Valley and Ridge Physiography Topics

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


Valley and Ridge Physiography: Characteristic Features (Part 2)

• Another feature of the Valley and Ridge is the presence in some areas of inverted topography.  Inverted topography occurs when a topographically low area forms on a geological feature that is structurally high (a topographic valley on a structural anticline) or vice versa (a topographic ridge on a structural syncline).

Slide show

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• Massanutten Mountain is an example of a syncline that has formed a mountain.

Examples of inverted topography can be found throughout the Valley and Ridge of Virginia. Massanutten Mountain, shown here, is a syncline that has formed a ridge. (Photograph by Stan Johnson)

• Burkes Garden is an example of an anticline that has formed a valley.

Burkes Garden, in Tazewell County, is another example of inverted topography. Here erosion has cut through a sandstone anticline and reached the softer rocks below. The softer rocks now form a low valley, called Burkes Garden in the center of the anticline. (Photograph courtesy of American Electric Power)