Cumberland Plateau

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Cumberland Plateau


Cumberland Mountains,

southwestern division of the Appalachian Mt. system, extending northeast to southwest through parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee into N Alabama. Black Mt., Ky., is the highest point (4,145 ft/1,263 m). On the east the plateau rises sharply from the Great Valley of E Tennessee; on the west the slope is rough and broken. The plateau is the source of the Cumberland River and several tributaries of the Tennessee. The surrounding region, which is sparsely populated, yields various minerals, such as coal, limestone, and sandstones. The region is also laden with trees, and the forests make for an important resource. There are some agricultural subsistence settlements in the area. Cumberland Gap provides a natural passage through the Cumberland Mts., a ridge of the plateau.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cumberland Plateau


plateau in southeastern United States, the southwestern foothills of the Appalachians. Elevations range from 1,200 m in the east to 500 m in the west. The plateau is composed of layers of sandstone and limestone, gently sloping to the west. The eastern edge, washed by the Tennessee and Clinch rivers, forms a steep precipice above the Great Appalachian Valley, at 300 m relative elevation. The Cumberland Plateau is cut by the deep valleys of the rivers of the Cumberland and Tennessee systems; karst is widespread. Deciduous forests (mostly cleared) grow on the plateau. Coal is mined (the Appalachian Coal Basin).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Plethodon kentucki Mittleman: a valid species of Cumberland Plateau woodland salamander.
They say the first question he asked them was: "Are you happy here?" Actually, they say, they are happy and still love their house and the Cumberland Plateau.
However, the outstanding ecological value of these forested areas, including the Cumberland Plateau, are irreplaceably harmed and endangered by practices like industrial logging by the paper industry.
The article condemns clearcutting in the Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau. The paper industry, writes Alex Shoumatoff, appears "committed to destroying what remains of the extraordinarily lush forest on the Cumberland Plateau." The clearcuts are "mangled wasteland," and he describes a "particularly vast mutilated swath that some activists have dubbed the Triangle of Destruction, but it is only one of many." Where there isn't clearcutting, there is "dead gray loblolly pine," devastated by an infestation of the southern pine beetle.
However, in many areas that appear suitable for its recovery, such as the Cumberland Plateau of Kentucky, the raven has yet to reestablish.
as dawn silvers the Cumberland Plateau and brings birdsong.
The scenery changed when the plane crossed the Tennessee River to the Cumberland Plateau. The river itself hosts giant silt plumes, which Camuto traces to the river's uneasy neighbors--giant corporate-owned loblolly pine plantations totally lacking in the biodiversity that enriches the Great Smoky Mountains.
In aiming for geographic comprehensiveness, Davis synthesized, relying on popular sources and scholarship published prior to the 1990s; he sometimes omitted material that should have been included within the scope he set himself, most notably discussion of the Shawnee (and other Native Americans besides the Cherokee) and the Cumberland Plateau. The decade since Davis began his writing has produced a good deal of scholarship on Appalachian environment, society, and culture shaped by the new interdisciplinary paradigm of political ecology.
The state contains six physiographic provinces: Upper Coastal Plain, Lower Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and Cumberland Plateau (Figure 1; see 3).
This 18,700-acre park on the southern Cumberland Plateau has the highest waterfall east of the Rockies, majestic canyons, and clear streams.
The 18,700-acre park and natural area lies some 135 miles southeast of Nashville on the Cumberland Plateau and annually draws about a million visitors who hike, camp, fish, golf and enjoy some of the Southeast's most spectacular scenery.

Full browser ?