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Bayous, Deltas, and Plains



Bayous, Deltas, and Plains
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.26

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    backlands, bayou, mineral-rich, panhandle, semiarid, statewide, subregions, subtropical, slow-moving, silt, outlet, irrigation, occasionally, continental, inland, canyons
     content words:    South Central Region, East South Central, West South Central, South Atlantic, South Region, East South Central Region, West South Central Region, Gulf Coast States, Central Region, Appalachian Mountains


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Bayous, Deltas, and Plains
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     Nestled in the South Central Region are eight states. These states are divided into two subregions: East South Central and West South Central. All eight join the South Atlantic states to form the South Region.
 
2     Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi are part of the East South Central Region. The West South Central Region includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas are Gulf Coast States. Their southern border is the Gulf of Mexico. The other states are landlocked. This means they are bordered by states and not oceans. Oklahoma and Texas are called panhandle states. Parts of both states are shaped like pan handles. They reach out beyond the main land of the states. Oklahoma's panhandle faces toward the west. Texas's panhandle faces north.
 
3     Mountains, plateaus, and plains are found in the South Central Region. The Appalachian Mountains run into Alabama. Its Great Smoky Mountains run through Tennessee and Kentucky. As the chain approaches Alabama's coast, its elevation decreases.
 
4     The Piedmont Plateau continues from the South Atlantic Region into Alabama. Its fertile soil is a valuable resource for farmers. There are other plateaus in this region. Northern Alabama has the Cumberland Plateau. It has flat land with rolling hills. The Interior Low Plateau is also in northern Alabama. It has fertile soil that is mixed with clay and sand. Oklahoma's Ozark Plateau is located in the northeastern part of the state. It is also the western border of Arkansas. This plateau's hilly land has rich soil.
 
5     The Gulf Coastal Plains is a mixture of flat land, hills, and mineral-rich soil. Most of the soil along the coast is made of sand and clay. Mississippi's coastal soil has a yellow-brown color. There are deltas and bayous in the coastal plains. Deltas are formed from mud or silt and sand. These earth materials are carried by rivers downstream. The Mississippi River carries a huge amount of silt and sand each day. Once the water's speed slows, the silt and sand are deposited. Over time, this material builds up. The Mississippi Alluvial Plain or Mississippi Delta is located on the coasts of Mississippi and Louisiana. The delta is on either side of the Mississippi River.

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