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14.1: Introduction

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    If you took a road trip across the continental United States of America you would see significant changes in the landscape in terms of the topography, rocks, soils, geological structures, and plant life that are evident even through the car window on the highway. Regions vary in their geologic history, from the rocky coastline of New England to the flat plains of the Midwest, to the sharp peaks of the Rocky Mountains, to the volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest. These (and the many other) observable differences across the United States can be broken into physiographic provinces. Physiographic provinces are identifiable by their distinctive landforms, geologic features, and suites of rocks.


    You can observe such diverse geologic characteristics across the state of Georgia from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the North, to the iconic red clay of Middle Georgia, to the flat Coastal Plain. As we discuss the physiographic provinces of Georgia, we will also explore regional geologic resources that benefit the state as well as the major river systems that provide water for our state. Lastly, the tools and knowledge you have gained in this lab manual will aid your reconstruction of the various physiographic province geologies.


    Key Terms

    • Adirondack Mountains Province
    • Appalachian Plateau Province
    • Basin and Range Province
    • Blue Ridge Province
    • Cascade Range
    • Coastal Plain
    • Colorado Plateau
    • Columbia Plateau
    • Fall-Line
    • Great Plains Province
    • Interior Lowlands Province
    • New England Province
    • Physiographic Province
    • Piedmont Province
    • Rocky Mountains
    • Sierra Nevada Range
    • Valley and Ridge Province

    This page titled 14.1: Introduction is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Deline, Harris & Tefend (GALILEO Open Learning Materials) .

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