|| About South
Carolina's Coastal Plain
are large, relatively flat areas of land, which cover half of the
U.S. There are 2 types of plains: 1) Coastal Plains,
which are broad areas near coastlines called lowlands and
characterized by low rolling hills, swamps and marshes (Ex. -Atlantic
Coastal Plain & Gulf Coastal Plain) and 2) Interior
Plains, which are large areas inland (Ex. Great Plains).
Plain of South Carolina extends from the sandy beaches of the
Coastal Zone to the Sandhills and the Fall line. This is the largest geographic region covering
about 2/3 of S.C. and includes such features as vast flood plains,
marshland, swamps of moss-hung cypress trees, several man-made lakes,
wild grass prairies called savannahs, and Carolina Bays.
Coastal Plain is divided into the lower and upper plain. The upper
Coastal Plain is then divided into the Aiken Plateau, the Richland
Red Hills, and the High Hills of Santee. All of which are remains of
land left by the constantly moving sea of the Pliocene. Six steep
slopes at the edge of high ground and seven terraces create the
surfaces of the lower Coastal Plains. These terraces represent the
seven cycles of the receding ocean of two Pliocene, four in the
Pleistocene, and one in Holocene. Terraces are temporary oceans
floors that go from the sea level rise and fall over time.
About Carolina Bays
mysterious elliptical depressions that are found along an 800-mile
stretch of costal plain from Maryland to Florida and are scattered
from the Fall Zone to the coast are of great interest to geologists,
biologists, and ecologists because they provide important
information about the environment that existed during the Quaternary
Period. They also
provide a natural laboratory that scientists can use to study rare
and endangered plant and animal species.
bays are found all along the eastern coast of American but the
majority of them are found in North and South Carolina which earned
them the name Carolina Bays. These bays are large, shallow
elliptical depressions, which have long axes that are aligned in the
same general direction, northwest to southwest. The bays tend to
range in size from three acres all the way to thousands of acres.
Many of these bays are found in the middle Costal Plain of
South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina. But some bays have
been found in South Carolina’s upper and lower Coastal Plain as
Bays can form bog swamps or stay dry savannahs for most of the
A small number of bays can form permanent lakes, which
contain deep accumulations of organic soils. Some have been drained
to use as farmland.
In the 1930’s geologists stated that the
number of Carolina Bays in South Carolina was about four hundred
thousand, but recent surveys have shown that this number was highly
exaggerated. The number of Bays in South Carolina that has been
recorded is about 410. A few of the remaining bays are Wood's Bay
and Cartwheel Bay.
are four many theories about how the Carolina Bays formed they are:
the Meteorite Theory, the Tidal Eddy theory, the Artesian Spring
theory, the Underwater sea spring theory, and the prevailing wind
more information on Carolina Bays check out this Smithsonian web
site - The
Riddle of the Carolina Bays.