Brunswick County is located in the geographical area of Virginia known as the Piedmont Plateau or Province. More specifically, the county is on the eastern edge of the Outer Piedmont subprovince, a broad upland with low to moderate slopes. Elevations in this area are 250′ to 300′. However, the eastern border of Brunswick is very near the extended fall line of the James River (at Emporia, Greensville County), Brunswick slope moving slightly above the fall line with a general elevation on the Fall Line of roughly 160 feet. In the southern part of the state where Brunswick is located, the Piedmont is nearly 190 miles wide.
With the relatively warm climate of eastern and southeastern Virginia, Brunswick enjoys a comfortable position in the Piedmont’s rolling and sometimes hilly landscape. The underlying geology consists largely of resistant metamorphic and igneous rocks that have undergone a complex history of deposition, uplift, deformation, and erosion. Most of the Piedmont is covered by a thick mantle of soil that obscures much of the geologic material.
Abundant clay deposits in Brunswick have been used for hundreds of years in brick making, continuing today on a commercial basis.
In the southern Piedmont, shortleaf pine and sweetgum trees are abundant with loblolly pine trees just west of the Fall Line. The vegetation of the Piedmont is a patchwork of second-growth forests and fields. Mature hardwood forests vary with soils and topography. Dry, acidic soils support oak forests; basic soils support oak and hickory forests. White oak is dominant across the area, with mixed forests of American beech, oaks, and tulip-poplar.
Geologically, Brunswick is in the Goochland Raleigh Belt of the Virginia Piedmont.
Virginia has a moderate earthquake risk (similar to most states on the eastern seaboard). The area has experienced stability over time with no major instability.
Abundant Water Resources
- Lake Gaston: Much of this 20,300 acre reservoir‘s shoreline is located in Brunswick County. The elevations of the lake at the top of the dam (feet above mean sea level) are 217′ at the top of the dam, 110’ at the base of the dam. The reservoir stretches 34 miles.
- The Meherrin River transects Brunswick at a typical elevation of 200-240 feet.
- The Nottoway River runs fully across the northern boundary of Brunswick with a typical elevation of 200-240 feet above sea level.