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Tallahasee Hills/Valdosta Limesink

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About the Tallahasee Hills/Valdosta Limesink

The Tallahasee Hills/Valdosta Limesink is a region extending from southern Georgia into northern Florida, towards the east half of the panhandle; most of the region is in Florida. This region can be divided into two halves, the Tallahassee Hills in the west, and the Valdosta Limesink in the east. In some documents the western portion of this region is referred to as the Tallahassee Uplands and often lumped together with the Tiptop Uplands, and the eastern part of this region is called the Northern Peninsula Karst Plains

This region is underlain mostly by limestone with some sand, clay, and gravel. It has karst topography throughout, with streams often flowing underground, and aboveground streams, where they are found, often being intermittent. In the west, the landscape has rolling hills, and soils made of clayey sand that weather to a red color. The east of this region has a flatter landscape and a higher density of sinkholes, ponds, and lakes; soils here tend to be brownish in color.

The climate is humid and subtropical, with a seasonal precipitation pattern in which over twice as much rain falls in summer as in drier spring and fall months, and winter is slightly wetter. Frosts occur but temperatures tend to stay above freezing through most of the winter, and snowfall is rare but possible. Rainfall is significantly higher at the westernmost end of this region and is lower throughout most of the rest of the area.

This region was originally mostly covered in southern mixed forest. In the east, drier sites supported longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) and turkey oak (Quercus laevis) and richer sites had a higher density of hardwoods.

Nowadays, there is a mix of land use here. Significant forest remains, especially in the west, but there is also extensive cropland, producing mostly corn, peanuts, cotton, and tobacco. Much of the cropland here is irrigated. There is significant urbanization here; this region contains the metro area of Tallahasee, as well as the smaller city of Lake City, and numerous small towns; in spite of sharing a name, it does not contain Valdosta, GA, which lies outside this region to the north.

This region is bordered to the north and west by the Tifton Upland, a region that lacks limestone. To the south, it is bordered by the Gulf Coast Flatwoods, a flat region that has a more typical, aboveground drainage pattern. At the east of this region, it is bordered to the northeast by the Okefenokee Plains, a low, poorly-drained region. The southeasternmost portion of this region has three small borders, to the east with the Sea Island Flatwoods, to the southeast with the Eastern Florida Flatwoods, and, southwest of that, to the southeast by the Central Florida Ridges and Uplands.