Blue Ridge Physiography Topics

1. Regional Setting
2. Extent and Boundaries
3. Characteristic Features
4.  Drainage
5. Special Features
• Introduction to Physiography
Coastal Plain
Mesozoic Basins
Blue Ridge
Valley and Ridge
Appalachian Plateaus
Virginia's Rivers

Blue Ridge Physiography: Special Features (Part 1)

Aerial Tour of the Southern Blue Ridge (Part 2)

View near Marion in Smyth County looking east across the Blue Ridge foothills toward higher peaks in the distance. Younger Chilhowee rocks form the closer foothills, and older Mount Rogers rocks form the distant peaks. (Photograph by Robert Whisonant)
<Back to Aerial Tour Location Map>

View of Whitetop Mountain, the second highest peak in Virginia (elevation 5,520 feet). Whitetop is formed on rhyolitic volcanic rocks belonging to the Mount Rogers Formation. Whitetop Mountain is located at approximately where Smyth, Grayson, and Washington Counties border each other. (Photograph by Robert Whisonant)

View of Mount Rogers, Virginia’s highest peak at 5,729 feet. A forest covers the top of this mountain, but spectacular views are seen along the trail to the mountain top. Mount Rogers is on the Grayson-Smith County border. (Photograph by Parvinder Sethi)

Wilburn Ridge in Grayson County and the Appalachian Trail near Mount Rogers. The volcanic rocks exposed here are rhyolites and rhyolitic tuffs that began forming about 750 million years ago. (Photograph by Parvinder Sethi)
<Back to Aerial Tour Location Map>

made up of extrusive, quartz-rich igneous rock

View of Blue Ridge peaks east of Mount Rogers in Grayson County. These higher elevations are formed on the very old basement granite and gneiss of the Elk Park Plutonic Group. These roughly billion-year-old rocks form the core of the Blue Ridge in this region. (Photograph by Robert Whisonant)
<Back to Aerial Tour Location Map>