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The Cumberland Mountains are a mountain range in the southeastern section of the Appalachian Mountainsmarker. They are located in western Virginiamarker, eastern edges of Kentuckymarker, and eastern middle Tennesseemarker, including the Crab Orchard Mountains. Their highest peak, with an elevation of 4145 feet (1263 m) [68971] above mean sea level, is Black Mountainmarker, which is located near Lynchmarker in Harlan County, Kentuckymarker.

According to the USGS, the Cumberland Mountain range is long and wide, bounded by Russell Fork River on the northeast, Pound River and Powell River on the southeast, Cove Creek on the southwest, and Tackett Creek, Cumberland River, Poor Fork Cumberland River, and Elkhorn Creek on the northwest. The crest of the range forms the Kentucky and Virginia boundary from the Tennessee border to Russell Fork River.

Variant names of the Cumberland Mountains include Cumberland Mountain, Cumberland Range, Ouasioto Mountains, Ouasiota Mountains, Laurel Mountain, and Pine Mountain.

Geology and physiography

The Cumberland Mountains are a physiographic section of the larger Appalachian Plateaumarker province, which in turn is part of the larger Appalachianmarker physiographic division.Oak Ridge National Laboratorymarker (Oak Ridge, Tennesseemarker) is involved with the conservation of the mixed mesophytic forests within the Northern Cumberland Plateau. The conservation organizations include, The Nature Conservancy, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Natural Resources Defense Council with focus on the Cumberland Plateau.

Further reading


  1. ORNL Report: Druckenbrod, D.L. and V.H. Dale. 2004. Sustaining the landscape: a method for comparing current and desired future conditions of forest ecosystems in the North Cumberland Plateau and Mountains. ORNL/TM-2004/314. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN. 37 pages. [1] (4/28/2009)

See also

  • Cumberland Plateau
  • "Science In Your Backyard: Kentucky" U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey, July 3, 2006, retrieved August 27, 2006]
  • [ USGS GNIS - Cumberland Mountain]
  • Sustaining the Landscape: A Comparison of Current and Desired Future Conditions of Forest Ecosystems in the North Cumberland Plateau: Virginia Dale, Dan Druckenbrod, and Lisa Olsen, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory [68972]

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