A piedmont is an area at the base of a mountain or mountain range


6 - 12+


Geography, Human Geography, Physical Geography

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Morgan Stanley

A piedmont is an area at the base of a mountain or mountain range. The word piedmont comes from the Italian words pied and monte, which mean "foot" and "hill."

Piedmont lakes and piedmont glaciers, for example, are simply lakes and glaciers located at the foot, or base, of mountains. Malaspina Glacier in southeastern Alaska is the largest piedmont glacier in the world, spilling out of the St. Elias Mountains onto the coastal plain between Yakutat Bay and Icy Bay.

The term by itself can also refer to a specific mountain foothill region. The Piedmont region of northwestern Italy sits at the base of the Italian Alps. In the eastern United States, the Appalachian Piedmont stretches from New Jersey to Alabama, along the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. Farther west lies the Colorado Piedmont. A relatively narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Piedmont is home to most of the people and industry of the state of Colorado.

Fast Fact

Martian Piedmont
On Mars, a large piedmont sits at the base of the huge volcano Olympus Mons. Scientists examining photos of this piedmont concluded in 2006 that it was formed by an enormous, ancient glacier. This Martian glacier would have been nearly four times as large as Alaska's Malsapina Glacier, the largest piedmont glacier on Earth.

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Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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