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Geologic Map
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Generalized Geologic Map of the Conterminous United States
North America Shaded Relief


  The North American Tapestry of Time and Terrain

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Fall Line

  map close up of 
the Fall Line in the eastern United States
The Fall Line is a low east-facing cliff paralleling the Atlantic coastline from New Jersey to the Carolinas. It separates hard Paleozoic metamorphic rocks of the Appalachian Piedmont to the west from the softer, gently dipping Mesozoic and Tertiary sedimentary rocks of the Coastal Plain. This erosional scarp, the site of many waterfalls, hosted flume- and water-wheel-powered industries in colonial times and thus helped determine the location of such major cities as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Richmond.