STS062-104-026 Appalachian Mountains, Virginia,U.S.A. March 1994 The Appalachian Mountains of southwestern Virginia can be seen in this near-nadir view. The principal mountains of the eastern United States roughly parallels the Atlantic Coast, and are a narrow system rarely exceeding a width of 100 miles (160 kilometers). The Appalachians are ecologically unique because of their extensive forests of mixed hardwoods and softwoods. The area shown in this image is to the west-southwest of Roanoke, Virginia. Some of the elevations of the peaks exceed 4,000 feet (1,220 meters). The valleys interspersed between the linear mountains have good soils for agriculture. The rough terrain of the Cumberland Mountains, or Cumberland Plateau can be seen covering the bottom portion of the image.