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Northern Piedmont

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Map Legend & Subregion List

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NameColor on MapEPA Code*
Triassic Lowlands64a
Trap Rock and Conglomerate Uplands64b
Piedmont Uplands64c
Piedmont Limestone/Dolomite Lowlands64d
Glaciated Triassic Lowlands64e
Passaic Basin Freshwater Wetlands64f
Hackensack Meadowlands64g

* This code refers to the US EPA's Level 4 ecoregion codes for the continental U.S., see here.

About the Northern Piedmont

The Northern Piedmont is a level 3 ecoregion that stretches northeast-southwest, located between the Appalachian mountains to the northwest and the coastal plain to the southeast. The region is widest in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and extends into New York, New Jersey and Virginia.

The terrain here is intermediate between the mountains to the northwest and the flatter coastal plain to the southeast. There are rolling hills, irregular plains, and open valleys. Geologically, this region is diverse, with a mix of metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rocks, leading to different soil types and variations in topography in different subregions.

The climate here is transitional between a humid subtropical climate and a colder-winter humid continental climate in the north. There are four well-defined seasons, and precipitation is similar year-round.

Before European settlement, this region was mostly an Appalachian oak forest. Dominant trees here include Chestnut oak, white oak, red oak, hickories, ash, elm, and tulip tree. Nowadays, eastern Redcedar is abundant on abandoned farmland and other cleared areas.

Most of the forests here have been cleared. There is significant agriculture as well as industry, urbanization, and suburban development. This area includes a portion of the metro areas of Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City as well as numerous smaller cities.

To the northwest, this region is bordered by various mountainous regions, parts of the Appalachians: in the south, by the Blue Ridge, farther north by the Ridge and Valley region, and at the very north, by the Northeastern Highlands. To the southeast, there is a fall line marking the beginning of the coastal plain, and this region borders the Southeastern Plains, and farther north, the Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain, and in a small area to the northeast, the Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens. The southern border of this region is a gradual transition to the similar but warmer Piedmont. At the north, this region borders the Northeastern Coastal Zone.

References

1. Wiken, E., Griffith, G. "North American Terrestrial Ecoregions - Level III", Commission for Environmental Cooperation, (2011) Web.