Coastal Plain Physiography Topics

1. Regional Setting
2. General Physiography
3. Beaches and Shores
Sea Level Changes
4. Special Features
• Introduction to Physiography
• Coastal Plain
• Piedmont
• Mesozoic Basins
• Blue Ridge
• Valley and Ridge
• Appalachian Plateaus
• Virginia's Rivers


Coastal Plain, General Physiography, Part 2

Width and Boundaries (Continued)

• The Coastal Plain is bounded on the west by the Piedmont along the Fall Line
a zone of falls and rapids in rivers along the Coastal Plain-Piedmont boundary
(about 200 to 500 feet elevation) and on the east by the shoreline (0 feet elevation).

The Fall Line on the James River at Richmond (Photograph by Robert Whisonant)

The coastline in the Cape Henry area at Seashore State Park in Virginia Beach. (Photo by Robert Whisonant)

• Elevations along the Fall Line vary from 500 feet near Washington D.C. to a little over 200 feet in southern Virginia. Elevations at the shoreline are 0 feet.

• Average width of the Coastal Plain in Virginia is about 100 miles.  The continental shelf continues from the shoreline for about 65 miles to the shelf edge.