Oak Ridge Reservation Physical Characteristics and Natural Resources

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The topography, geology, hydrology, vegetation, and wildlife of the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) provide a complex and intricate array of resources that directly impact land stewardship and use decisions (Fig. 1). The purpose of this document is to consolidate general information regarding the natural resources and physical characteristics of the ORR. The ORR, encompassing 33,114 acres (13,401 ha) of federally owned land and three Department of Energy (DOE) installations, is located in Roane and Anderson Counties in east Tennessee, mostly within the corporate limits of the city of Oak Ridge and southwest of the population center of Oak Ridge. The ... continued below

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Parr, P.D. & Hughes, J.F. September 19, 2006.

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Description

The topography, geology, hydrology, vegetation, and wildlife of the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) provide a complex and intricate array of resources that directly impact land stewardship and use decisions (Fig. 1). The purpose of this document is to consolidate general information regarding the natural resources and physical characteristics of the ORR. The ORR, encompassing 33,114 acres (13,401 ha) of federally owned land and three Department of Energy (DOE) installations, is located in Roane and Anderson Counties in east Tennessee, mostly within the corporate limits of the city of Oak Ridge and southwest of the population center of Oak Ridge. The ORR is bordered on the north and east by the population center of the city of Oak Ridge and on the south and west by the Clinch River/Melton Hill Lake impoundment. All areas of the ORR are relatively pristine when compared with the surrounding region, especially in the Valley and Ridge Physiographic Province (Fig. 2). From the air, the ORR is clearly a large and nearly continuous island of forest within a landscape that is fragmented by urban development and agriculture. Satellite imagery from 2006 was used to develop a land-use/land-cover cover map of the ORR and surrounding lands (Fig. 3). Following the acquisition of the land comprising the ORR in the early 1940s, much of the Reservation served as a buffer for the three primary facilities: the X-10 nuclear research facility (now known as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory [ORNL]), the first uranium enrichment facility or Y-12 (now known as the Y-12 National Security Complex [Y-12 Complex]), and a gaseous diffusion enrichment facility (now known as the East Tennessee Technology Park [ETTP]). Over the past 60 years, this relatively undisturbed area has evolved into a rich and diverse eastern deciduous forest ecosystem of streams and reservoirs, hardwood forests, and extensive upland mixed forests. The combination of a large land area with complex physical characteristics and diverse natural resources has provided a critical foundation for supporting DOE's environmental research mission, as well as the area in which to build leading-edge facilities.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2006/110
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/921773 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 921773
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897757

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  • September 19, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 4, 2016, 7:18 p.m.

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Parr, P.D. & Hughes, J.F. Oak Ridge Reservation Physical Characteristics and Natural Resources, report, September 19, 2006; Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897757/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.