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Georgia’s Rivers. Doug Oetter and Chris Skelton Dept. of History and Geography Dept. of Biology and Environmental Science Georgia College & State University. Georgia’s Physiographic Provinces. Cumberland Plateau Blue Ridge Ridge and Valley Piedmont Coastal Plain. Georgia’s Watersheds.

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Georgia’s Rivers


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. Georgia’s Rivers Doug Oetter and Chris Skelton Dept. of History and Geography Dept. of Biology and Environmental Science Georgia College & State University

    2. Georgia’s Physiographic Provinces • Cumberland Plateau • Blue Ridge • Ridge and Valley • Piedmont • Coastal Plain

    3. Georgia’s Watersheds • River headwaters in higher elevations • Flow Southeast and Southwest to Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico

    4. Blue Ridge • Constrained channels underlain by bedrock • Generally clear and cool flow from forested watersheds • High energy but with low flow due to smaller catchment basin • Waterfalls

    5. Ridge and Valley • Ranging from clear to colored, depending on watershed conditions and human activities • Moderate flood potential • Highly variable flow

    6. Piedmont • Constrained channels over bedrock • Water discolored by sediments from mining, construction, and agriculture • Moderate energy with increasing flood potential due to large catchments • Shoals and rapids • Hydropower potential

    7. Coastal Plain • Unconstrained channels meandering over deep sediments • Ranging from highly colored by sediments to clear and blackwater rivers tinted with tannic acid • Very large flows with broad flood plains • Estuaries

    8. Georgia’s Main Rivers Ogeechee “River of the Uchees,” a sub-tribe of the Creek Confederation St. Mary’s Spanish mission Santa Maria de Guadeloupe, founded in 1568 Satilla Once named Riviere Somme; renamed ‘St. Illa’ by a Spanish explorer of the same name Savannah “River of the Shawnees” Suwannee Creek word suwani, or “echo” Tallapoosa Unknown Creek word, possibly from Choctaw for “crushed rock” Tennessee Cherokee place name Altamaha Yamassee Indian chief Altamaha, named by DeSoto in 1540 Chattahoochee Creek for “flowered stones” Coosa Cherokee name for the Upper Creeks of the region Flint Thronateeska, “flint-picking-up-place” Ochlockonee Hitchiti for “yellow water” Ocmulgee Creek for “bubbling water” Oconee From Oconee Old Town

    9. Average Flows

    10. Outline History of Georgia’s Rivers • Native uses • Early commerce • Steamboat era • Flooding • River decline • Dam-building period • River resurgence

    11. Native American Uses • Drinking water • Food • Transportation • Settlement • Fall Line communities • Resources of both Coastal Plain and Piedmont

    12. Early Commerce • Exploration • Trading • Minerals • Timber extraction • Hydropower (grist and lumber mills)

    13. Steamboat Era • Begun in late 1820’s • Rivers developed for commerce • Grain • Lumber • Manufactured goods • Cotton • Continued until late 1930’s • Displaced by road transportation

    14. Flood Damage • Severe flooding aggravated by sediment accumulation in river channel from massive soil erosion

    15. River Decline • Sedimentation • Untreated sewage • Phosphates and municipal waste • Nitrates • Industrial pollutants • Removal of riparian vegetation

    16. Dams and Reservoirs • U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Reservoirs • Allatoona Lake • Carters Lake • J. Strom Thurmond Lake • George W. Andrews Lake • Hartwell Lake • Richard B. Russell Lake • Lake Seminole • Lake Sidney Lanier • Walter F. George Lake • West Point Lake • Powerplant cooling reservoirs • Other small dams

    17. Resurgence of Georgia’s Rivers • Clean Water Act • Pollution control • Sewage treatment • Recreation and Wildlife Values Riverfront Redevelopment