Okefenokee Swamp

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The Okefenokee Swamp is a shallow, 438,000 acre (1,770 km²), peat-filled wetland straddling the Georgia–Florida border in the United States. A majority of the swamp is protected by the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and the Okefenokee Wilderness. The Okefenokee Swamp is considered to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia. The Okefenokee is the largest peat-based "blackwater" swamp in North America, and one of the largest in the world.

The name comes from the Hitchiti okifanô:ki, meaning "bubbling water", or alternatively "trembling earth" , a reference to its spongy bogs. The swamp was formed over the past 6,500 years by the accumulation of peat in a shallow basin on the edge of an ancient Atlantic coastal terrace, the geological relic of a Pleistocene estuary. The swamp is bordered by Trail Ridge, a strip of elevated land believed to have formed as coastal dunes or an offshore barrier island.

The St. Marys River and the Suwannee River both originate in the swamp. The Suwannee River originates as stream channels in the heart of Okefenokee Swamp and drains at least 90% of the swamp's watershed southwest towards the Gulf of Mexico. The St. Marys River, which drains only 5–10% of the swamp's southeastern corner, flows south along the western side of Trail Ridge, through the ridge at St. Marys River Shoals, and north again along the eastern side of Trail Ridge before turning east to the Atlantic. The Suwanee Canal was dug across the swamp in the late nineteenth century in a failed attempt to drain the Okefenokee.

 

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Okefenokee Swamp
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