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View Poll Results: Which one do you think?
Small mountains 2 28.57%
Big hills 5 71.43%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-17-2019, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Putnam County, TN
505 posts, read 109,463 times
Reputation: 333

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In case you're not aware of where this is, it's a plateau in central Tennessee, south-central Kentucky and northern Alabama completely surrounding the Nashville Basin. It's bordered by the Cumberland Plateau to the east, Gulf Coastal Plain to the south and Tennessee River to the west. When it drops off into the basin, many creeks and rivers of greatly varying sizes carve out valleys into the plateau, forming some amazing ridges and summits in between; one of these valleys has been flooded to create Center Hill Lake, the state's third deepest lake at just under 200ft.

Do you think these ridges and summits should be considered big hills or small mountains?

Arguments for classification as small mountains:
--There is no definitive line separating hills from mountains; it is an entirely arbitrary boundary, like how certain streams in the area (Smith Fork, Blackburn Fork River, Spring Creek) may be variously called either creeks or rivers.
--Fog here, at least in the eastern Highland Rim, is frequent and may be severe. This is especially true in comparison to the basin and valleys.
--The rim is often visible from a distance.
--Interstate climbs on the rim may be signed and/or have truck lanes/reduced speeds (e.g. I-65 north of Nashville), but they are often still very noticeable even when lacking such features (e.g. I-40 west of Cookeville, I-65 north of the TN/AL state lane).
--Roads on these ridges and valleys are often very curvy and may be narrow.
--These Wikipedia articles (SR 56, SR 96) list the rim as mountains.
--A summit in Cannon County, TN is colloquially known as Short Mountain.

Arguments for classification as big hills:
--The most common line (further information) is at least 980ft/300m above surrounding terrain. Apart from Short Mountain, no summits in the rim qualify.
--Fog may be even more problematic atop the Cumberland Plateau, in the Cumberland Mountains and especially in the Appalachian Rainforest.
--Most summits in the rim aren't visible from the distances Short Mountain and the Cumberland Plateau are.
--The climbs are often less severe than those from the Cumberland Plateau, and truck lanes in the Highland Rim are much more common on two-lane state/federal highways instead.
--A road doesn't have to be in the mountains to be poor. Besides, Clay County can't afford to do much alone, and Putnam County seems to neglect most of the roads in their west.
--It's more likely that Short Mountain is an outlying remnant of the Cumberland Plateau, similar to many summits closer to the plateau (e.g. Golden Mountain in White County, TN)
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Old 12-17-2019, 08:17 PM
 
2,691 posts, read 1,421,368 times
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To me, a mountain has snow on it year round and/or glaciers, like Mt. Rainier at 14,411 feet...that's a mountain to me. Hills are just big mounds.
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Old 12-17-2019, 11:09 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
8,200 posts, read 7,126,500 times
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Quote:


Do you think these ridges and summits should be considered big hills or small mountains?

Depends on what their peak elevation is. To me a mountain is any big rocky upthrust that is 5,000 ft. peak elevation or more because that's what I'm accustomed to in the mountain ranges in my location in the west. I looked up the elevations for Highland Rim in Tennessee and based on the results I found, from my perspective I would have to say they are small hills because the highest elevation is only around 1,000 feet.

"...... The Highland Rim ranges from about 600 feet in elevation along the Tennessee River to 1,000 feet in the east and rises 300 to 400 feet above the Central Basin which is a rolling plain of about 600 feet average elevation, but with a crescent of hills reaching to over 1,000 feet south of Nashville......"
.
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Old 12-18-2019, 02:11 PM
 
Location: on the wind
8,741 posts, read 3,810,740 times
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What these guys say:

https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/what-diffe...ience_products

Thank goodness. I can add this question to the ever-lengthening list of things NOT to worry my head about.
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Old 12-18-2019, 02:13 PM
 
2,691 posts, read 1,421,368 times
Reputation: 11390
Highland Rim: hills or mountains?-mtn-hills.jpg


I just ran across this picture that explains what I mean by "mountain" and "hills." The hills are 3,600 to 6,300 feet, and the mountain is 14,411 feet, with 25 major glaciers. The mountain creates its own weather, unlike hills.
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Old 12-18-2019, 11:23 PM
 
7,393 posts, read 4,066,582 times
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Well, if weather defines a mountain, then Highland Rim qualifies. Very obvious climate changes in very short distances. Over it's overall scope, Highland Rim would include both mountains and hills. For example, from Winchester over Monteagle grade to Chattanooga is a pretty solid mountain. On the other hand, going from Winchester to Huntsville, is solidly on the hill side of the scale. All within just a few miles.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:06 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,760 posts, read 18,397,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
To me, a mountain has snow on it year round and/or glaciers, like Mt. Rainier at 14,411 feet...that's a mountain to me. Hills are just big mounds.
So what you are saying is that there are very few mountains in The Rocky Mountains. Nice gate you are keeping there.
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Old 12-19-2019, 12:49 PM
 
2,691 posts, read 1,421,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
So what you are saying is that there are very few mountains in The Rocky Mountains. .

The Rocky Mountains do have glaciers, which is what I said before, "To me, a mountain has snow on it year round and/or glaciers,..."

Last edited by oldgardener; 12-19-2019 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:10 PM
 
Location: From the Middle East of the USA
756 posts, read 636,724 times
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Most posters that live west of the Mississippi just don't believe there are mountains in the East.
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:28 PM
 
2,691 posts, read 1,421,368 times
Reputation: 11390
Quote:
Originally Posted by hickoryfan View Post
Most posters that live west of the Mississippi just don't believe there are mountains in the East.

Probably because the highest elevation east of the Mississippi River is only 6684 feet. That's pretty lame.
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