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The Pliocene-to-present course of the Tennessee River

June 7, 2022

The Tennessee River, a primary drainage of the southern Appalachians and significant sediment source for the Gulf of Mexico, is generally considered to be the product of captures that rerouted the river from a more direct gulfward course. Sedimentary and genetic evidence indicates that a paleo-Tennessee flowed into the Mobile Basin through the late Miocene, although alternate models propose other redirections of the river. We constrain the river course’s age by dating terraces near Pickwick, Tennessee, with cosmogenic 26Al/10Be isochron burial dating. We find that the river’s present path dates to at least the early Pliocene.

Publication Year 2022
Title The Pliocene-to-present course of the Tennessee River
DOI 10.1086/719951
Authors William Elijah Odom, Darryl E. Granger
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geology
Index ID 70232334
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Florence Bascom Geoscience Center