Geology of the South Cumberland Plateau

The Geology of the South Cumberland Plateau gallery shows how the plateau developed through geologic eras with an emphasis on the formation of coal during the Pennsylvanian period.
The sedimentary rocks that compose both plateaus are of Mississippian and Pennsylvanian geological age, composed of near shore sediments washed westward from the old Appalachian Mountains. Some rock layers were laid down in shallow coastal waters, some, including bituminous coal seams. These are interlaced sandstones and occasionally conglomerate.