1. Blue Ridge
Great Smoky Mtns.
2. Ridge and Valley
3. Appalachian Plateaus
4. Ouachita Mtns. & Valleys
5. Ozark Plateau

Physical Geography

North: Mixed Broadleaf Deciduous and Needleleaf Evergreen
South: Broadleaf Deciduous
Importance of elevation
Microclimatic Variations
North: Humid continental with warm summers
South: Humid subtropical
Hazards: Fog and Ice


Historical Cultural Geography

Indigenous Population
Shawnee and Cherokee removed: trail of tears
Stereotypical “Hill People”
1700s to 1860s
Settled by Europeans: Germans (French in Ozark/Ouachita uplands)
Area of conflict during Civil War
Most isolated and poverty stricken area of US
1860s to 1960s
Outmigration during both World Wars
Tennessee Valley Authority and govt. relief
Expliotation: Logging, Mining and Recreation
Role of the TVALBJ’s “War on Poverty”
Present trend: increasing population


Tennessee Valley Authority and New Deal

Post WWI government program
Provide economic benefit to region
Control floods, power development, agriculture, recreation, navigation

Coal Employment Decline Devastates Region:
- Loss of RR steam engines and domestic
-Current rise for electric power plants


Historic Economic Sectors

Furniture and flooring
Pulp and paper operations
Coal Mining
Copper and Zinc
General Mixed Farming
Specialty Crops

Current Economic Trends

Resurgence in coal mining for powering electric plants
New focus on recreation and tourism


Coal Mining: Dramatic Shifts

Modern Operations
Shift into surface mining
Approximately 60% of total
Highly mechanized
Geared toward supplying thermal electric generation
About 55% of USA total
Serious pollution issues including acid rain


Urban Centers

Shifts in steel-making
Rise of high tech
Scranton and Wilkes-Barre
Binghamton and Elmira
TVA: Chattanooga, Knoxville, Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol


Tourism and Recreation

Branson, Missouri: Country Music
Catskills and Poconos for Megalopolis visitors
Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mtns. Nat. Parks
Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, Lake O’the Cherokees in Oklahoma

Summary: The Appalachians
and the Ozarks

Prior to 1970s, region emerged as one of the major supplier of raw

materials for the North American Manufacturing Belt.

Since the 1970s, changes in the “Rust Belt” area have had serious impacts

on the Appalachian area, plus tourism is increasingly an important part of local economies.

Environmental issues are key to both sub-regions.



Regional Geography of the United States and Canada 4e
Tom L. McKnight