What Is a Piedmont Landform?

A piedmont landform results due to changes in stream flow at the base of a mountain or range of mountains. The name comes from the Piedmont district of Italy. In the United States, the term describes the landforms between the Appalachians and the Atlantic coastal plains.

The Piedmont region of the United States stretches from Alabama to Virginia. The piedmont is a major landform in some of these states, ranging up to 250 miles in width and covering one-third of the state of South Carolina. The Piedmont is fertile land that includes plateaus and rolling hills, based on the underlying structure.

The southern Piedmont of the United States is an area of rolling hills that relies on the support of folded metamorphic rock from the Paleozoic period. The collision of the North American and the African plates are responsible for these folds. Later, during the Mesozoic period, the breaking apart of the plate to form the Atlantic Ocean further affected the formation.

In South Carolina, monadnocks dot the Piedmont. These lone mountains are the remains left from the erosion of larger mountain chains due to a rock composition that resists erosion, such as quartzite or granite. Monadnocks tend to form in humid, temperate regions, and these weather conditions describe the climate of the Piedmont region.