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South Carolina is divided into five separate geographic regions, each with its own unique characteristics. These regions are the Mountains, the Piedmont, the Sandhills, the Coastal Plain and the Coast.

The Mountains

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Elevation: 1,400 to 3,500 feet above sea level

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Topography: Mountains

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Average annual rainfall: 60 to 80 inches

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Average winter temperature: 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit

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Average summer temperature: 71 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit

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Characteristic aquatic habitats: Waterfalls and mountain streams (freshwater)

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Characteristic plants and animals: Hemlock trees and brook trout.

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Towns and cities: Cleveland, Mountain Rest, Caesars Head, Jocassee

The Piedmont

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Elevation: 300 to 1,400 feet

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Topography: Rolling hills and wide valleys

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Average annual rainfall: 46 to 54 inches

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Average winter temperature: 40 to 44 degrees Fahrenheit

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Average summer temperature: 74 to 81degrees Fahrenheit

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Characteristic aquatic habitats: Streams, rivers and reservoirs (freshwater)

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Characteristic plants and animals: Longleaf pine trees and sunfish.

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Towns and cities: Gaffney, Greenville, Spartanburg.

The Sandhills

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Elevation: 300 to 725 feet

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Topography: Hills

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Average annual rainfall: About 45 inches

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Average winter temperature: 42 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit

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Average summer temperature: 79 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit

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Characteristic habitats: Scrub forests and rivers (freshwater).

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Characteristic plants and animals: Turkey oaks and box turtles

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Towns and cities: Cheraw, McBee, Columbia

The Coastal Plain

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Elevation: Sea level to 300 feet

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Topography: Flat land

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Average annual rainfall: 46 to 52 inches

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Average winter temperature: 42 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit

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Average summer temperature: 79 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit

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Characteristic aquatic habitats: Swamps, rivers, Carolina bays

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Characteristic plants and animals: Cypress trees and alligators.

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Towns and cities: Orangeburg, Florence, Walterboro.

From COASTeam Aquatic Workshops: Mountains (Grade 4); a joint effort between the

COASTeam Program at the College of Charleston and the South Carolina Aquarium – funded by the SC Sea Grant Consortium.

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