Piedmont region of Virginia
The Piedmont region of Virginia is a part of the greater Piedmont physiographic region which stretches from the falls of the Potomac, Rappahannock, and James Rivers to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The region runs across the middle of the state from north to south, expanding outward to a width of nearly 190 miles at the border with North Carolina. To the north, the region continues from Virginia into central Maryland and southeastern Pennsylvania. It encompasses Fauquier, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Madison, Greene, Orange, Spotsylvania, Louisa, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Goochland, Nelson, Amherst, Buckingham, Cumberland, Powhatan, Amelia, Bedford, Campbell, Appomattox, Prince Edward, Nottoway, Charlotte, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Patrick, Henry, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Stafford, Prince William and Fairfax counties in Virginia.
The Virginia Piedmont is largely characterized by rolling hills and numerous ridges near the boundary with the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lying between the mountain and coastal plain regions, the piedmont region is a naturally diverse landscape. The bedrock consists mostly of gneiss, schist and granite rocks at a typical depth of between 2 and 10 feet. Soils developed from these rocks and minerals form acid, infertile soils, with sandy loam surfaces. Many of the clayey subsoils are red or yellowish red due to the oxidized iron weathered from the primary minerals. Natural fertility is low; however, these soils respond well to liming and fertilization. Historically, much of the Piedmont region was cleared and farmed intensively, causing extreme erosion over much of the region. Before modern soil fertility and managerial practices were adapted to these soils, agricultural production diminished and most farms reverted back to forests. Over two thirds of this region is wooded today. The best soils are still agriculturally productive through well managed soil fertility and erosion control plans. The region contains several areas and stretches of land which are of relatively high agricultural value.
The dialect associated with this region is Virginia Piedmont.
- Overview of the Physiography and Vegetation of Virginia. Retrieved 22 July 2013. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/natural_communities/ncoverview.shtml
- Geographic Overview of Virginia's Natural Resources. Retrieved 22 July 2013. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/virginia_naturally/window_into_green_virginia/geographic-overview.shtml
- Baker, James C. Soils of Virginia. Retrieved 22 July 2013. http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/424/424-100/PDF_part6.pdf
- VCLNA Agricultural Model. Retrieved 22 July 2013. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/vclnaagric.shtml
- Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Virginia Cooperative Extension
- Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals & Energy