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Cloudland Canyon

Cloudland Canyon

Exposed layers of sandstone are visible in the walls of Cloudland Canyon, part of the Appalachain Plateau geologic province in the northwest corner of Georgia. The vegetated slopes below the sandstone contain gray shale with interbedded sandstone, siderite, and coal.

Photograph by Pamela J. W. Gore

Lula Lake and Falls

Lula Lake and Falls

Lula Lake and Lula Falls in Walker County showcase Georgia's natural geologic beauty, which draws visitors to the state each year.

Image from Jeff Moore

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Geographic Regions of Georgia

Geographic Regions of Georgia

Georgia encompasses parts of five distinct geographic regions: the Appalachian Plateau, the Valley and Ridge, the Blue Ridge, the Piedmont, and the Coastal Plain.

Courtesy of Pamela J. W. Gore

Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge Mountains

Cove Road, a few miles east of Jasper in the Blue Ridge geological province of Georgia, cuts through an outcrop of red mica schist and white marble in the Murphy marble belt.

Courtesy of T.E. LaTour

Carters Dam Fault

Carters Dam Fault

The Carters Dam Fault, located near Cartersville, is part of the fault system that separates the Piedmont region from the Valley and Ridge. Cambrian shale of the Valley and Ridge is visible to the left of the fault, while the metamorphic rock of the Piedmont is visible on the right.

Photograph by Chuck Cochran

High Falls

High Falls

High Falls is located along the fall line at High Falls State Park in Butts County. The fall line crosses the state from Augusta to Columbus and marks the point at which the hard rocks of the Piedmont meet the softer rocks of the Coastal Plain.

Image from Stephen Rahn

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Providence Canyon

Providence Canyon

The unconsolidated sandstone bluffs of Providence Canyon in Stewart County were formed during the Cretaceous Period and are among the oldest exposed Coastal Plains rock formations in the state.

Courtesy of Matthew M. Moye

Dinosaur Tooth

Dinosaur Tooth

A tooth of the Appalachiosaurus montgomeriensis, a relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, was discovered among other fossil remains in Stewart County. The tooth is 4 cm long.

Courtesy of David Schwimmer

Kaolin

Kaolin

Kaolin, a clay used for the production of ceramics, medicine, and paper, is an important economic resource in Georgia. Formed during the Paleogene Period, kaolin is found in the central and eastern areas of the Coastal Plain.

Courtesy of Forrest Shropshire

Cumberland Island Dunes

Cumberland Island Dunes

Sand dunes form along the coast of Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia. Dunes are the primary geological feature of the state's barrier islands and represent the youngest geological deposits in the state.

Image from anoldent

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Granite

Granite

The Oglesby Quarry in Elberton, abandoned in 2003, is one of the many granite quarries to contribute to Georgia's economy. Formed approximately 1 billion years ago, granite is one of the oldest rock types found in Georgia.

Photograph by Clay Ouzts

Tallulah Falls

Tallulah Falls

Tallulah Falls are today part of the Tallulah Gorge State Park in northeast Georgia.

Image from Rain0975

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Rising Fawn Thrust Fault

Rising Fawn Thrust Fault

The Rising Fawn thrust fault, located in the Valley and Ridge geologic province of northwest Georgia, was formed during the Alleghanian orogeny, the third mountain-building event of the Paleozoic Era.

Photograph by Pamela J. W. Gore

Grenville Gneiss

Grenville Gneiss

The Grenville gneisses were formed around 1 billion years ago during the Grenville Orogeny. The oldest rocks in Georgia, these gneisses form the "basement" upon which younger rocks were deposited during the formation of the Appalachian mountain chain.

Photograph by Pamela J. W. Gore

Rockmart Slate Folds

Rockmart Slate Folds

Slate folds, which formed during the mountain-building events of the Paleozoic Era, are visible around Rockmart in the Valley and Ridge geologic province of northwest Georgia.

Photograph by Pamela J. W. Gore

Chattanooga Shale

Chattanooga Shale

The Chattanooga Shale, located in northwest Georgia, was formed approximately 350 million years ago, when the area was covered by a shallow sea.

Photograph by Pamela J. W. Gore

Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain Park encompasses 3,200 acres just sixteen miles east of downtown Atlanta. Formed around 300 million years ago during the Paleozoic Era, the mountain itself is the world's largest mass of exposed granite.

Image from Darryl Pierce

Diabase Dike

Diabase Dike

Diabase dikes, such as the one pictured in Gwinnett County, are composed of a fine-grained igneous rock. They were formed between 180 and 230 million years ago as rifts opened in the Atlantic Ocean basin.

Photograph by Pamela J. W. Gore

Hadrosaur Fossil

Hadrosaur Fossil

A duck-billed hadrosaur fossil found in Alabama is pictured in 2006. Fossils of the duck-billed hadrosaur, along with those of the carnivore Albertosaurus, are also found in west central Georgia. Dinosaurs lived in Georgia during the Late Cretaceous Period, 65 to 100 million years ago.

Copyright 2006 by David R. Schwimmer. All rights reserved

Georgiaites

Georgiaites

Georgiaites, or tektites, are natural glasses formed when an asteroid or meteorite collides with the earth. Many scientists believe that georgiaites formed as a result of the meteorite impact that created the Chesapeake Bay Crater in Virginia around 35 million years ago.

Photograph by Edward Albin