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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/155

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151
THE CHATTANOOGA CAMPAIGNS.

its active weathering, thus the rate of recession of a cliff is entirely regulated by the recession of the overcapping stratum. The general result upon the topography is high, cliff-like valley walls, and rather leveltopped hills with steep slopes. Where the plateau meets the great valley, this is shown on a grand scale. From Chattanooga northeastward along Walden's ridge for scores of miles stretches a cliff or escarpment which overlooks the valley. It is steep and the streams flowing across the escarpment have gashed it into a serrate profile which gives it the local name of Cumberland Mountain. The lack of roads and general inaccessibility of plateau and escarpment made it a factor to

PSM V65 D155 Appalachian valley ridges in monroe county tenn.png

General view showing one of the Appalachian Valley Ridges in Monroe County, Tenn. (Photographed by the U. S. Bureau of Forestry.)

be reckoned with in the movement of armies. The plateau is heavily timbered and, in contrast with the valley, is difficult of access and sparsely settled. The relief map of the Chattanooga district shows the surface appearance of these divisions.

The drainage of these regions is as peculiar and characteristic as are the surface features. The great valley is a structural valley, and not, as are most valleys, the seat of a great river. Its existence, as has before been noted, is due not to river activity, but to the easy denudation of its rocks as compared with those on either side. The only large