Appalachian Divide

In the west of the United States we have the Continental Divide, a line where all the rivers to the west of it flow into the Pacific and those on the easterly side flow, well, to the east.

My question is this: Is there a name for such a divide in the Appalacian Mountains where on one side the rivers flow into the Gulf of Mexico while the ones on the other side flow into the Atlantic. Also, is there a map online that whould show this?

You’ve come to the right place.

It is called “The Little Continental Divide”. I am typing this less than a quarter mile from it. The creek that runs by my house starts in a pond a couple blocks away. It flows into rivers that go into the Atlantic. On the other side of the pond the waters flow into the Gulf of Mexico. My house is approx. 6 feet lower than the local LCD elevation.

I thought it was called the Eastern Continental Divide. That is what the sign reads that I have driven by in the mountains of North Carolina.

In addition, the divide goes further west.
The drainage for some of Wisconsin is into the Mississippi river and then the Gulf of Mexico and other parts it is Lakes Superior and Michigan which flows into the Atlantic.

Poertage Wisconsin is near a dividing line and there was a canal between the Fox River [which flows into Green Bay] and the Wisconsin River [which flows into the Mississippi]

making it one way to circumnavigate the eastern US


There are a few separate divides. Most prominently, water in the eastern part of the continent can flow into the Missourissippi river, it can flow into the Great Lakes (and thence through the St. Lawrence River into the ocean), or it can flow into the Atlantic by some other route. You might also distinguish between non-Miss. flow into the Gulf of Mexico and the rest of the Atlantic. I’ve actually been to the triple spot for the Lakes/Atlantic/Missourissippi drainage, though I didn’t realize it at the time. It turns out that it’s in the middle of some very flat farmland in western PA-- My grandparents knew the owners of the farm.

Don’t forget about the Laurentian Divide which separates between the Hudson River Basin and the Lake Superior Basin.

Where would rivers like the Chatahooche be classified in all of this? It is east of the Appalachians, but still flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

(I posted this before but it didn’t seem to take.)

I am surprised. I tried my term (LCD) and Stellablue’s (ECD) into Google. LCD only got a few hits, most dealing with one out west while ECD got a ton. I’ve seen it on maps here though. But this is techinically part of Appalachia so maybe “book learnin’” isn’t taken so seriously.

TheJackOfHearts: The 'Hooch flows to the gulf (via the Appalachicola) so it is an Eastern flowing river (or large creek by my standards). Note that it is east of Stone Mt., which is quite close to the (ahem) Eastern Cont. Divide. The southern Appalachians (actually most) are a series of parallel ridges on a SW-NE line. So it is more natural for a river draining a valley between ridges to continue to flow southwest than to cross the next ridge east. Further north, there are breaks in the ridges, note esp. the path of the Tennessee R.