Physical Divisions of the United States
The physiography of Mississippi is a lot less complicated than Alabama: the entire state of Mississippi falls within the Gulf Coastal Plain.
Mississippi Physiographic Regions
Like Alabama, the Gulf Coastal Plain in Mississippi is divided up into bands of sediment which were created as the Gulf of Mexico advanced and retreated across time. Several of these bands of sediment stretch across the border from Alabama:
1.) Tombigbee Hills – The Fall Line Hills region crosses the Mississippi border and stretches through Columbus to Iuka as the Tombigbee Hills.
2.) Black Belt – The Black Prairie crosses the Mississippi border and stretches up through Tupelo to Corinth.
3.) Flatwoods – The Flatwoods region starts at the Alabama River and stretches across the Mississippi border where it also curves north through New Albany.
5.) North Central Hills – The North Central Hills or the Red Clay Hills region is the Mississippi Hill Country and stretches from Meridian through Oxford to Holly Springs. In Alabama, the Southern Red Hills runs east to west across the state from Choctaw County to Henry County where it crosses into Georgia.
6.) Pine Belt – The Southern Pine Belt Region which dominates Mobile, Baldwin, and Escambia Counties in Alabama extends across the border into Southern Mississippi.
7.) Gulf Coast – The Coastal Lowlands in Alabama are continuous with the Gulf Coast region in Mississippi.
9.) South Central Hills – The South Central Hills crosses Southern Mississippi from Waynesboro to McComb. It is an area of gently rolling hills developed over sand, clay and marl and resembles much of South Alabama.
While most of Mississippi is recognizable as the bands of sediment than run east-west across South Alabama before abruptly turning in a north-south direction, there are two notable distinct features in the state:
10.) The Loess Hills – The Loess or Bluff Hills extend due south from Western Kentucky through West Tennessee into Mississippi and consist of sand, clay, silt, and lignite and are topped by loess deposits often greater than 50 feet thick. These hills were created by the melting of the ice sheet during the last Ice Age which created large mudflats, which were exposed when the water receded, and fine-grained, wind blown silt from gigantic dust storms that was deposited on both sides of the Mississippi River. Loess Hills are also found along the Missouri River in Iowa and Missouri.
11.) The Delta – The Mississippi Delta is a vast alluvial floodplain created by the Mississippi River, which used to be 80 miles wide at some points, from sediment brought from all over the North Central Region of the United States as the ice sheet that covered the area melted at the end of the last Ice Age.