have weathered with comparative slowness, and consequently the mass stands out in strong relief, extending nearly to the Atlantic and most effectively separating the southern Atlantic seaboard from the interior. So effective a barrier were they that communication from the coastal plain with northern Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky was either by the passes in Virginia or around the southern end of the mountains by way of Atlanta. Prior to 1880 there was no railroad across these mountains south of Roanoke.
Some of the intermontane valleys are fertile and support a considerable population, but the general inaccessibility of the region is shown by the life and customs of the people, which have scarcely changed since revolutionary times.
In the tilting and folding incident to the formation of the Appalachian system, there was exposed a belt of limestones and shales extending
in a direction roughly parallel to the mountain axis. These rocks are tilted and their upturned edges are easily eroded as compared with those on either side. The result of this erosion is an irregular trough from ten to seventy-five miles wide and over a thousand miles long. It is known in general as the 'Great' or Appalachian valley, but has various local names. In New Jersey it is known as the Kittatinny valley; in Pennsylvania it is the Cumberland valley; in Virginia it becomes the Shenandoah valley and in this region, the Tennessee valley or the East Tennessee valley.
The rocks are much inclined and their parallel edges of different degrees of resistance are exposed to the process of denudation, the results of which are long, narrow, parallel ridges running lengthwise along the valley. For example, the famous Chickamauga Ridge is composed of a compact resistant rock, known as Knox dolomite, which stands above the valley floor because the neighboring strata are less resistant to the levelling effects of denudation. The traveler going