A fall line is the imaginary line between two parallel rivers, at the point where rivers plunge, or fall, at roughly the same elevation.
Fall lines are often located where different elevation regions, such as coastal and piedmont, meet. They are important to people and businesses. The fall line is the point at which boats traveling upriver usually cannot continue any further. It is also the point at which hydroelectric power generation may be possible, taking advantage of the energy of the waterfalls.
In the eastern United States, there is a major fall line between the hard rock of the Appalachian Piedmont and the soft sediment of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. This line was important to early European explorers because it marked the limits of river travel for ships. Many cities developed along this fall line, including Trenton, New Jersey; Richmond, Virginia; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry coast Noun
edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.
Encyclopedic Entry: coast coastal plain Noun
low, flat land lying next to the ocean.
Encyclopedic Entry: coastal plain elevation Noun
height above or below sea level.
Encyclopedic Entry: elevation fall line Noun
imaginary line along which parallel rivers plunge, or fall.
Encyclopedic Entry: fall line hard rock Noun
dense rock that is difficult to crack or break. Usually igneous or metamorphic.
hydroelectric power Noun
usable energy generated by moving water converted to electricity.
equal distance apart, and never meeting.
area at the bottom of a mountain.
Encyclopedic Entry: piedmont sediment Noun
solid material transported and deposited by water, ice, and wind.
Encyclopedic Entry: sediment upriver Adjective
toward or near the source of a river.
flow of water descending steeply over a cliff. Also called a cascade.
Encyclopedic Entry: waterfall