Table Rock

An Oconee Lake

About South Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains

     Mountains are formations which rise high from the area around them. There are 4 types of mountains
1) folded mountains - when rock layers are squeezed from opposite sides, and the rock layers buckle and fold. (Ex. Appalachians)
2) upwarped mountains - form when crust is pushed up by forces inside of Earth. (Ex. southern Rocky Mtns. & Adirondack Mtns.)
) fault-block mountains - made of huge tilted blocks of rock which are separated from surrounding rock by faults. (Ex. Grand Tetons & Sierra Nevada  )
 4) volcanic mountains - cone-shaped mountain, created from pile-up of molten material. (Ex. Cascades and Hawaiian )
     The Blue Ridge Region makes up only 2% of the land area of South Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountains extend from Georgia to Virginia and are the eastern part of the Appalachian System that runs from Alabama to Quebec. They are the source of many mountain streams and rivers. The southeast "border" of the Blue Ridge Region is the Brevard fault. Sassafras Mountain is the highest peak at 3,560 feet above sea level, although it straddles the NC border. Pinnacle Mountain is the tallest peak totally within SC.

How the Appalachians Were Formed

     The Appalachian Mountains,  the oldest mountain chain in America, were formed about 342 million years ago. Many geologists think that North America had been together with Africa at least another time before all continents formed the supercontinent Pangaea. About 1.2 billion years to 800 million years ago a collision with Africa and made the earlier mountain range commonly known as the Grenville mountain range. Then, during the Late Precambrian about 800 million years ago, North America began to split from Africa creating the Iapetus Ocean. At the dividing zone the beginnings of the Blue Ridge mountains were being formed. Later on in the early Paleozoic, in a series of three mountain-building events (called orogeny) the two continents met during the formation of Pangaea and created the Appalachians. During the Late Triassic Period, a second split of Africa from North America formed the Atlantic Ocean.

For a neat visual of this see A Brief Tectonic History of Virginia  
(its the same as ours as far as this page)

On an Oconee Trail
Fisherman at Oconee Lake

Links to Other Sites on the Blue Ridge of S.C.

Oconee State Park
Oconee Station State Park  / NatureScene at Appalachian Cove

Devils Fork State Park

Keowee-Toxaway State Natural Area

SCMaps on Lake Jocastee

The Blue Ridge Highlander

The Blue Ridge Parkway / Blue Ridge Parkway Geology / Appalachian Geology

Blue Ridge Online

The Team Journal

     Come along with our web team on our visit to Oconee State Park.

A Lake at Oconee State Park
S. Debebe-Kumssa, J. Grindrod, V. Lyles, N. Osmanski, and M. Poarch

[Home]  [Blue Ridge]   [Piedmont]   [Sandhills]   [Coastal Plain]   [Coastal Zone]   [Geologic Goodies]  [About Us]