Gasconade River-Big Piney River drainage divide area landform origins in Laclede, Pulaski, and Texas Counties, Missouri, USA

Authors

Abstract:

The Gasconade River-Big Piney River drainage divide in Laclede, Pulaski, and Texas Counties, Missouri was eroded during a massive reversal of immense south-oriented floods. Flood waters were derived from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet and for a time flowed south across Laclede, Pulaski, and Texas Counties to what was then the newly eroded White River valley and its actively eroding tributary valleys. Flood waters were then beheaded in sequence from east to west by headward erosion of the deep east-oriented Missouri River valley and its deep northeast-oriented Gasconade River tributary valley. South-oriented flood flow on the Big Piney River alignment was beheaded first and flood waters on the north end of the beheaded flood flow route reversed flow direction to erode the deep north-oriented Big Piney River valley headward. Headward erosion of the deep Big Piney River valley captured flood flow still moving south on the Roubidoux Creek and north-oriented Gasconade River alignments and captured flood flow moved in southeast, east, and northeast directions to reach the actively eroding north-oriented Big Piney River valley. Headward erosion of the deep Gasconade River valley next beheaded and reversed south-oriented flood flow on the Roubidoux Creek alignment and the process was repeated. Headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Gasconade River valley next beheaded south-oriented flood flow on what is today the north-oriented Gasconade River alignment and the process was again repeated. Evidence supporting this flood origin interpretation includes positions and orientations of present day valleys and existence of through valleys eroded across the Gasconade River-Roubidoux Creek drainage divide and the Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River drainage divide.

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 Gasconade River-Big Piney River drainage divide area landform origins in Laclede, Pulaski, and Texas 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 the 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 topographic map evidence in the Gasconade River-Big Piney River drainage divide area in Laclede, Pulaski, and Texas 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.

Gasconade River-Big Piney River drainage divide area location map

Figure 1: Gasconade River-Big Piney River 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 Gasconade River-Big Piney River drainage divide area in Laclede, Pulaski, and Texas Counties, Missouri location map and shows a large region in southern and central Missouri. The Mississippi River meanders from the figure 1 north edge to St. Louis and then flows in a south and south-southeast direction to the figure 1 east edge (south half) and forms the Missouri-Illinois state border. The Missouri River flows in a southeast direction from the figure 1 north edge to Jefferson City, Missouri (located in figure 1 north center area) and then flows in an east and east-northeast direction to join the Mississippi River north of St. Louis. The Gasconade River originates east of Springfield (in figure 1 southwest quadrant near “P” in the word “PLATEAU”) and flows in a northeast, north, northeast, and north-northeast direction to join the Missouri River near Gasconade (located between Jefferson City and Washington). The Big Piney River is a north-oriented Gasconade River tributary originating near Cabool (located in figure 1 south center area) and flowing north to join the northeast-oriented Gasconade River near Fort Leonard Wood. Between the north-oriented Gasconade River segment and the north-oriented Big Piney River and also flowing to the northeast-oriented Gsaconade River segment near Fort Leonard Wood is north-oriented Roubidoux Creek. The Gasconade River-Big Piney River drainage divide area is bounded on the north by a northeast-oriented Gasconade River segment, on the west by a north-oriented Gasconade River segment, and on the east by the north-oriented Big Piney River, and is located north of the Roubidoux Creek headwaters. The drainage divide area consists of two major north-south oriented drainage divides. The western drainage is between the north-oriented Gasconade River and north-oriented Roubidoux Creek and the eastern drainage divide is between north-oriented Roubidoux Creek and north-oriented Big Piney River. The north-oriented Gasconade River valley segment, north-oriented Roubidoux Creek valley, and north-oriented Big Piney River valley were eroded by massive reversals of immense south-oriented floods. The flood flow reversals were triggered by headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Gasconade River valley from what was then the newly eroded east-oriented Missouri River. Flood waters were derived from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet. Prior to headward erosion of the deep east- oriented Missouri River valley and northeast-oriented Gasconade River valley flood waters were flowing to what were then actively eroding south-oriented tributary valleys which had eroded headward from what was then the newly eroded White River valley. South-oriented streams flowing to the figure 1 south edge are the south-oriented White River tributaries. Headward erosion of the deep Missouri River-Gasconade River valley beheaded the south-oriented flood flow routes in sequence from east to west. Flood waters on north ends of newly beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode deep north-oriented valleys. The deep north-oriented valleys captured flood flow still moving south on flood flow routes west of the actively eroding Gasconade River valley head. The captured south-oriented flood flow moved in southeast, east, and northeast directions to reach the new and actively eroding north-oriented valleys.

Gasconade River-Big Piney River drainage divide area detailed location map

Figure 2: Gasconade River-Big Piney River drainage divide area detailed location map. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 2 provides a detailed location map for the Gasconade River-Big Piney River drainage divide area located in Laclede, Pulaski, and Texas Counties, Missouri. County names and boundaries are shown as are relevant regions in Laclede, Pulaski, and Texas Counties. The county south of Laclede County and west of Texas County is Wright County. The Gasconade River meanders in a north direction from the figure 2 south edge in eastern Wright County into eastern Laclede County and then turns to meander in a northwest direction near the northwest-southeast oriented Laclede-Pulaski County border before meandering across Pulaski County in a northeast and east-northeast direction to the figure 2 north edge where it turns to flow in a north-northeast direction to join the east-oriented Missouri River (located north of the figure 2 map area). Roubidoux Creek is a north-oriented Gasconade River tributary meandering in a north direction in western Texas County to join the Gasconade River near Waynesville in Pulaski County. The Big Piney River is located east of Roubidoux Creek and meanders in a north direction from near Houston in Texas County (near figure 2 south edge) to join the Gasconade River north of Devils Elbow in Pulaski County. Figure 2 does not show many tributaries, although most tributaries from the east are northwest oriented and most tributaries from the west are northeast oriented. As previously mentioned the Gasconade River-Big Piney River drainage divide area in Laclede, Pulaski, and Texas Counties was eroded by a massive reversal of immense south-oriented floods. Prior to the flood flow reversal flood waters flowed south across the entire the figure 2 map area on a topographic surface that was later been removed by flood water erosion. At that time the deep northeast-oriented Gasconade River valley in Pulaski County did not exist nor did the deep east-oriented Missouri River valley north of the figure 2 map area exist. Headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Gasconade River valley across Pulaski County beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes in sequence from east to west. Flood waters were beheaded on the present day Big Piney River alignment while south-oriented flood flow continued on the Roubidoux Creek and north-oriented Gasconade River alignments. Flood waters on north ends of the beheaded flood flow route reversed flow direction an eroded a deep north-oriented valley to the newly eroded Gasconade River valley. The actively eroding north-oriented Big Piney River valley captured south-oriented flood waters still moving on the Roubidoux Creek alignment. The captured flood flow moved in southeast, east, and northeast directions to reach the actively eroding north-oriented Big Piney River valley. Headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Gasconade River valley next beheaded and reversed south-oriented flood flow on the Roubidoux Creek alignment and the deep north-oriented Roubidoux Creek valley eroded headward and captured south-oriented flood flow from the north-oriented Gasconade River alignment further to the west. Continued headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Gasconade River valley next beheaded and reversed south-oriented flood flow on the north-oriented Gasconade River alignment and the north- and northwest-oriented Gasconade River valley segments eroded headward.

Gasconade River-Roubidoux Creek drainage divide area

Figure 3: Gasconade River-Roubidoux Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.


Figure 3 illustrates the Gasconade River-Roubidoux Creek drainage divide and confluence area. Richland is the town located in the figure 3 northwest corner and Waynesville is the town located in the figure 3 northeast quadrant. The Gasconade River meanders in a north direction along the south half of the figure 3 west edge and then meanders in a northeast and east direction to the figure 3 northeast corner. Roubidoux Creek is the meandering north oriented stream flowing from the figure 3 south edge (east half) past Waynesville to join the Gasconade River as a barbed tributary in the figure 3 northeast quadrant. Collie Hollow in the north and northeast-oriented Gasconade River tributary in the figure 3 center area. Trower Hollow is the north-northeast oriented Gasconade River tributary east of Collie Hollow and west of Roubidoux Creek. Laquey Hollow is a northwest and north oriented Gasconade River tributary in the figure 3 southwest quadrant. Note other northwest-oriented Gasconade River, Collie Hollow, and Roubidoux Creek tributaries. Note also southeast and northeast oriented Collie Hollow and Roubidoux Creek tributaries. Also note orientations of the various Gasconade River and Roubidoux Creek incised meanders. Figure 3 drainage history determinable from the map evidence began with south-oriented flood flow moving across the figure 3 map area. At that time flood waters were flowing on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 3 elevations today. Headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Gasconade River valley began to alter the south-oriented flood flow routes. East of the figure 3 map area the deep Gasconade River valley beheaded and reversed flood flow on Big Piney River alignment and the deep north-oriented Big Piney River valley began to erode headward, which also altered south-oriented flood flow routes in the figure 3 map area. At least some of the south-oriented flow in the figure 3 map area was captured by the deep north-oriented Big Piney River valley and began to move in southeast, east, and northeast directions to that new valley. Headward erosion of the deep Gasconade River valley then continued westward into the figure 3 northeast corner area where it eroded headward along a new southeast-oriented flood flow channel and then eroded south where it beheaded and reversed an east-southeast oriented flood flow route to trigger the flood flow reversal that ultimately eroded the deep north-oriented Roubidoux Creek valley. Continuing to erode headward along previously eroded flood flow channels and across divides between those flood flow channels the deep Gasconade River valley eventually beheaded south-oriented flood flow on the north-oriented Gasconade River valley segment. Sometimes as the deep Gasconade River eroded headward into a new flood flow channel it beheaded and reversed the flood flow channel, so the deep valley eroded headward in the opposite direction that flood water had originally been moving. Other times the deep valley eroded headward in the direction the flood water had originally been moving. As the deep Gasconade River valley and its deep tributary valleys eroded headward flood flow directions in the figure 3 map area were constantly changing and eroding new flood flow channels.

Detailed map of Laquey Hollow-Collie Hollow drainage divide area

Figure 4: Detailed map of Laquey Hollow-Collie Hollow drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 4 provides a detailed map of the Laquey Hollow-Collie Hollow drainage divide area seen in less detail in the figure 3 south center area above. Laquey Hollow in the northwest-oriented valley the figure 4 southwest quadrant and in the figure 4 northwest corner Laquey Hollow has turned to flow in a north-northeast direction to join the Gasconade River at the south end of a south, east, and north oriented meander (see figure 3). Collie Hollow is the north-oriented valley in the figure 4 northeast quadrant and north of the figure 4 map area Collie Hollow drains in a north and northeast direction to join the Gasconade River as a barbed tributary at the southwest end of a southwest-oriented meander segment (see figure 3). Note the location of the Laquey School in section 13 in the figure 4 south center. Just north of the Laquey School is a west-to-east oriented through valley linking a west-oriented Laquey Hollow tributary valley with a northeast-oriented Collie Hollow tributary valley. The through valley floor elevation is between 1130 and 1140 feet (the map contour interval is ten feet). North of the through valley in section 12 there is a hill with a marked elevation of 1197 feet. South of the through valley along the figure 4 south edge elevations rise to over 1250 feet. The through valley and others like it are not spectacular features and are easy to ignore. However, the through valley is a water eroded feature and provides evidence of a flood flow route that existed as the deep Gasconade River valley was eroding headward in the region north of the figure 4 map area. Headward erosion of the deep Gasconade River valley beheaded and reversed south-oriented flood flow on the Collie Hollow alignment while south-oriented flood flow was still moving across the figure 4 west half on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 4 elevations today. Reversed flood flow on the Collie Hollow alignment eroded the deep north-oriented Collie Hollow valley into the figure 4 map area. The deep north-oriented Collie Hollow valley captured south-oriented flood flow still moving across the west half of the figure 4 map area. Some of that captured flood flow moved in an east direction along the present day west-oriented Laquey Hollow tributary alignment and then along the northeast-oriented Collie Hollow tributary valley and in doing so eroded the through valley seen north of the Laquey School. Headward erosion of the deep Gasconade River valley then beheaded and reversed a south-oriented flood flow route to the figure 4 west half and eroded headward along that reversed flood flow route into the figure 4 northwest corner. Next the deep Gasconade River valley eroded across a drainage divide to capture an adjacent south-oriented flood flow route and then eroded headward (or north) along that captured flood flow route to create what is now the south, east, and north oriented Gasconade River meander seen in figure 3 and in the figure 4 northwest corner. The Laquey Hollow valley and tributary valleys were eroded by reversal of flood flow on flood flow routes beheaded by the deep Gasconade River valley.

Mill Creek-Prairie Creek drainage divide area

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


Figure 5 illustrates the Mill Creek-Prairie Creek drainage divide area south of the figure 3 map area (there is a significant gap between the figure 3 map area and the figure 5 map area). Plato is a small town located in the figure 5 southeast quadrant. The Gasconade River meanders in a north-northeast direction from the figure 5 southwest corner to the figure 5 north edge (west half). Note how almost all Gasconade River tributaries from the east are northwest-oriented. Mill Creek originates in the figure 5 center area and flows in a northwest direction to join the Gasconade River near the figure 5 north edge. Nebo is a small town located along Mill Creek in the figure 5 northwest quadrant. Roubidoux Creek flows in a northwest direction from the figure 5 south edge (east half) to Plato and then meanders in a north direction to the figure 5 north edge (east half). Note northwest oriented Roubidoux Creek tributaries from the east. Most Roubidoux Creek tributaries from the west are northeast oriented, although some have southeast oriented tributaries. Prairie Creek is a northeast oriented Roubidoux Creek tributary originating east of Plato and south of the Mill Creek headwaters and joining Roubidoux Creek just north of the figure 5 east center area. Figure 5 drainage history determinable from topographic map evidence began with immense south-oriented flood flow moving across the entire figure 5 map area. Headward erosion of the deep Gasconade River valley north of the figure 5 map beheaded south oriented flood flow routes in the figure 5 east half and flood waters on the north end of the beheaded flood flow route began to erode the deep north oriented Roubidoux Creek valley while flood waters continued to move south in the figure 5 west half. Headward erosion of the deep north-oriented Roubidoux Creek valley captured south-oriented flood flow from the figure 5 west half and the captured flood waters moved in southeast, east, and northeast directions to reach the actively eroding north-oriented Roubidoux Creek valley. Next headward erosion of the deep Gasconade River valley north of the figure 5 map area beheaded south-oriented flood flow in the figure 5 west half and flood waters on the north end of the beheaded flood flow route reversed flow direction to erode the north-oriented Gasconade River valley. Flood waters on northwest ends of beheaded southeast and northeast-oriented flood flow routes to the actively eroding north-oriented Roubidoux Creek valley were reversed and eroded the northwest-oriented Gasconade River tributary valleys and created the north to south oriented Gasconade River-Roubidoux Creek drainage divide.

Detailed map of Mill Creek-Roubidoux Creek drainage divide area

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


  • Figure 6 provides a detailed map of the Mill Creek-Roubidoux Creek drainage divide area located just north of the figure 5 center area and seen in less detail in figure 5 above. Mill Creek flows in a north-northwest direction from the figure 6 south edge (west half) to the figure 6 west edge (north half). Note the north-northwest and northwest oriented Mill Creek tributary originating in section 29 and flowing across section 19. West and north of the figure 6 map area Mill Creek joins the north-oriented Gasconade River. Roubidoux Creek meanders in a north direction along the north half of the figure 6 east edge. Note the northeast and east-northeast oriented Roubidoux Creek tributary originating in section 20. Also note the two through valleys in section 20 linking the Roubidoux Creek tributary valley with the Mill Creek tributary valley. Floors of the through valleys have an elevation at the drainage divide of between 1240 and 1250 feet. Elevations along the drainage divide near the figure 6 north edge rise to more than 1320 feet and along the figure 6 south edge rise to more than 1320 feet. In between elevations are lower suggesting the entire drainage divide has been eroded by east-oriented flood flow moving from what was still south-oriented flood flow west of the figure 6 map area to the actively eroding north-oriented Roubidoux Creek valley seen in the figure 6 map area. Much of the drainage divide appears to be relatively flat-topped, although the higher elevations in the north and in the south suggest the flat-topped drainage divide surface is really the floor of what was once a broad east-oriented flood flow channel. The two through valleys provide evidence of deeper flood flow channels as flood waters eroded deep channels headward along what was a southeast and northeast-oriented flood flow route. Headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Gasconade River valley north of the figure 6 map area (see figure 3) beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes west of the figure 6 map area and the reversed flood waters eroded the deep north-oriented Gasconade River valley. Headward erosion of the deep north-oriented Gasconade River valley beheaded the southeast and northeast-oriented flood flow route (and other similar southeast and northeast-oriented flood flow routes) to erode northwest-oriented Gasconade River tributary valleys and to create the north-south oriented Gasconade River-Roubidoux Creek drainage divide.

Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River north drainage divide area

Figure 7: Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River north drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.


Figure 7 illustrates the Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River drainage divide area east of the figure 3 map area and includes overlap area with figure 3. Waynesville is the town located in the figure 7 west center area. Fort Leonard Wood is a large military installation located in the figure 7 south center edge area. The Gasconade River meanders in a northeast direction in the figure 7 northwest quadrant and meanders in a north direction across the figure 7 north edge only to meander in a southwest direction back into the figure 7 map area before turning to meander in a northeast and north direction to the figure 7 north edge again (east half). Roubidoux Creek meanders in a northeast direction from the figure 7 southwest corner and then turns to flow in a northwest direction to join the Gasconade River north and west of Waynesville. The Big Piney River meanders in a north direction from the figure 7 south edge east of Fort Leonard Wood and joins a southeast-oriented Gasconade River meander segment near the figure 7 north edge. Note how many Roubidoux Creek tributaries from the east are northwest-oriented and at least some Big Piney River tributaries from the west are northeast-oriented. Figure 7 illustrates how headward erosion of the deep Gasconade River valley first beheaded south-oriented flood flow on the Big Piney River alignment and how it was possible for the deep north-oriented Big Piney River valley to erode headward while flood water was still moving south on the Roubidoux Creek alignment. Headward erosion of the deep north-oriented Big Piney River valley captured south-oriented flood flow from the figure 7 west half and the captured flood waters moved in southeast, east, and northeast directions to the actively eroding north-oriented Big Piney River valley. Gasconade River valley headward erosion then beheaded and reversed flood flow on the Roubidoux Creek alignment and the deep Roubidoux Creek valley began to erode headward. Headward erosion of multiple deep valleys by south-oriented flood waters moving in southeast, east, and northeast directions from western flood flow routes to actively eroding north-oriented deep valleys probably created a complex and ever-changing pattern of flood flow routes. There are no deep through valleys eroded across the Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River drainage divide in the figure 7 map area, although shallow through valleys are present. Probably the drainage divide area was eroded by sheets of flood water moving in southeast, east, and northeast directions and then being reversed to flow in west and northwest directions. And the deep Gasconade River valley beheaded and reversed the original south-oriented flood flow routes to erode the north-oriented Gasconade River tributary valleys.

Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River south drainage divide area

Figure 8: Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River south drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 8 illustrates the Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River drainage divide area east of the figure 5 map area and south of the figure 7 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 5 (there is a significant gap between figure 7 and figure 8). Evening Shade is the small town just north of the figure 8 map area. Palace is a small town located near the figure 8 north center edge. Plato is the small town near the figure 8 southwest corner and Roby is the small town located near the figure 8 south center edge. The Big Piney River flows in a north-northwest direction near the figure 8 east edge. Roubidoux Creek flows in a north direction from the figure 8 south edge near Plato to the figure 8 north edge (west half). Musgrave Hollow is a north, northwest, and west oriented drainage route originating near Evening Shade and joining Roubidoux Creek near the figure 8 north edge. Rock Creek is a northwest-oriented Roubidoux Creek tributary originating west of Roby and joining Roubidoux Creek in the figure 8 west center edge area. Little Paddy Creek is a northeast-oriented Big Piney River tributary originating east of Roby and joining north-northeast oriented Big Paddy Creek just before turning to flow in a southeast direction to join the north-oriented Big Piney River as a barbed tributary. Bald Ridge Creek is a north and northeast oriented stream located east of Palace and flowing to the figure 8 north edge (and joining the Big Piney River north of the figure 8 map area). A close look at the figure 8 map does reveal shallow through valleys crossing the Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River drainage divide and figures 9 and 10 below provide detailed maps of some of those through valley areas. Drainage history in the figure 8 map area is similar to drainage history in the figure 5 map area, although the flood flow reversals occurred in the figure 8 map area prior to the flood flow reversals in the figure 5 map area. Headward erosion of the deep Gasconade River valley north of the figure 8 map area beheaded and reversed flood flow in the figure 8 east half and the deep north-oriented Big Piney River valley was eroding headward into the figure 8 map area at the same time flood waters were still moving south on a high level topographic in the figure 8 west half. Headward erosion of the deep north-oriented Big Piney River valley captured south-oriented flood flow from the figure 8 west half and the captured flood waters moved in southeast, east, and northeast directions to reach the actively eroding north-oriented Big Piney River valley. Gasconade River valley headward erosion north of the figure 8 map area then beheaded and reversed flood flow in the figure 8 west half and the deep north-oriented Roubidoux Creek valley eroded headward into the figure 8 map area. Flood waters on northwest and west ends of flood flow routes to the actively Big Piney River valley were reversed to erode northwest and west oriented Roubidoux Creek tributary valleys and to create the Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River drainage divide.

Detailed map of Musgrave Hollow-Bald Ridge Creek drainage divide area

Figure 9: Detailed map of Musgrave Hollow-Bald Ridge Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 9 provides a detailed map of the Musgrave Hollow-Bald Ridge Creek drainage divide area near Palace seen in less detail in the figure 8 north center edge area. Musgrave Hollow is the north, northwest, and west oriented valley draining from the figure 9 south center edge to the figure 9 west center edge. West of figure 9 Musgrave Hollow drains to north-oriented Roubidoux Creek. Bald Ridge Creek is the north-northwest and north-northeast oriented stream seen along the north half of the figure 9 east edge. North and east of the figure 9 map area Bald Ridge Creek flows to the north-oriented Big Piney River. Palace is a very small town located in the figure 9 south center area. Just north of Palace in section 28 a through valley links the west-oriented Musgrave Hollow valley with east and northeast oriented Wildcat Hollow, which drains to northeast-oriented Little Bald Ridge Creek, which in turn drains to northeast-oriented Bald Ridge Creek. The through valley floor elevation at the drainage divide is between 1150 and 1160 feet. South of Palace elevations along the drainage divide in section 34 rise to elevations greater than 1290 feet and north of the through valley in section 21 elevations rise to more than 1260 feet. Another somewhat shallower through valley can be seen in section 21. These through valleys provide evidence of east oriented flood flow routes used by south-oriented flood waters in the Roubidoux Creek drainage basin (west of the figure 9 map area) which were flowing to the actively eroding north-oriented Big Piney River valley (east of the figure 9 map area). Flood waters initially probably flowed on a high level topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 9 elevations today. That high level topographic surface has since been mostly or completely removed by headward erosion of the deep north-oriented Big Piney River valley east of the figure 9 map area. East and northeast-oriented Big Piney River tributary valleys were eroded headward along captured southeast, east, northeast oriented flood flow routes moving south oriented flood flow from the Roubidoux Creek drainage basin to the what had become the north-oriented Big Piney River drainage basin. Headward erosion of the deep Gasconade River valley north of the figure 9 map region then beheaded and reversed flood flow in the Roubidoux Creek drainage basin. Flood waters on the north end of the beheaded flood flow route reversed flow direction to erode the north-oriented Roubidoux Creek valley and its northwest and west oriented tributary valleys. The flood flow reversal in the Roubidoux Creek drainage basin created the Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River drainage divide.

Detailed map of Rock Creek-Little Paddy Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 10 provides a detailed map of the Rock Creek-Bald Ridge Creek drainage divide area located a short distance north of Roby which was seen in less detail in figure 8 above. The Roby Lookout Tower is located in section 27 just south and east of the figure 10 center area. The northwest and west oriented stream flowing from section 34 to the figure 10 west edge is Rock Creek. West of the figure 10 map area Rock Creek turns to flow in a northwest direction to join north oriented Roubidoux Creek. The northeast oriented stream flowing to the figure 10 northeast corner is Bald Ridge Creek. North and east of the figure 10 map area Bald Ridge Creek joins the north-oriented Big Piney River. The northeast oriented stream in the figure 10 southeast corner is Little Paddy Creek. East of the figure 10 map area Little Paddy Creek joins north-northeast oriented Big Paddy Creek and then turns to flow in a southeast direction to join the north-oriented Big Piney River. Note shallow through valleys crossing the Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River drainage divide (the south to north oriented road closely follows the drainage divide). In sections 22 and 27 there are three southwest to northeast oriented through valleys linking southwest-oriented Rock Creek tributary valleys with northeast-oriented Bald Ridge Creek tributary valleys. Floor elevations of the through valleys at the drainage divide are between 1380 and 1390 feet. The highest figure 10 elevations north of the through valleys are 1405, but south of the through valleys the hill on which the Roby Lookout Tower is located is marked as having an elevation of 1480 feet. It may be tempting to say the through valleys are only 15-25 feet deep, but look closely at a through valley located immediately south of Roby Lookout Tower. The through valley links a west-oriented Rock Creek tributary valley with an east-oriented Little Paddy Creek tributary valley. The floor of that through valley has an elevation of between 1400 and 1410 feet and the hill south of the through valley rises to an elevation of at least 1430 feet. That higher level through valley provides evidence of a much higher level east-oriented flood flow route and suggests the entire Roubidoux Creek-Big Piney River drainage divide has been lowered from an elevation of at least 1480 feet to the elevations seen today. The high level through valley provides a marker to show how much material flood waters removed from the region. The magnitude of flood flow involved had to be great enough to erode the deep northeast-oriented Big Piney River valley and its tributary valleys and also to erode the deep northwest and west oriented Rock Creek valley (probably with the aid of captured flood flow moving in an east direction south of the actively eroding deep Roubidoux Creek valley head).

Additional information and sources of maps

This essay has only provided a sample of the drainage divide evidence supporting the “thick ice sheet that melted fast” geomorphology paradigm. Many additional examples could be provided, especially by using more detailed topographic maps. Readers are encouraged to look at mosaics of detailed topographic maps to see the abundance of supporting data. Maps used in this study were created by the United States Geological Survey and can be purchased in hard copy from the United States Geological Survey or from dealers offering United States Geological Survey maps. Hard copy maps can also be observed at United States Geological Survey map depositories located in major research libraries and elsewhere throughout the United States and in other countries. Illustrations used in this essay were created using National Geographic Society TOPO software and digital data. National Geographic Society digital maps can be purchased from the National Geographic Society or from dealers offering National Geographic Society digital maps.

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