The range is mostly located in the United States but extends into southeastern Canada, forming a zone from 100 to 300 miles wide, running from the island of Newfoundland 1,500 miles southwestward to Central Alabama in the United States. The range covers parts of the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which comprise an overseas territory of France. The system is divided into a series of ranges, with the individual mountains averaging around 3,000 ft. The highest of the group is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,684 feet, which is the highest point in the United States east of the Mississippi River.
[caption id="attachment_15800" align="aligncenter" width="860"] AJ3139, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blue Ridge, autumn, road, Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian Mountains, The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway in the fall through the Jefferson National Forest in the state of Virginia.[/caption]
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The Appalachian Mountains contain major deposits of anthracite coal as well as bituminous coal. In the folded mountains the coal is in metamorphosed form as anthracite, represented by the Coal Region of northeastern Pennsylvania. The bituminous coal fields of western Pennsylvania, western Maryland, southeastern Ohio, eastern Kentucky, southwestern Virginia, and West Virginia contain the sedimentary form of coal. The mountain top removal method of coal mining, in which entire mountain tops are removed, is currently threatening vast areas and ecosystems of the Appalachian Mountain region.
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