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ENCYCLOPEDIC ENTRY
ENCYCLOPEDIC ENTRY

fall line

fall line

Encyclopedic entry. A fall line is the imaginary line between two parallel rivers, at the point where rivers plunge, or fall, at roughly the same elevation. Fall lines are often located where different elevation regions, such as coastal and piedmont, meet.

Grades

5 - 12+

Subjects

Earth Science, Geography, Geology, Physical Geography

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Morgan Stanley

A fall line is the imaginary line between two parallel rivers, at the point where rivers plunge, or fall, at roughly the same elevation.

Fall lines are often located where different elevation regions, such as coastal and piedmont, meet. They are important to people and businesses. The fall line is the point at which boats traveling upriver usually cannot continue any further. It is also the point at which hydroelectric power generation may be possible, taking advantage of the energy of the waterfalls.

In the eastern United States, there is a major fall line between the hard rock of the Appalachian Piedmont and the soft sediment of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. This line was important to early European explorers because it marked the limits of river travel for ships. Many cities developed along this fall line, including Trenton, New Jersey; Richmond, Virginia; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Writers
Kim Rutledge
Melissa McDaniel
Santani Teng
Hilary Hall
Tara Ramroop
Erin Sprout
Jeff Hunt
Diane Boudreau
Hilary Costa
Illustrators
Mary Crooks, National Geographic Society
Tim Gunther
Editors
Jeannie Evers, Emdash Editing, Emdash Editing
Kara West
Educator Reviewer
Nancy Wynne
Producer
National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

August 11, 2022

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