The Southern Piedmont’s continued land-use evolution, 1973–2011

Southeastern Geographer
By: , and 



The southern Piedmont in the U.S. was an important farming region during the 19th century, but by the end of the 20th century, agricultural land use had decreased substantially with forest becoming the majority land cover by the 1970s. Geographical literature has documented this change but has not concentrated on the region’s contemporary land uses. The Piedmont currently has three main types of land use and land cover changes: cyclic forestry, changes between forest and agriculture, and urbanization. The first and second groupings are reversible and land uses and land covers can change among them, but urbanization is normally a permanent change that increases in area through time. U.S. Geological Survey findings indicate that cyclic forestry of cutting (clearing) and regrowth dominated recent land change in the Piedmont. This paper explores the Piedmont’s current land uses and some of their driving forces.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The Southern Piedmont’s continued land-use evolution, 1973–2011
Series title Southeastern Geographer
DOI 10.1353/sgo.2015.0017
Volume 55
Issue 3
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher UNC Press
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 25 p.
First page 338
Last page 361
Country United States
State Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia
Other Geospatial The Southern Piedmont
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