The state is divided into two distinct physiographic provinces; the Alleghany Plateau on the west, comprising perhaps two-thirds of the area of the state, and forming a part of the great Appalachian Plateau Province which extends from New York to Alabama; and the Newer Appalachians or Great Valley Region on the east, being a part of the large province of the same name which extends from Canada to Central Alabama.
The general strictness of the church in its requirements for ministerial education occasioned it great loss in this period when the territory beyond the Appalachians was being settled so largely by Scotch-Irish and Presbyterians.
New York, where the Appalachians enter the state, the plateau becomes much higher than in the W., reaching its culmination in the Catskills.
First come the low folds of the western Appalachians, which, though well developed in Pennsylvania, die out near the New York boundary.
Is a continuation of the Great Valley of the Appalachians, and extends N.E.
For a century the Appalachians were a barrier to the westward expansion of the English colonies; the continuity of the system, the bewildering multiplicity of its succeeding ridges, the tortuous courses and roughness of its transverse passes, a heavy forest and dense undergrowth all conspired to hold the settlers on the seaward-sloping plateaus and coastal plains.
See the separate articles on the states, and also the following references: - Topographic maps and Geologic Folios of the United States Geological Survey; Bailey Willis, "The Northern Appalachians," and C. W.
The~ rivers that drain the Atlantic slope of the Appalachians are comparatively short; those that drain the Pacific slope include only two, the Columbia and the Colorado, which rise far inland, near the easternmost members of the Cordilleran system, and flow through plateaus and intermont basins to the ocean.
The upper Mississippi and some of the Ohio basin is the prairie region, with trees originally only along the watercourses; the uplands towards the Appalachians were included in the great eastern forested area; the western part of the plains has so dry a climate that its herbage is scanty, and in the south it is barren.
The transoceanic invasion progressed slowly through the 17th and ~8th centuries, delayed by the head winds of a rough ocean which was crossed only in slow sailing vessels, and by the rough backwoods of the Appalachians, which retarded the penetration of wagon roads and canals into the interior.
The invasion was wonderfully accelerated through the I9th century, when the vast area of the treeless prairies beyond the Appalachians was offered to the settler, and when steam transportation on sea and land replaced sailing vessels and wagons.
Evi-Jently, therefore, the Appalachians as we now see them are not the still surviving remnants of the mountains of late Palaeozoic deformation; they owe their present height chiefly to the Tertiary upwaroing and uoliftinr.
The middle section of the Appalachians, rather arbitrarily limited by the Hudson and the James rivers, may be described first because it contains the best representation of the three longitudinal belts of which the mountain system as a whole is The Middle composed.
The crystalline belt of the middle Appalachians, 60 or 80 m- wide, is to-day of moderate height because the Tertiary upwarping was there of moderate amotint.
The middle section of the Appalachians is further distinguished from the north-eastern and south-western sections by the arrangeDrain age.
Hence rivers in the Appalachians are not navigable; it is only farther down-stream, where the rivers have been converted into estuaries and bayssuch as Chesapeake and Delaware baysby a slight depression of the coastal plain belt, that they serve the purposes of navigation.
The community of characteristics that is suggested by the association of six north-eastern states under the name New England The North- is in large measure warranted by the inclusion of easternA all these states within the broadened crystalline belt palachians of the north-eastern Appalachians, which is here 150 m.
The Appalachian trends (N.E.S.W.) that are so prominent in the stratified belt of the middle Appalachians, and are fairly well marked in the crystalline belt of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are prevailingly absent in New England.
The drainage of New England is unlike that of the middle and south-western Appalachians in the occurrence of numerous lakes and falls.
Here Mt Mitchell risesto 6711 ft., the highest of the Appalachians, and about thirty other summits exceed 6000 ft., while the valleys are usually at altitudes of about 2000 ft.
There is one feature of the Appalachians that has greater continuity than any other; this is the Great Valley.
A strikin,g contrast between New England and the rest of the Appalachians is found in the descent of the New England uplands Th At!
Its inner border affords admirable examples of topographical discordance where it sweeps north-westward square across the trend of the piedmont belt, the ridges and valleys, and the plateau of the Appalachians, which are all terminated by dipping gently beneath the unconformable cover of the coastal The, lain strata.
In the same way the western side of the em- Mississippi ~ayment, trending south and south-west, passes along the Emba.vmeni.lower south-eastern side of the dissected Ozark plateau of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, which in many ways resembles the Appalachian plateau, and along the eastern end of the Massern ranges of the Ouachita mountain system in central Arkansas, which in geological history and topographical form present many analogies with the ridges and valleys of the Appalachians; and as the coastal plain turns westward to Texas it borders the Arbuckle hills in Oklahoma, a small analogue of the crystalline Appalachian belt.
Thus the heaviest measured rainfall east of the Mississippi is on the southern Appalachians; while in the west, where observations are as yet few at high level stations, the occurrence of forests and pastures on the higher slopes of mountains which rise from desert plains clearly testifies to the same rule.
Unlike the Appalachians, the Adirondacks do not form a connected range, but consist of many summits, isolated or in groups, arranged with little appearance of system.
The rivers that drain the Atlantic slope of the Appalachians are comparatively short; those that drain the Pacific slope include only two, the Columbia and the Colorado, which rise far inland, near the easternmost members of the Cordilleran system, and flow through plateaus and intermont basins to the ocean.
The transoceanic invasion progressed slowly through the 17th and 18th centuries, delayed by the head winds of a rough ocean which was crossed only in slow sailing vessels, and by the rough " backwoods " of the Appalachians, which retarded the penetration of wagon roads and canals into the interior.
The invasion was wonderfully accelerated through the 19th century, when the vast area of the treeless prairies beyond the Appalachians was offered to the settler, and when steam transportation on sea and land replaced sailing vessels and wagons.
But in the Newer Appalachians the streams more often follow the trend of the structure until they empty into one of the larger, transverse streams. Thus the Shenandoah flows N.E.
Expansion, we reach the Newer Appalachians, where fertile limestone soils cover the valley floors.