Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area landform origins in Daviess, Caldwell, and Livingston Counties, Missouri, USA

· Missouri, MO Grand River, MO Missouri River
Authors

Abstract:

Topographic map interpretation methods are used to interpret landform origins in the Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area located in Daviess, Caldwell, and Livingston Counties, Missouri. The Grand River is a south, southeast, and south oriented Missouri River tributary and flows in a southeast direction across Daviess and Livingston Counties before turning to flow in a south direction to join the Missouri River. Shoal Creek flows in a generally east direction across Caldwell County (located south of Daviess County) before flowing in a northeast direction to join the southeast-oriented Grand River in Livingston County. Shoal Creek tributaries from the north are generally oriented in south, south-southeast, and southeast directions suggesting the deep Shoal Creek valley eroded headward across multiple south and southeast-oriented flood flow routes. Many Grand River tributaries from the south are oriented in north-northeast directions and have significant southeast-oriented headwaters and tributaries. These north-northeast oriented barbed tributary valleys draining to the southeast-oriented Grand River valley were eroded by reversals of flood flow on the north ends of beheaded south- and southeast-oriented flood flow routes. The deep north-oriented tributary valleys eroded by such reversed flood flow captured southeast-oriented flood flow routes located west of the actively eroding Grand River valley head. The barbed tributaries, elbows of capture, valley orientations, and shallow through valleys eroded across drainage divides, all provide evidence supporting this flood origin interpretation. Based on topographic map evidence from elsewhere in the Missouri River drainage basin the flood waters are interpreted to have been derived from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet located north of the study region.

Preface

The following interpretation of detailed topographic map evidence is one of a series of essays describing similar evidence for all major drainage divides contained within the Missouri River drainage basin and for all major drainage divides with adjacent drainage basins. The research project is interpreting evidence in the context of a previously unexplored deep glacial erosion paradigm, which is fundamentally different from most commonly accepted North American glacial history interpretations. Project essays available at this site may be found by selecting desired Missouri River tributaries and/or states from this essay’s sidebar category list.

Introduction:

  • The purpose of this essay is to use topographic map interpretation methods to explore the Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area landform origins in Daviess, Caldwell, and Livingston Counties, Missouri, USA. Map interpretation methods can be used to unravel many geomorphic events leading up to formation of present-day drainage routes and development of other landform features. While each detailed topographic map feature provides detailed evidence to be explained, the solution must be consistent with explanations for adjacent area map evidence as well as solutions to big picture map evidence puzzles. I invite readers to improve upon my solutions and/or to propose alternate solutions that better explain evidence and are also consistent with adjacent map area and big picture evidence. Readers may do so either by making comments here or by writing and publishing their own essays and then by leaving a link to those essays in a comment here.
  • This essay is also exploring a new geomorphology paradigm in which erosional landforms are interpreted as evidence left by immense glacial melt water floods. Implied in that interpretation is the immense floods were derived from a thick North American ice sheet that created a deep “hole” in the North American continent and also melted fast. The previously unexplored paradigm being tested in this and other essays in the Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project is a thick North American ice sheet, comparable in thickness to the Antarctic ice sheet, occupied the North American region usually recognized to have been glaciated, and through its weight and erosive actions created a deep North American “hole”. The southwestern rim of that deep “hole” is today preserved in the high Rocky Mountains. The ice sheet through its weight and deep erosion (and perhaps deposition along major south-oriented melt water flow routes) caused significant crustal warping and tectonic change, through its action of melting fast produced immense floods that flowed across the continent, and through its action of melting fast systematically opened up space in the ice sheet created “hole” so headward erosion of newly developed north-oriented drainage systems captured immense south-oriented melt water floods and diverted immense melt water floods north into space the ice sheet had once occupied.
  • If this previously unexplored paradigm is correct the geographic region explored by this essay should contain evidence of immense floods that were captured by headward erosion of new valley systems so as to cause the floods to flow in a different direction. Ability of this previously unexplored paradigm to explain Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area landform evidence in Daviess, Caldwell, and Livingston Counties, Missouri will be regarded as evidence supporting the “thick ice sheet that melted fast” paradigm (see menu at top of page for paradigm related essay). This essay is included in the Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project essay collection.

Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area location map

Figure 1: Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area location map (select and click on maps to enlarge). National Geographic Society map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

 

Figure 1 provides a location map for the Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area in Daviess, Caldwell, and Livingston Counties, Missouri. Missouri is the state occupying most of the figure 1 map area and is labeled. Iowa is the state north of Missouri. Illinois is east of Missouri and the south-southwest and south-southeast oriented Mississippi River forms the Missouri-Illinois boundary. Kansas is the state located west of most of Missouri with the southeast tip of Nebraska visible north of Kansas along the figure 1 west edge. The Missouri River flows in a south-southeast direction along the Missouri west border from the figure 1 west edge (north half) to Kansas City. At Kansas City the Missouri River turns to flow in an east-northeast direction to near Brunswick, At Brunswick the Missouri River turns again to flow in southeast direction to Jefferson City. From Jefferson City the Missouri River flows in more of an east direction to join the Mississippi River just east of the figure 1 east edge. The Grand River is a south, southeast, and south oriented tributary which joins the Missouri River near Brunswick. The Grand River originates in Iowa slightly north of the figure 1 map area and flows in a south direction through Diagonal, Iowa (near north edge in figure 1 northwest quadrant) to near Albany, Missouri and then flows in a southeast direction through Gallatin and Utica before turning to flow in a south direction to join the Missouri River near Brunswick. Shoal Creek is an east-oriented Grand River which flows from near Cameron to join the Grand River near Utica. The Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area in Daviess, Caldwell, and Livingston Counties is located north of Shoal Creek and south of the southeast-oriented Grand River segment and includes the towns of Gallatin, Hamilton, Breckenridge, and Utica. The Shoal Creek-Missouri River drainage divide area in Caldwell, Ray, and Carroll Counties, Missouri essay and in the Grand River-Missouri River drainage divide area landform origins in Livingston and Carroll Counties, Missouri essay describe drainage divide areas directly south of the Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area. These and other essays describing adjacent drainage divide areas can be found under MO grand River and MO Missouri River on the sidebar category list. .
  • Based on evidence illustrated and discussed in this essay and on topographic map evidence presented in other Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project essays the Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area (and the entire figure 1 map area) is interpreted to have been eroded by massive south-oriented glacial melt water floods. Flood waters were derived from a rapidly decaying North American ice sheet, which at the time the Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide was created was located north of the figure 1 map area. The ice sheet had been large, probably as large if not larger than the present day Antarctic Ice Sheet. The North American ice sheet had also been located in a deep “hole” the southern margin of which was destroyed by immense south-oriented melt water flood erosion. The figure 1 map area represents a region which was located along the deep “hole’s” southern rim and was deeply eroded prior to events which created the Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide. No markers remain to show how much material was stripped from the figure 1 map area, although it is possible hundred of meters of bedrock material were removed from the entire region. Whatever drainage system existed prior to the massive melt water floods was overwhelmed by flood waters and flood waters flowed directly south across the entire figure 1 map area (and a much larger region) to the Gulf of Mexico. Modern day drainage routes evolved as deep valleys eroded headward from the Gulf of Mexico and what was probably an actively eroding Mississippi River valley.
  • Of interest in this essay are tributaries located west of the Mississippi River and their valleys eroded headward from the Mississippi River valley in sequence from south to north and from east to west to capture the south-oriented flood water and to divert the flood flow to the Mississippi River. For example, in the state of Arkansas, south of the figure 1 map area, the deep southeast-oriented Arkansas River valley (and its tributary valleys) eroded headward from the Mississippi River valley to capture the immense south-oriented floods prior to headward erosion of the southeast-oriented White River valley (and its tributary valleys), which beheaded flood flow routes to the newly eroded Arkansas River valley (and its tributary valleys). Closer to the figure 1 map area the Missouri River valley and its east and northeast oriented Osage River tributary valley next beheaded south-oriented flood flow to the newly eroded White River valley, while Missouri River valley headward erosion (west of Jefferson City) next beheaded flood flow to the newly eroded Osage River valley. South-oriented tributary valleys then eroded headward from the newly eroded Missouri River valley along and across the south-oriented flood flow routes. The Grand River valley eroded headward to the Chillicothe region along south-oriented flood flow routes and the east-oriented Shoal Creek valley then eroded headward from the actively eroding Grand River valley head to capture and behead south-oriented flood flow routes to the newly eroded Missouri River valley. The southeast-oriented Grand River valley then eroded headward to capture and behead south-oriented flood flow routes to the newly eroded Shoal Creek valley.

Detailed location map for Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area

Figure 2: Detailed location map for Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

 

Figure 2 provides a more detailed location map for the Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area in Daviess, Caldwell, and Livingston Counties, Missouri. County names and boundaries are shown. The Missouri River flows in a southeast direction across the figure 2 southwest corner and then meanders in an east-northeast direction along the Clay, Ray, and Carroll County southern borders to meet the southeast and south-southeast oriented Grand River at the Carroll County eastern edge. The Grand River flows in a southeast direction from the figure 2 north edge across Daviess and Livingston Counties before turning and flowing in a south-southeast direction along the Carroll County eastern border. Shoal Creek originates north of Lathrop in eastern Clinton County and flows in a north-northeast direction into Caldwell County where it turns to flow in more of an east direction to join the Grand River south of Chillicothe in Livingston County. In eastern Caldwell County Shoal Creek flows in a northeast direction and then turns to flow in a south direction along the Caldwell-Livingston County border before turning to flow in a northeast direction to join the Grand River. Shoal Creek tributaries from the north in Caldwell and Livingston County are oriented in south, south-southeast, and/or southeast directions suggesting the deep Shoal Creek valley eroded headward across and captured multiple southeast oriented flood flow routes. Grand River tributaries from the south and west in Daviess County include southeast and north-northeast oriented Marrowbone Creek and its southeast and east-oriented Dog Creek tributary. The southeast-oriented Dog Creek and Marrowbone Creek headwaters suggest headward erosion of the north-northeast oriented Marrowbone Creek valley captured southeast-oriented flood flow routes. Based on figure 2 map evidence the drainage history is interpreted to have begun with headward erosion of the deep Missouri River valley across the region to capture south- and southeast-oriented flood flow. As the deep Missouri River valley and its deep tributary valleys eroded headward into the region they influenced flood flow routes causing south-oriented flood flow to move in southeast directions. The Grand River valley began to erode headward from the actively eroding Missouri River valley head, but because it eroded headward in a north direction it did not initially behead south-oriented flood flow routes to the actively eroding Missouri River valley. The deep Shoal Creek valley, which eroded headward from the actively eroding Grand River valley head, did erode across south-oriented flood flow routes to the newly eroded Missouri River valley. Grand River valley and tributary valley headward erosion north of Shoal Creek next beheaded flood flow routes to the newly eroded Shoal Creek valley. North and north-northeast oriented tributaries flowing to the southeast and south-southeast oriented Grand River are barbed tributaries and are located in valleys eroded when flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow channels reversed flow direction to flow to the newly eroded and deeper Grand River valley.

East end of Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area

Figure 3: East end of Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

 

Figure 3 illustrates the east end of the Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area in Livingston County. Chillicothe is the town near the figure 3 northeast corner. Breckenridge is the smaller town located in the northwest quadrant. Mooresville is the still smaller town located on the railroad east of Breckenridge and Utica is the town located between Mooresville and the figure 3 east edge. The north-south oriented Caldwell-Livingston County line is located between Breckenridge and Mooresville. Ludlow in the small town in the figure 3 south center area. The Grand River flows in an east-southeast direction from the figure 3 north edge (west of center) between Utica and Chillicothe to the figure 3 east edge. The south-oriented tributary joining the Grand River north of Utica is the Thompson River. Note how the Grand River has north-oriented tributaries from the south. Shoal Creek flows in an east and northeast direction from the figure 3 west edge (south half) almost to the Caldwell-Livingston County line and then turns to flow in a south direction near the county line and then in an east-southeast direction south of Ludlow before turning to flow in a northeast direction to join the Grand River south of Chillicothe. Note how Shoal Creek has south-oriented tributaries from the north and north-oriented tributaries from the south. A close look at the Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide reveals the north-oriented Grand River tributaries are often aligned with the south-oriented Shoal Creek tributaries and that in some cases shallow through valleys can be seen linking the opposing tributary valleys. Through valleys are much better seen on more detailed topographic maps and figure 4 below provides a detailed topographic map of the drainage divide near Mooresville to better illustrate through valleys in that region. The alignment of the opposing tributary valleys and the shallow through valleys linking the north-oriented Grand River tributary valleys with the south-oriented Shoal Creek tributary valleys provide evidence of south-oriented flood flow channels captured by headward erosion of the deep Shoal Creek valley prior to being beheaded by Grand River valley headward erosion. The south-oriented Shoal Creek tributary valleys eroded headward from the newly eroded Shoal Creek valley north wall along south-oriented flood flow routes until they were beheaded by Grand River valley headward erosion. Flood waters on north ends of the beheaded flood flow channels reversed flow direction to erode the north-oriented tributary valleys.

Detailed map of Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area near Mooresville

Figure 4: Detailed map of Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area near Mooresville. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

 

Figure 4 provides a detailed topographic map of the Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide area near Mooresville. The east-southeast oriented Grand River valley is located in the figure 4 northeast quadrant. Note how the east-northeast Grand River tributary north of Mooresville has several north oriented tributaries. The same is true of the northeast-oriented Grand River tributary located in the figure 4 east center area. South-oriented streams flowing to the figure 4 south edge area Shoal Creek tributaries, with Shoal Creek being located south of the figure 4 map area. Follow the eastward sloping Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide from the figure 4 west edge to the east edge and note the shallow through valleys linking north oriented Grand River tributary valleys with south-oriented Shoal Creek tributary valleys. In section 17 just west of Mooresville the shallow through valley floor elevation is between 276 and 280 meters (the map contour interval is 4 meters). Elevations on either side of the through valley rise to at least 284 meters. East of Mooresville in the section 15 southwest quadrant a deeper through valley has a floor elevation of between 256 and 260 meters while elevations on either side rise to more than 280 meters. Another through valley in the section 14 southeast quadrant has a floor elevation of between 264-268 meters while nearby elevations on either side rise to at least 276 meters. Additional shallower through valleys can also be seen. The through valleys and orientations of the opposing north- and south-oriented tributary valleys provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow channels which once flowed across the figure 4 map area. At that time the deep Grand River valley to the north did not exist and flood waters were flowing on a surface at least as high as the present day Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide. The south-oriented flood flow channels were moving flood waters to what were then actively eroding south-oriented Shoal Creek tributary valleys, which had eroded headward from what was then the newly eroded Shoal Creek valley. Headward erosion of the deep Grand River valley beheaded the south-oriented flood flow channels in sequence from east to west. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode north-oriented tributary valleys. Because flood flow routes were beheaded one at a time and from east to west reversed flood flow on newly beheaded and reversed flood flow routes could capture flood waters from flood flow routes west of the actively eroding Grand River valley head. Movement of such captured flood water created northeast-oriented flood flow routes and also helped provide water volumes to erode the north-oriented valleys.

Lick Fork-Otter Creek drainage divide area

Figure 5: Lick Fork-Otter Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

 

Figure 5 illustrates the Lick Fork-Otter Creek drainage divide area located west of the figure 3 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 3. Hamilton is the larger town located in the figure 5 southwest quadrant. Breckenridge is the town just south of the figure 5 east center edge area and Nettleton is the town located between Hamilton and Breckenridge. The southeast-oriented Grand River valley can be seen in the figure 5 northeast corner. Lick Fork is the northeast-oriented stream originating near Hamilton and entering the Grand River valley in the figure 5 northwest corner area. The east-southeast and north-northeast oriented stream in the figure 5 northwest quadrant and north of Hamilton is Marrowbone Creek. The east-southeast oriented Marrowbone Creek tributary near the figure 5 north edge is Dog Creek. North of the figure 5 map area Marrowbone Creek flows to the southeast-oriented Grand River as a barbed tributary. Dog Creek and Marrowbone Creek will be seen again in subsequent figures. South-oriented streams flowing to the figure 5 south edge are Shoal Creek tributaries, with Shoal Creek being located south of the figure 5 map area. Otter Creek is the south-oriented stream located south of Nettleton. Note how Otter Creek is aligned with a north-northeast oriented Lick Fork tributary (labeled Kettle Creek) and the two opposing valleys are linked by a shallow through valley used by the north-northeast oriented railroad line. Figure 6 below provides a detailed topographic map of the Kettle Creek-Otter Creek drainage divide area to better illustrate the through valley. Between Nettleton and Hamilton are headwaters of south-oriented Little Otter Creek, which flows to the figure 5 south center edge. Note how the south-oriented Little Otter Creek valley is linked by a through valley with northeast-oriented Lick Fork valley. Other shallow through valleys can be seen in the Breckenridge area linking north- and south-oriented tributary valleys. Shallow through valleys west of Hamilton also link the headwaters of a north-oriented Marrowbone Creek tributary with the south-southeast oriented Tom Creek valley, however more detailed topographic maps are needed to see the valleys (on more detailed topographic maps the through valleys are defined by one or at most two 4-meter contour lines on each side, the figure 5 map contour interval is 10 meters). The shallow north-south oriented through valleys along with orientations of the opposing north- and south-oriented tributary valleys provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow channels to what were once actively eroding south-oriented Shoal Creek tributary valleys.

Detailed map of Kettle Creek-Otter Creek drainage divide area

Figure 6: Detailed map of Kettle Creek-Otter Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

 

Figure 6 provides a detailed topographic map of the Kettle Creek-Otter Creek drainage divide area east of Nettleton, which was seen in less detail in figure 5 above. Kettle Creek flows in a north-northeast direction to the figure 6 north center edge. Note north- and northwest-oriented Kettle Creek tributaries from the south and east. Also note southeast-oriented (barbed) tributaries from the west. The southeast-oriented stream flowing from the pond just east of Nettleton into section 13 where it turns to flow in a south-southwest direction to the figure 6 south edge (west half) is Otter Creek. Note how along the section 12 south margin a shallow through valley links the north-northeast oriented Kettle Creek valley with the south-southwest oriented Otter Creek valley. The map contour interval is 4 meters and the through valley floor elevation is between 276 and 280 meters. Elevations to the east and west of the through valley rise to more than 288 meters suggesting the through valley is an 8-16 meter deep channel linking the two opposing tributary valleys. A much deeper through valley can be seen in the section 18 northeast quadrant and links the south-southeast oriented Panther Creek valley (which drains to the figure 6 southeast corner) with a northwest-oriented Kettle Creek tributary valley. The floor elevation of this northwest-southeast oriented through valley is between 264 and 268 meters and elevations rise to more than 280 meters on either side. What is interesting about these two through valleys (and other shallower through valleys also present in the figure 6 map area) is all through valleys were probably eroded at the same time by the same larger scale south-oriented south-oriented flood flow. At that time the northeast-oriented Lick Fork valley to the north did not exist and flood waters were flowing across an upland surface at least as high as the present day Lick Fork-Shoal Creek drainage divide. Flood waters were flowing to actively eroding south-oriented Shoal Creek tributary valleys, which eroded headward from the newly eroded Shoal Creek valley. Headward erosion of the northeast-oriented Lick Fork valley from the actively eroding Grand River valley head then beheaded and reversed the south-oriented flood flow routes to erode the northwest, north, and north-northeast oriented Lion Fork tributary valleys

Grand River-Dog Creek drainage divide area

Figure 7: Grand River-Dog Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

 

Figure 7 illustrates the Grand River-Dog Creek drainage divide area north and somewhat west of the figure 5 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 5. The north-south oriented De Kalb-Daviess County line is located near the figure 7 west edge. Gallatin is the larger town located just north of the figure 7 east center area. The Grand River meanders in a south-southeast and east direction from the figure 7 north edge (just east of center) to the east edge (just south of center). Muddy Creek is the south-southeast and south oriented tributary located east of the Grand River. Note how the Grand River and Muddy Creek channels have been straightened and do not represent the natural channels. Lake Viking is a reservoir flooding the South Big Creek valley. South Big Creek flows in an east direction to the Lake Viking south end and then flows in a north-northeast direction to join the southeast oriented Grand River as a barbed tributary near the figure 7 north edge. Altamont is the town located south of Lake Viking in the figure 7 center area and Winston is the town located southwest of Altamont. Dog Creek originates in the form of two southeast oriented headwaters streams located between Altamont and Winston and then flows in a southeast and east direction to join north-northeast and northeast oriented Marrowbone Creek, which joins the Grand River a short distance downstream from Gallatin. Marrowbone Creek originates south of Winston and flows in a southeast direction to the figure 7 south center edge and then south of the figure 7 map area (as seen in figure 5) turns to flow in a north-northeast direction back into figure 7 where it combines with Dog Creek and then turns to flow in a northeast direction and combine with southeast- and east-oriented Honey Creek before joining the southeast-oriented Grand River as a barbed tributary. South-southeast oriented Honey Creek headwaters are located between Lake Viking and Gallatin and are aligned with north-oriented Roger Branch (of South Big Creek) and with north-northeast oriented Larry Creek, which flows to the south-southeast oriented Grand River as a barbed tributary. Figure 8 below provides a detailed topographic map of the Larry Creek-Honey Creek drainage divide area to better illustrate relationships in that region. The multiple north-northeast oriented barbed Grand River tributaries and the elbows of capture where those north-northeast oriented tributaries have captured southeast-oriented streams provide evidence headward erosion the deep Grand River valley beheaded multiple south-oriented flood flow routes and flood waters on north ends of the beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode north-northeast oriented valleys, which captured multiple southeast-oriented flood flow routes located west of the actively eroding Grand River valley head.

Detailed map of Larry Creek-Honey Creek drainage divide area

Figure 8: Detailed map of Larry Creek-Honey Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

 

Figure 8 provides a detailed map of the Larry Creek-Honey Creek drainage divide area seen in less detail in figure 7 above. Gallatin is the town located near the east edge. Lake Viking is located near the figure 8 northwest corner. Larry Creek is the north-oriented stream flowing to the figure 8 north center edge. Roger Branch is the north-oriented stream between Larry Creek and Lake Viking and also flows to the figure 8 north edge (west half). Honey Creek is the south-southeast oriented stream flowing to the figure 8 south center edge. The south-southwest oriented stream in section 25 with south-southeast oriented headwaters in section 24 and the south-oriented stream in the figure 8 southeast corner area are Honey Creek tributaries and join Honey Creek south of the figure 8 map area. Note how in the section 14 southwest corner a shallow through valley links the north-oriented Larry Creek valley with the south-oriented Honey Creek valley. The map contour interval is 4 meters and the through valley floor elevation is between 284 and 288 meters. Elevations to the east rise to at least 296 meters while elevations west of the through valley rise to more than 300 meters. Numerous other shallower through valleys can be found linking the north-oriented tributary valleys with south-oriented tributary valleys. The through valleys provide evidence of former south-oriented flood flow routes prior to headward erosion of the deep south-southeast oriented Grand River valley. Headward erosion of the deep Grand River valley beheaded the south-oriented flood flow routes and flood waters on north ends of the beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode north-oriented Grand River tributary valleys. Remember south-oriented flood flow routes were beheaded and reversed one at a time from east to west and newly reversed flood flow on a beheaded flood flow route could capture yet to be beheaded flood flow from yet to be beheaded flood flow routes further to the west.

Marrowbone Creek-Shoal Creek drainage divide area

Figure 9: Marrowbone Creek-Shoal Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

 

Figure 9 uses a reduced size topographic map to illustrate the Marrowbone Creek-Shoal Creek drainage divide area south of figure 7 and west of figure 5 and includes overlap areas with both figures 5 and 7. Hamilton is the larger town located east of the figure 9 center. Kidder is the smaller town west and slightly north of Hamilton. Nettleton is located just north of the figure 9 east center edge area. The north-south oriented county line is located near the figure 9 west edge. Shoal Creek flows in an east-northeast and east-southeast direction in the figure 9 southwest quadrant to the south center edge (near word KINGSTON) and then meanders along and across the figure 9 south edge before turning to flow in a northeast and east direction to the figure 9 east edge. Note how almost all Shoal Creek tributaries from the north are oriented in south-southeast directions. The major exception is south-southwest oriented Otter Creek near the figure 9 east edge and almost all Otter Creek tributaries are oriented in southeast and south-southeast directions. Lick Fork is the northeast-oriented stream originating near Hamilton and flowing to the figure 9 east edge (south of northeast corner). Marrowbone Creek is the southeast- and east-oriented stream in the figure 9 north center area which turns north of Hamilton to flow in a north-northeast direction to the figure 9 north edge. The Grand River-Shoal Creek drainage divide in figure 9 extends from near the figure 9 northwest corner to Hamilton and then east to Nettleton and the figure 9 east edge and appears to be an almost continuous ridge with a very slight slope to the east. The multiple south-southeast-oriented tributaries flowing to Shoal Creek provide evidence headward erosion of the deep Shoal Creek valley captured multiple south-southeast oriented flood flow routes. These south-southeast oriented flood flow routes were subsequently beheaded by headward erosion of the southeast oriented Marrowbone Creek valley, which probably initially eroded headward from a reversed flood flow route on the northeast-oriented Lick Fork alignment with a valley floor elevation at least as high as the Marrowbone Creek-Lick Fork drainage divide. Note shallow through valleys north of Hamilton aligned with the southeast-oriented Marrowbone Creek valley and a southeast-oriented Lick Fork tributary valley. This evidence suggests a somewhat more complicated flood capture event process than has been so far been described, however further supports the flood erosion interpretation of the figure 9 map evidence.

Detailed map of Marrowbone Creek-Shoal Creek drainage divide area

Figure 10: Detailed map of Marrowbone Creek-Shoal Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

 

Figure 10 provides a detailed topographic map of the Marrowbone Creek-Shoal Creek drainage divide area near Kidder, which was seen in less detail in figure 9 above. Kidder is the town located just north of the figure 10 south center edge. Marrowbone Creek flows in a southeast direction from the figure 10 north center edge to the east edge (south half). Note the northeast, north-northeast, and north oriented tributaries, which flow to southeast-oriented Marrowbone Creek as barbed tributaries. Some tributaries from the north are oriented in south and southwest directions, with the southwest-oriented tributaries also being barbed tributaries. The south-southwest oriented stream flowing to the figure 10 southwest corner is Jordan Branch, which south of the figure 10 map area flows to south-oriented Brushy Creek, which then flows to Shoal Creek. Further east south-oriented streams originating in the Kidder area are West and East Sheep Creek, which join south of the figure 10 map area to form south-oriented Sheep Creek, which also flows to Shoal Creek. Study of the Marrowbone Creek-Shoal Creek drainage divide in figure 10 does reveal some very shallow through valleys, although the valleys are defined by only one 4-meter contour line on each side. Flood flow across this  drainage divide probably was moving in the same direction as the southeast-oriented Marrowbone Creek valley which is roughly parallel with the present day drainage divide alignment. Initially (as seen in figure 9) the Marrowbone Creek valley was not deep, but was only a shallow southeast-oriented flood flow channel moving to the actively eroding Lick Fork valley and flood waters could easily spill across the drainage divide to the south-oriented Shoal Creek tributary valleys. The deep Marrowbone Creek valley eroded headward from the north-northeast oriented Marrowbone Creek valley segment seen in figures 9 and 7, which was eroded by reversed flood flow on the north ends of south-oriented flood flow routes beheaded by headward erosion of the deep Grand River valley. The deep north-northeast oriented Marrowbone Creek valley captured the southeast-oriented flood flow in the early southeast-oriented Marrowbone Creek flood flow channel and beheaded the southeast-oriented flood flow route to the actively eroding Lick Fork valley. The deep Marrowbone Creek valley then eroded headward across the figure 10 map area with flood flow reversals on north and west ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversing flood flow directions to erode the barbed tributary valleys.

Additional information and sources of maps studied

This essay has provided only a sample of the detailed topographic map evidence supporting the flood erosion interpretation. Many additional illustrations could be provided. Readers are encouraged to look at mosaics of detailed topographic maps to see the abundance of available data. Maps used in this study were created and published by the United States Geologic Survey and can be obtained directly from the United States Geological Survey and/or from dealers offering United States Geological Survey maps. Hard copy maps can also be observed at United States Geological Survey map depositories which are located throughout the United States and elsewhere. Illustrations used here were created using National Geographic Society TOPO software and digital map data. TOPO software and map data can be obtained from the National Geographic Society and/or dealers offering National Geographic Society digital map data.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: