Loop 1: Station 3
Rolling Hills of the Piedmont
The word Piedmont means foothill and reminds us that our region lies at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The crystalline rocks exposed here are typical of most of the Piedmont. These rocks formed deep in the earth’s crust hundreds of millions of years ago. These kinds of rocks are the backbone of the Blue Ridge Mountain and Piedmont regions.
Similar rocks are exposed at Conestee shoals on the Reedy River below Lake Conestee Dam. These rocks are mostly granite and similar rock types composed of quartz, feldspar and biotite.
The shape of a landscape is an expression of the underlying geology. In most Piedmont settings these rocks weather deeply to produce soils with sandy loam topsoil, and clayey, red subsoil. The resulting landscape is gently sloping, with rolling hills. Where resistant to weathering, or where eroded by a stream, these rock outcrops are exposed.
How do the rocks beneath us define the land around us?
The Piedmont is a very old geologic region where the landscape shows its age. Generally, stream valleys have evolved where the rocks are fractured and deeply weathered. Hills remain where the rocks are more resistant to weathering. The result is our “rolling” Piedmont landscape.
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