes of mountains, and rainfall or snowfall is increased. However, when the air, depleted of much of its moisture, begins to descend down the slopes, the temperatures warm, clouds dissipate, and very ...