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Tennessee Geography

Tennessee Geography

Basic Facts

  • Geographical Region: South
  • Size: 42146 sq.mi., 36th rank overall.
  • Admitted to Statehood: June 1, 1796
  • Population: 6,296,254;17th rank overall.
  • Capital: Nashville
  • Other Major City: Memphis
  • Abbreviation: TN

Fun Facts

  • Nickname: Volunteer State
  • State Flag: Click Here (opens window to 50states.com)
  • State Bird: Mockingbird (opens window to 50states.com)
  • State Flower: Iris (opens window to 50states.com)

Geographical Description

  • Tennessee features 6 main land regions; The Blue Ridge, the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region, the Appalachian Plateau, the Highland Rim, the Nashville Basin, and the Gulf Coastal Plain.
  • The Blue Ridge area lies on the most eastern edge of Tennessee characterized by high mountains. The Great Smoky Mountains, the Chilhowee Mountains, and the Snowbird Mountains are found in this area. Average elevation in this area is 5,000 feet above sea level with the highest point, Clingman's Dome, at 6,643 feet above sea level.
  • Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region stretches west from the Blue Ridge for roughly 55 miles and is covered by fertile valleys separated by wooded ridges such as Bays Mountain and Clinch Mountain. In this area, numerous tributaries join to form the Tennessee River in the Tennessee Valley. The western section of this valley is called the Great Valley and is home to numerous towns and 2 urban areas.
  • Appalachian Plateau also called the Cumberland Plateau, lies to the west of the Appalachian Ridge and Valley Region. Flat-topped mountains separated by sharp valleys with elevation from 1,500 to 1,800 feet above sea level are found throughout this area.
  • To the west of the Appalachian Plateau is the Highland Rim, an elevated plain that surrounds the Nashville Basin. The northern section of the Highland Rim is sometimes called the Pennyroyal Region.
  • The Nashville Basin is encompassed by the Highland Rim and possesses rich, fertile farm country and high natural wildlife diversity.
  • Furthest west lays the Gulf Coastal Plain which is the largest land region in Tennessee and is divided into three sections. The easternmost section consists of hilly land, approximately 10 miles in width, that runs along the western bank of the Tennessee River. To the west is an area of rolling hills and streams that stretches all the way to Memphis; this area is called the Tennessee Bottoms or bottom land. In Memphis, the Tennessee Bottoms end in steep bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. To the west of the T

Map: Relief Map of TN


Minerals, foods, chemicals, transportation equipment, electrical machinery, rubber, plastics, textiles.


Soybeans, cotton, tobacco, livestock and livestock products, dairy products, cattle, hogs

Other Information

Fun Facts:

  • Tennessee's nickname as The Volunteer State came about during the War of 1812 when volunteer soldiers acted with outstanding bravery in the Battle of New Orleans.
  • As a result of 19th-century mining practices, the Copper Basin is so distinctively different from its surroundings that American Astronauts can recognize it.
  • Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee was formed by the largest earthquake in American History called the New Madrid Earthquake in the winter of 1811-12.
  • Tennessee boasts over 3,800 caves.
  • The Great Smoky Mountains National Park receives its name from the smoke-like bluish haze that engulfs the mountains.
  • The last state to secede from the Union during the Civil War was Tennessee. The first state to be readmitted was Tennessee.
  • The Watauga Association at Sycamore Shoals drafted the first constitution written by white men in America was in 1772. It was modeled after a federal system of government developed 200 years earlier by the Iroquois League of Nations.

More Fun Facts: http://www.50states.com/facts/tenn.htm



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