Question:

What are the 5 major geographic provinces of Alabama?

Answer:

5 areas of Alabama: East Gulf Coastal Plain, Piedmont Upland, Appalachian Ridge and Valley, Cumberland Plateau, and Highland Rim.

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Alabama

The Cumberland Plateau is the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau. It includes much of eastern Kentucky, part of Tennessee, and a small portion of northern Alabama and northwest Georgia. The terms "Allegheny Plateau" and the "Cumberland Plateau" both refer to the dissected plateau lands lying west of the main Appalachian Mountains. The terms stem from historical usage rather than geological difference, so there is no strict dividing line between the two. Two major rivers share the names of the plateaus, with the Allegheny River rising in the Allegheny Plateau and the Cumberland River rising in the Cumberland Plateau.

The Cumberland Plateau is a deeply dissected plateau, with topographic relief commonly of about four hundred feet (120 meters), and frequent sandstone outcroppings and bluffs.

The Cumberland Plateau is the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau. It includes much of eastern Kentucky, part of Tennessee, and a small portion of northern Alabama and northwest Georgia. The terms "Allegheny Plateau" and the "Cumberland Plateau" both refer to the dissected plateau lands lying west of the main Appalachian Mountains. The terms stem from historical usage rather than geological difference, so there is no strict dividing line between the two. Two major rivers share the names of the plateaus, with the Allegheny River rising in the Allegheny Plateau and the Cumberland River rising in the Cumberland Plateau.

The Cumberland Plateau is a deeply dissected plateau, with topographic relief commonly of about four hundred feet (120 meters), and frequent sandstone outcroppings and bluffs.

Piedmont Appalachia

The Highland Rim is a geographic term for the area in Tennessee surrounding the Central Basin. Nashville is largely surrounded by higher terrain in all directions.

Geologically, the Central Basin is actually opposite, being a dome. The Highland Rim is a cuesta surrounding the basin, and the border where the difference in elevation is sharply pronounced is an escarpment. Nashville is located in the northwestern corner of the Basin.

The Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, also called the Ridge and Valley Province or the Valley and Ridge Appalachians, are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division and are also a belt within the Appalachian Mountains extending from southeastern New York through northwestern New Jersey, westward into Pennsylvania and southward into Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. They form a broad arc between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Plateau physiographic province (the Allegheny and Cumberland Plateaus).

These mountains are characterized by long, even ridges, with long, continuous valleys in between. From a great enough altitude, they almost look like corduroy, except that the widths of the valleys are somewhat variable and ridges sometimes meet in a vee.

The list of continental United States Physiographic regions identifies the 8 regions, 25 provinces, and 85 sections. The system dates to Nevin Fenneman's paper Physiographic Subdivision of the United States, published in 1917. Fenneman expanded and presented his system more fully in two books, Physiography of western United States (1931), and Physiography of eastern United States (1938). In these works Fenneman described 25 provinces and 85 sections of the United States physiography.



The Physiographic Regions of the world are a means of defining the Earth's landforms into distinct regions, based upon the classic three-tiered approach by Nevin Fenneman in 1916, that further defines landforms into: 1. physiographic divisions; 2. physiographic provinces; and 3. physiographic sections. This foundational model, which Fenneman used to classify the United States, was the basis for similar classifications of other continents later, and is still considered basically valid.

During the early 1900s, the study of regional-scale geomorphology was termed "physiography". Unfortunately, physiography later was considered to be a contraction of "physical" and "geography", and therefore synonymous with physical geography, and the concept became embroiled in controversy surrounding the appropriate concerns of that discipline. Some geomorphologists held to a geological basis for physiography and emphasized a concept of physiographic regions while a conflicting trend among geographers was to equate physiography with "pure morphology," separated from its geological heritage. . In the period following World War II, the emergence of process, climatic, and quantitative studies led to a preference by many Earth scientists for the term "geomorphology" in order to suggest an analytical approach to landscapes rather than a descriptive one. In current usage, physiography still lends itself to confusion as to which meaning is meant, the more specialized "geomorphological" definition or the more encompassing "physical geography" definition. For the remainder of this article, emphasis will remain on the more "geomorphological" usage, which is based upon geological landforms, not on climate, vegetation, or other non-geological criteria.

The United States is a country in the Northern Hemisphere, Western Hemisphere, and the Eastern Hemisphere. It consists of forty-eight contiguous states in North America, Alaska, a peninsula which forms the northwestern most part of North America, and Hawaii, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. There are several United States territories in the Pacific and Caribbean. The term "United States", when used in the geographical sense, means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States. The country shares land borders with Canada and Mexico and maritime (water) borders with Russia, Cuba, and the Bahamas in addition to Canada and Mexico.

Physical geography (also known as geosystems or physiography) is one of the two major subfields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography.

Within the body of physical geography, the Earth is often split either into several spheres or environments, the main spheres being the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and pedosphere. Research in physical geography is often interdisciplinary and uses the systems approach.

The geology of Alabama is marked by abundant geologic resources and a variety of geologic structures from folded mountains in the north to sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Alabama spans three continental geologic provinces as defined by the United States Geological Survey, the Atlantic Plain, Appalachian Highlands, and Interior Plains. The Geological Survey of Alabama breaks these provinces down into more specific physiographic provinces.

The broad, flat coastal plain stretches across the southern portion of the state, extending north from the Gulf coast to the fall line near Montgomery, Alabama.

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