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Op-Ed Column Topography of West Virginia was sculpted by water



In preparation for our summer science programs at Kump Education Center, I asked Dr. Jim Gundy to help us explain the role of water in forming rocks. 

To summarize the geological processes he was describing he said, “The topography of West Virginia was sculpted by water.” 

This succinct statement is a poetic distillation of processes that took enormous amounts of water working over eons to carve out the wonders we can see today in West Virginia. 

The earliest Appalachian Mountains were caused by movement of the earth’s crust 400 to 500 million years ago, but water eroded those mountains until they were nearly leveled. Then about 50 to 70 million years ago another period of eruptions lifted up the mountains that water is working to erode now. 

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