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UST 259 Lecture 5. Hill Country, Glaciated Plateau, & Till Plains: Chapters 10 - 12. Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Hill country. Forested Pioneers clearcut for fuel (iron industry) video Mining for bituminous coal (strip mining) Much is reforested Ohio’s oldest landscape

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ust 259 lecture 5

UST 259Lecture 5

Hill Country, Glaciated Plateau, & Till Plains:

Chapters 10 - 12

unglaciated appalachian plateau hill country
Unglaciated Appalachian PlateauHill country
  • Forested
  • Pioneers clearcut for fuel (iron industry) video
  • Mining for bituminous coal (strip mining)
  • Much is reforested
  • Ohio’s oldest landscape
  • Old river system and valleys still evident – not altered by glaciers
unglaciated appalachian plateau appalachian highlands
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Appalachian Highlands
  • Rock Layers
    • Middle to late Paleozoic acidic sandstones
    • Shale
    • Coal
    • Limestone, seldom
  • Knobs predominate along Ohio River & along Appalachian escarpment
  • ¾ of Hill country streams were

once a part of the ancient

TeaysRiver system

unglaciated appalachian plateau glacial impact
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Glacial impact
  • Unglaciated…yes, Unaffected…no.
  • Profound glacial impact
    • Redirected river systems
    • Filled valleys with water
    • Impacted plant/animal populations by genetically & physically isolating them
  • Unusual drainage patterns & constituents
    • Alkaline waters
    • Glacial outwash (sand or gravel carried by glaciers)

Rosyside Dace

unglaciated appalachian plateau climate weather
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Climate & Weather
  • Variety of microclimates present due to topographic variation
    • Frost pockets
    • Wind, humidity, evaporation
    • Sun exposure, surface temperature
  • Microclimate (along with varied soil and land surface types) have encouraged biological diversity in the Hill country
unglaciated appalachian plateau 3 plant animal communities predominate hill country
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau 3 Plant/ Animal Communities Predominate Hill country
  • Upland Mixed Oak Forests
  • Mixed Mesophytic Forests
  • Lowland Forests
unglaciated appalachian plateau upland mixed oak forests
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Upland Mixed Oak Forests
  • Widespread in unglaciated Appalachian plateau
  • Canopy tree communities
    • White Oak is dominant species
    • Oak-Hickory communities
    • Loose, open tree canopy
  • http://www.oplin.org/tree/index.html
  • Flower communities
    • Wood rush, fire pink, dittany
    • Beggar’s ticks, thorny greenbriar
unglaciated appalachian plateau upland mixed oak forests1
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Upland Mixed Oak Forests
  • Understory tree communities
    • Sassafras
      • Provide food for promethea silk moth larvae
unglaciated appalachian plateau upland mixed oak forests2
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Upland Mixed Oak Forests

Understory tree communities, continued

    • serviceberry
      • Provide early summer berries consumed by birds, & nesting site
    • Dogwood
    • Chestnut oaks
  • Mixed pines interspersed
    • Virginia Pine
    • Yellow Pine, White Pine
    • Both native &

Reforested pines

unglaciated appalachian plateau upland mixed oak forests3
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Upland Mixed Oak Forests
  • Small Mammals
    • Gray squirrels
    • Flying squirrels (rarely seen)
    • Hairy-tailed moles
    • Short-tailed shrew
    • Fox shrew
    • Pygmy shrew (rare)
    • Eastern wood rat
unglaciated appalachian plateau upland mixed oak forests4
Larger Mammals

Raccoons

Opossums

Skunks

Woodchucks

Weasels

Bats

Cottontail rabbits

Gray foxes

Other Animals

Turkey vultures, Black vultures

Swifts (fence lizards)

Large-headed skink

Snakes

Puff adders

Poisonous copperhead

Timber rattlesnake

Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Upland Mixed Oak Forests
unglaciated appalachian plateau mixed mesophytic forests
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Mixed Mesophytic Forests
  • Mesophytes: plants growing in area with average water supply
  • Trees
    • White & red oak, tuliptree, sugar maple, beech, wild black cherry, white ash, blackgum, red maple, shagbark hirckory, bitternute, white basswood, black walnut, cucumber tree (north), yellow buckeye (south)
    • Less common: hemlock
  • Mainly moderate climate
  • Moist, well-drained, moderately acidic soils
unglaciated appalachian plateau mixed mesophytic forests1
High tree and plant diversity

1000’s of types of plants, mosses, fungi, lichens

Undercanopy trees

Hornbeam (musclewood or ironwood)

Dogwood

Redbud

pawpaw

Wildflowers

Hepaticas

Anemones

Mayapple

Phlox

Indian-pipe flower

Sullivantia

Non-native flowering plants

Bigleaf magnolia

Umbrella magnolia

Sourwood

Flame azalea

Great rohododendron

Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Mixed Mesophytic Forests
unglaciated appalachian plateau mixed mesophytic forests2
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Mixed Mesophytic Forests
  • Fauna
    • Deer, gray squirrels, raccoons, skunk, weasels, bats
    • Black rat snakes, box turtles, wild turkey gobblers, ruffed grouse, great horned owls
    • Zebra swallowtail butterfly (eats pawpaw leaves)
    • Cecropia moth (largest in US 6inch wingspan)
    • Leaf miners, ticks, mites, centipedes, sowbugs
    • Salamanders (vernal pools)
    • Red-tailed hawk, screech & barred owls, pileated & downy woodpeckers, chickadees, tufted titmouse (permanent residents)
unglaciated appalachian plateau lowland forests streams
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Lowland Forests & Streams
  • Trees (must survive on floodplains)
    • Black willow, non-native white willow, sycamore
    • River birch (south & in acid-mine drainage streams)
    • Cottonwood, silver maple, box elder (limey soils)
  • Origin of “Buckeye state” nickname
    • Michaux, 1818 botanist 1stnamed the tree species: yellow buckeye & Ohio buckeye
    • W.H.Harrisonused buckeye wood to create walking sticks for his presidential campaign
    • Species differ:
      • yellow buckeye= smooth seeds
      • Ohio buckeye= prickly, bumpy seeds
  • Rathbone elm
unglaciated appalachian plateau lowland forests streams1
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Lowland Forests & Streams
  • Common animals
    • Mink, muskrats, beaver, rarely seen river otters
  • Birds (waterfowl)
    • Kingfisher, phoebes, wood ducks
  • Aquatic species
    • Northern water snake, painted turtle, snapping turtle, brown soft-shell turtle, hellbender (salamander)
    • Muskellunge, fresh-water mussels

(historic food source)

unglaciated appalachian plateau mining
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Mining
  • Coal & clay mining
  • Why damaging?
    • Bound with sulfur…causes environmental damage when released during mining
  • Acid mine drainage
  • If abated, waterways may recover (didn’t begin until post-WWII)
  • Many are not abated due to costs
  • Small scale strip-mining (pre-WWI) gave way to larger scale mining efforts over time
unglaciated appalachian plateau apples
Unglaciated Appalachian Plateau Apples
  • Rome Beauty
    • 1817
    • Named 1848
  • Gallia Beauty
    • From a Rome Beauty seedling
    • Named 1865
glaciated plateau allegheny plateau geology
Glaciated Plateau (Allegheny plateau) Geology
  • Glacial till weathered into rich agricultural soil
  • Bedrock (visible in roadcuts)
    • Limestone, shale, sandstone, conglomerate & coal, Pennsylvanian period
      • e.g. Sharon Sandstone
    • Shale & Sandstone, Mississipian
      • e.g. Berea Sandstone
    • Oldest rocks, Devonian
      • e.g. Chagrin Shale
  • Human utility of materials?
    • Quarried bedrock for building material
    • Clay & shale are also taken for brick, tile, pottery
    • Lesser presence of coal & gas
    • Rock salt mining
glaciated plateau glaciers landscape
Glaciated PlateauGlaciers & Landscape
  • How did glaciers impact landscape?
    • Influence on soil
    • Influence on topography
    • Influence on water
glaciated plateau plants
Glaciated PlateauPlants
  • Historic meeting point between N. Allegheny & Central Appalachian forests (noted during last 200 yrs)
    • White oak, like Appalachians
    • N. Hemlock forests similar to Allegheny woods in NY and PA
  • Most forests are 2ndary, regrown
  • Association of Northern and Southern species together on rare ecological islands
  • Deep glacial till deposits support widespread beech-maple forest growth
  • Maple syrup production (Geauga county)
  • Blueberries, clubmoss, pink ladyslipper like the acidic soils
glaciated plateau plants1
Glaciated PlateauPlants
  • Wildflowers
    • Painted trillium (very rare)
    • Purple trillium
    • Spring ephemerals
      • Spring beauties, anemones, Dutchman’s breeches, purple cresses
    • Mayapples
    • Wild phlox
  • Signal Tree
    • Bur Oak
    • N. of Akron off of Peck Rd.
    • Native Americans used it to designate crossing of Cuyahoga-Tuscarawas Portage & Cuyahoga Falls
glaciated plateau fauna animals
Glaciated PlateauFauna (Animals)
  • Settlers saw vast forests populated with
    • Wolf, elk, bear, mountain lion (mainly predatory)
  • Today, remaining forests populated with
    • Cottontail rabbit, red fox, raccoon, opossum, skunk, deer, woodchucks, weasel, muskrats (hearty, non-predatory to human species)
    • Birds, both resident and migratory
      • Robin, wood thrush, warblers, ruffed grouse, red tailed and coopers hawks, owls, bald eagles, tree swallows, veery…live on forest edges. Why?
    • Reptiles & amphibians
      • Red-bellied snake, Mountain dusky salamanders
  • Greater variety of landscape = greater diversity
till plains geology
Till PlainsGeology
  • Sedimentary bedrock (Ordovician through Devonian) (500 to 350 million years old)
    • Mainly limestone
    • Smaller areas of shale (youngest rocks present here)
    • Fossil-rich (particularly Ordovician rocks)
      • Marine invertebrates
      • Mainly primitive fish in Devonian rocks
  • Cincinnati Arch was created during Late Ordovician formation of Appalachian mtns (gently slopes, exposing bedrock, particularly in highest areas of arch)
  • Most bedrock covered by thick glacial till
  • Massive erosion (by the Teays River) eroded

away large portions of bedrock

till plains glaciation
Till PlainsGlaciation
  • Wisconsinan was most recent (peaked 20,000 years ago), traveling southward across the region
  • Advanced & retreated several times, leaving layers of impact
  • Created rolling hills
  • Campbell Hill, Ohio’s highest point, an end moraine
  • Kames & Eskers are extensive in some areas
  • Boulder belts
  • Illinoian glacier (older) left mainly ground moraine in its wake
till plains soils
Till PlainsSoils
  • Miamian soils
    • Loam/Clay loam till (south)
    • Clay rich till (Blount soils) (north)
  • Both high-lime & found in Wisconsinan till
  • Low-lime tills resulting in Alexandrian soils to east
  • Cincinnati soils, from Illinoian till (deeply weathered areas)
    • Eden soils present where bedrock exposed (erosion)
  • Soils here are formed primarily by parent material & time
till plains vegetation plants
Till PlainsVegetation (plants)
  • Settlers saw woodlands, forests & wet prairies
  • Today 95% of land is farm or urban
  • Agriculture mainly seen today
    • Corn, soybeans, wheat
  • 1st growth vegetation almost non-existent
  • Cedar Bog still remains…white cedar wetland
till plains fauna animals
Till PlainsFauna (Animals)
  • Intense farming has led to less diversity
  • Fish
    • Brook trout, chub
  • Amphibians
    • Striped chorus frog, small-mouth & tiger salamanders, cave salamander
  • Reptiles
    • Eastern garter snake, Butler’s garter snake blue racer, northern copperbelly, eastern massasauga, painted turtle
  • Birds (attracted to open fields & plains with forest nearby)
    • Kestrels, eastern meadowlark, horned lark, savannah sparrow, song sparrow, woodcock
    • Region is also a large migratory path for multitudes of birds
  • Small Mammals
  • Insects (Invertebrates)
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