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Relief of Delaware


Fenwick island Delaware
Fenwick island Delaware

Delaware is the second smallest state of the Union, covering only 6,446 sq km (2,489 sq mi), including 186 sq km (72 sq mi) of inland water and 961 sq km (371 sq mi) of coastal water over which it has jurisdiction. Only Rhode Island is smaller. Located in the eastern section of the Delmarva Peninsula, between Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay, Delaware is 154 km (96 mi) from north to south and varies from 14 to 56 km (9 to 35 mi) east to west. The state is a low-lying area. With an average elevation of only 18 m (60 ft), it ranks as the lowest state in the nation.

Delaware can be divided into two major regions, or physiographic provinces, each of which is part of a larger physiographic division of the eastern United States. The two regions are the Piedmont Plateau and the Coastal Plain. The Piedmont, which is part of the larger Appalachian Region, extends into the state from Pennsylvania and forms only a small section of Delaware. The Coastal Plain occupies the rest of the state as well as much of the coastal area of neighboring states. The boundary between Delaware’s two natural regions is marked by the Fall Line, the zone where streams pass from the more ancient and harder rock of the upland to the more easily eroded sands, clays, and shales of the Coastal Plain. The Piedmont in Delaware lies north of the Christina River, and consists of fertile river valleys and rolling wooded hills. The highest point, on the border with Pennsylvania, is only 137 m (448 ft) above sea level, and few other hills rise above 120 m (400 ft).

The Coastal Plain in Delaware


The Coastal Plain in Delaware is characterized by flat, sometimes swampy plains, which are part of the wide sandy plain that stretches along the eastern coast of the United States. Great Pocomoke Swamp, which is also called Big Cypress Swamp, lies in the southern part of the Coastal Plain, and other swamps and marshes, which are flooded at high tide, occupy the lower courses of many of the major river valleys. A low ridge of well-drained land runs the entire length of the Coastal Plain in Delaware. It forms the low divide between rivers flowing eastward into Delaware Bay and westward into Chesapeake Bay. Delaware’s best farmlands lie on or near the low ridge. Nearly all of the state’s coastal plain is less than 18 m (60 ft) above sea level. "Delaware" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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