Georgia - Topography

Northern Georgia is mountainous, the central region is characterized by the rolling hills of the Piedmont Plateau, and southern Georgia is a nearly flat coastal plain.

The Blue Ridge Mountains tumble to an end in northern Georgia, where Brasstown Bald, at 4,784 ft (1,459 m), is the highest point in the state. The piedmont slopes slowly to the fall line, descending from about 2,000 ft (610 m) to 300 ft (90 m) above sea level. Stone Mountain, where a Confederate memorial is carved into a mass of solid granite 1,686 ft (514 m) high, is the region's most famous landmark.

The piedmont region ends in a ridge of sand hills running across the state from Augusta to Columbus. The residue of an ancient ocean was caught in the vast shallow basin on the Florida border, known as the Okefenokee Swamp, which filled with fresh water over the centuries. The coastal plain, thinly populated except for towns at the mouths of inland rivers, ends in marshlands along the Atlantic Ocean. Lying offshore are the Sea Islands, called the Golden Isles of Georgia, the most important of which are, from north to south, Tybee, Ossabaw, St. Catherines, Sapelo, St. Simons, Sea Island, Jekyll, and Cumberland.

Two great rivers rise in the northeast: the Savannah, which forms part of the border with South Carolina, and the Chattahoochee, which flows across the state to become the western boundary. The Flint joins the Chattahoochee at the southwestern corner of Georgia to form the Apalachicola, which flows through Florida into the Gulf of Mexico. The two largest rivers of central Georgia, the Ocmulgee and Oconee, flow together to form the Altamaha, which then flows eastward to the Atlantic. Perhaps the best-known Georgia river, though smaller than any of the above, is the Suwannee, flowing southwest through the Okefenokee Swamp, across Florida, and into the Gulf of Mexico, and famous for its evocation by Stephen Foster in the song "Old Folks at Home." Huge lakes created by dams on the Savannah River are Clark Hill Reservoir and Hartwell Lake; artificial lakes on the Chattahoochee River include Lake Seminole, Walter F. George Reservoir, Lake Harding, West Point Reservoir, and Lake Sidney Lanier.

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