Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area landform origins in Dade, Polk, and Greene Counties, Missouri, USA

Authors

Abstract:

The Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area in Dade, Polk, and Greene Counties, Missouri is the divide between the Missouri River drainage basin to the north and the White River drainage basin to the south. The drainage divide area was eroded by immense south-oriented flood flow from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet moving to what were then actively eroding south-oriented James River and tributary valleys, which had eroded headward from what was then the newly eroded White River valley. Flood waters eroded a broad, but shallow north-south oriented through valley across the drainage divide into the floor of which are narrower north-south oriented channels. South-oriented flood flow across the Dade, Polk, and Greene County area ended when headward erosion of the deep east-oriented Missouri River-Osage River valley north of the study region beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes and triggered a massive flood flow reversal. Northwest, north-northwest, and north oriented Sac River, Little Sac River, and tributary valleys were eroded by this gigantic flood flow reversal. Evidence for this flood origin interpretation includes positions and orientations of present day valleys and the presence of shallow north-south oriented through valleys of varying depths and widths eroded across major drainage divides.

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 Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area landform origins in Dade, Polk, and Greene 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 Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project essays 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 Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area in Dade, Polk, and Greene Counties, Missouri will be regarded as evidence supporting the “thick ice sheet that melted fast” paradigm. This essay is included in the Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project essay collection.

Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area location map

Figure 1: Little Sac River-James 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 location map for the Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area in Dade, Polk, and Greene Counties, Missouri. The figure 1 map shows much of southern and central Missouri with a small region of Illinois located in the northeast corner area. The Dade, Polk, and Greene County area is located near Springfield, Missouri the largest city located in the figure 1 southwest quadrant. The Mississippi River is the southeast-oriented river meandering from the figure 1 north edge to St. Louis and then to the figure 1 east edge and forms the Missouri-Illinois boundary. The Missouri River flows in a southeast direction from the figure 1 north center edge to Jefferson City, Missouri and then in an east direction to join the Mississippi River near St. Louis. The Osage River is a northeast-oriented tributary joining the Missouri River near Jefferson City and flowing from the Lake of the Ozarks and Harry S. Truman Reservoir (both large reservoirs flooding the Osage River valley). South and west of Harry S. Truman Reservoir the Osage River is formed at the confluence of tributaries near Schell City and flows in an east and northeast direction to the Harry S. Truman Reservoir. The Sac River is a tributary originating west of Springfield and flowing in a north-northwest and north-northeast direction to join the Osage River near Osceola. The Little Sac River originates just north of Springfield and flows in a north-northwest direction to join the Sac River in the reservoir south of Stockton (on more detailed maps the reservoir is named Stockton Lake). The James River originates east of Springfield and flows in a west  direction south of Springfield and then turns to flow in a south-southwest direction to Table Rock Lake (located along the figure 1 south edge). Table Rock Lake is a large reservoir flooding the White River valley. From Table Rock Lake the White River flows in an east and southeast direction to Bull Shoals Lake, another large reservoir flooding the White River valley (just barely seen along the figure 1 south edge). From Bull Shoals Lake the White River flows in a southeast direction to eventually join the Mississippi River. This Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area in Dade, Polk, and Greene Counties, Missouri essay is one of hundreds of similar Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project essays describing Missouri River drainage divide areas. This essay and the other essays present evidence for immense south-oriented floods from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet, which flowed across the figure 1 map area and which were captured in sequence from south to north by headward erosion of deep east and southeast oriented valleys and their tributary valleys from the south-oriented Mississippi River valley. In the figure 1 map area headward erosion of the deep White River valley and its tributary valleys captured south-oriented flood flow first. Next headward erosion of the deep Missouri River and Osage River valley beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes to what were then actively eroding south-oriented White River tributary valleys. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode the north-oriented Sac River, Little Sac River, and other Osage River tributary valleys.

Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area detailed location map

Figure 2: Little Sac River-James 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 Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area in Dade, Polk, and Greene Counties, Missouri. Greene and most of Dade and Polk Counties are shown along with areas in adjacent counties and county boundaries are provided. Stockton Lake in the figure 2 northwest quadrant is a reservoir flooding the north-oriented Sac River valley. The Sac River originates in southwest Greene County and flows in a northwest direction into Dade County to the Stockton Lake area. A major Sac River tributary is northwest-oriented Clear Creek, which originates west of Springfield in Greene County and which joins the Sac River near the Dade County-Greene County border. North of the figure 2 map area the Sac River joins the east and northeast oriented Osage River, which flows to the east-oriented Missouri River, which then flows to south oriented Mississippi River. The Little Sac River originates north of Strafford in eastern Green County and flows in a northwest direction across the Polk County southwest quadrant before reaching Stockton Lake and the north-oriented Sac River valley. Maze Creek is a northwest-oriented Little Sac River tributary in northeast Dade County and Turkey Creek is a major tributary in southwest Polk County. The James River originates in central Webster County (east of Greene County) and flows in a southwest direction to Turners in the Greene County southeast quadrant and south of Springfield flows for a short distance in west direction along the Greene County-Christian County border before turning to flow in a south-southwest direction into the Christian County and the figure 2 south center edge. South of figure 2 the James River flows to the southeast-oriented White River, which eventually reaches the south-oriented Mississippi River. A major James River tributary in Greene County is Wilson’s Creek. Wilson’s Creek originates within the western edge of the Springfield urban area and flows in a west, south-southwest, and south direction through Wilson’s Creek Battlefield National Park to join the James River in northern Christian County. While it may be difficult to see using figure 2 map evidence the figure 2 drainage network was eroded in sequence as massive south-oriented floods crossed the figure 2 map area. Flood waters initially were captured by headward erosion of the deep southeast-oriented White River valley south of the figure 2 map area and south-oriented tributary valleys including the James River valley eroded headward along and across flood flow routes to more efficiently drain flood flow to the newly eroded White River valley. Headward erosion of the deep Missouri River-Osage River valley north of the figure 2 map area next beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes to the figure 2 map area. Flood waters on north ends of the beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode north-oriented Osage River tributary valleys, including the north-oriented Sac River valley and its north-oriented tributary valleys. The flood flow reversal also created the Sac River-James River drainage divide which is also the divide between the Missouri River drainage basin to the north and the White River drainage basin to the south.

Little Sac River-Sac River drainage divide area

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

Figure 3 illustrates the Little Sac River-Sac River drainage divide area near Stockton Lake where the Little Sac River joins the Sac River. Aldrich is the town just west of the figure 3 northeast corner. Walnut Grove is the town west of the figure 3 southeast corner. Dadeville is the town located west of the figure 3 center area. The Sac River flows in a northwest direction from the figure 3 south center edge and then turns to flow in an east direction across the north half of the figure 3 southwest quadrant to where Stockton Lake has flooded its east, southwest, northwest oriented valley, which then meanders in a north direction along the figure 3 west edge. Corry Branch is a south-southwest oriented Sac River tributary located in the figure 3 west center area. Bunker Branch is a short southwest-oriented tributary located in the figure 3 south center area and Hargrave Branch is a somewhat longer southwest-oriented tributary located south and east of Bunker Branch. The Little Sac River flows in a northwest direction across the figure 3 northeast corner. Note the flooded Little Sac River valley near Aldrich. Turkey Creek is the north and northwest oriented Little Sac River tributary originating just north and west of Walnut Grove and flowing to a flooded valley located west of the Stockton State Wildlife Area in the figure 3 northeast quadrant. Maze Creek is north-northeast and northwest oriented stream originating east of Dadeville near the figure 3 center and flowing to a flooded north-oriented valley along the figure 3 north edge in the northwest quadrant. Close inspection of the figure 3 map area reveals shallow through valleys linking north-oriented Little Sac River tributary valleys with south-oriented Sac River tributary valleys. The through valleys are better seen on more detailed maps and figure 4 below provides a detailed map of the Maze Creek-Bunker Branch drainage divide area to better illustrate through valleys in that region. Figure 3 valleys were eroded in sequence by headward erosion of deep north-oriented valleys during a major reversal of what had been south-oriented flood flow. The south-oriented flood flow had been moving across the figure 3 map area on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 3 elevations today. Flood waters were probably eroding an ever-changing complex of anastomosing channels. Headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley north of the figure 3 map area triggered the flood flow reversal as flood waters changed direction to flow north to newly eroded and deep Osage River valley. The deep Sac River valley, Little Sac River valley, and their tributary valleys were eroded as reversed flow flood waters moved north across the figure 3 map region using routes of some of the previously eroded south-oriented flood flow channels. The reversed flood flow captured significant south-oriented flood flow from west of the Sac River valley and the captured flood flow moved in southeast, east, and northeast directions to help erode the deep north-oriented Sac River valley and tributary valleys (see Sac River-Spring River drainage divide area in Barton, Dade, and Lawrence Counties and Clear Creek-Sac River drainage divide area in St Clair, Vernon, and Cedar Counties essays, which can found under Osage River on the sidebar category list)).

Detailed map of Maze Creek-Bunker Branch drainage divide area

Figure 4: Detailed map of Maze Creek-Bunker Branch drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.


Figure 4 provides a detailed map of the Maze Creek-Bunker Branch drainage divide area near Dadeville which was seen in less detail in figure 3 above. Dadeville is the town located in the figure 4 northwest quadrant. Maze Creek is the north-northeast oriented stream in section 26 flowing to the figure 4 north center edge. North of figure 4 Maze Creek turns to flow in a northwest and north direction to flow into the flooded Little Sac River valley. King Branch is the north-northeast oriented stream in the figure 4 northeast quadrant and north of figure 4 King Branch flows to northwest-oriented Turkey Creek, which is another Little Sac River tributary. The meandering Sac River is located in the figure 4 southwest corner. Bunker Branch originates in section 1 in the figure 4 south center area and flows in a southwest direction to join the Sac River just south of the figure 4 south edge. Hargrave Branch originates in section 6 (in the southeast quadrant) and flows in a southwest direction to join the Sac River south of the figure 4 map area. Note the two north-south oriented through valleys in section 6 linking the north-oriented King Branch valley with the southwest-oriented Hargrave Branch valley. A somewhat shallower north-south oriented through valley in the north of section 1 links the north-oriented Maze Creek valley with the southwest-oriented Bunker Branch valley. Other shallow through valleys can also be seen crossing the drainage divide in the Dadeville area. The through valleys are evidence of multiple flood flow routes that existed as deep valleys were being eroded headward into the region. The through valleys were probably initially eroded by south-oriented flood flow moving across the figure 4 map area on a topographic surface as high as the highest figure 4 elevations today. The south-oriented flood flow was reversed by headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley north of the figure 4 map area and headward erosion of the deep north-oriented Sac River valley and tributary valleys captured the reversed flood flow and moved the captured flood waters north to the newly eroded and deep Osage River valley. As deep valleys eroded headward into the figure 4 map area it is possible flood flow changed directions and moved north in the through valleys before all flood water drained from the figure 4 map area.

Asher Creek-Clear Creek drainage divide area

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


Figure 5 illustrates the Asher Creek-Clear Creek drainage divide area south and east of the figure 3 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 3. Walnut Grove is the town near the figure 5 northwest corner. Willard is the town near the figure 5 south center edge. The Little Sac River flows in a southwest direction in the figure 5 southeast corner and near the south edge turns to flow in a north-northwest and north direction to the figure 5 north edge. East of the figure 5 map area the Little Sac River flows in a west-northwest direction and is seen in figure 9 below. The northwest-oriented stream in the figure 5 northeast corner area is the Dry Little Sac River, which joins the Little Sac River north of the figure 5 map area. Asher Creek is the northwest, north-northeast, north-northwest, north-northeast oriented Little Sac River tributary originating north of Willard in the figure 5 south center area and flowing to the figure 5 north edge. Clear Creek is the northwest-oriented stream in the figure 5 southwest quadrant and west of the figure 5 map area joins the north- and northwest-oriented Sac River, which is located west of the figure 5 map area. Mt. Pleasant Branch is the west-southwest oriented Clear Creek tributary located west of Willard. Again close inspection of the figure 5 map area reveals shallow north-south oriented through valleys crossing present day drainage divides. Figure 6 below provides a detailed map of the Asher Creek-Mt. Pleasant Branch drainage divide area to better illustrate through valleys located in that region. Probably many of the figure 5 present day north-oriented valleys were eroded on alignments of what were initially south-oriented anastomosing channels eroded into a high level topographic surface (equivalent to the highest figure 5 map area elevations today) by the massive reversal of south-oriented flood flow that occurred when headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley north of the figure 5 map area beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes to what were then actively eroding south-oriented White River tributary valleys. The depth of the north-oriented valleys provides a measure of the amount of flood flow involved, which included flood waters from yet to be beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes west of the where the actively eroding east-oriented Osage River valley head was located at that time.

Detailed map of Asher Creek-Mt. Pleasant Branch drainage divide area

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


Figure 6 provides a detailed map of the Asher Creek-Mt. Pleasant Branch drainage divide area north and west of Willard, which was seen in less detail in figure 5 above. Willard, Missouri is the town located in the figure 6 southeast corner. Asher Creek originates in section 24 just north of Willard and flows in a northwest, west, northeast, and north direction to the figure 6 north center edge. Note short north-oriented Asher Creek tributaries from the south. Clear Creek is the north-northeast oriented stream in the figure 6 southwest corner. Mt. Pleasant Branch originates in section 22 and flows in a west-southwest direction to join north-northeast oriented Clear Creek in the figure 6 southwest corner. The west-oriented stream originating in section 16 and flowing to the figure 6 west edge is a Clear Creek tributary. Note how the northwest-southeast oriented highway and parallel railroad line in the section 15 southwest corner and along the section 22 north border area pass through a shallow north-south oriented through valley linking a north-oriented Asher Creek tributary valley with a south-oriented Mt. Pleasant Branch tributary valley. Other shallower through valleys can also be seen in the figure 6 map area. The through valleys are water eroded features and provide evidence of flood flow channels eroded into the topographic surface that existed prior to headward erosion of the deep valleys seen today. Flood waters initially were moving south, although a massive flood flow reversal occurred when headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley north of the figure 6 map area beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes across the figure 6 map area. Headward erosion of valleys occurred in sequence, generally from south to north and from east to west. In this case I am not sure which occurred first. It is possible headward erosion of the Asher Creek-Little Sac River valley occurred prior to headward erosion of the Clear Creek-Mt. Pleasant Branch valley. It is also possible the order was reversed. In either case I suspect the valleys were eroded at approximately the same time as large volumes of flood water drained from the figure 6 map area.

Sac River-Wilson’s Creek drainage divide area

Figure 7: Sac River-Wilson’s Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.


Figure 7 illustrates the Sac River-Wilson’s Creek drainage divide area located south of the figure 5 map area. Springfield, Missouri is the city located in the figure 7 northeast quadrant. Republic is the smaller town located in the figure 7 southwest quadrant. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is located near the figure 7 south center edge. Wilson’s Creek originates in the figure 7 northeast quadrant and flows in a south-southwest direction to the figure 7 south center edge. Note short southeast-oriented Wilson’s Creek tributaries. The meandering west-southwest oriented river located near the south edge in the figure 7 southeast quadrant is the James River, which is joined by Wilson’s Creek just south of the figure 7 south center edge. After joining Wilson’s Creek the James River turns to flow in a south direction to eventually join the southeast-oriented White River. The Sac River originates in the figure 7 north center area and flows in a west and northwest direction to the figure 7 northwest corner. The northern northwest oriented Sac River tributary in the figure 7 northwest quadrant is Pond Creek and the southern northwest oriented tributary is Dry Branch. Dry Branch originates just north of Republic. Pickeret Creek is northeast and north oriented Sac River tributary flowing along the figure 7 west edge. Close study of the figure 7 map reveals a broad northwest-southeast oriented through valley linking the northwest- and north-oriented Sac River valley with south-southwest and south oriented Wilson’s Creek and James River valley. Probably the best way to see the through valley is to look for areas higher than 400 meters in the figure 7 southwest quadrant and also east of the figure 7 north center edge area. Between those 400 meter elevations is a broad region of lower elevations, generally 10-20 meters lower in elevation along the Sac River-Wilson’s Creek drainage divide. The region of lower elevations along the present day drainage divide is the broad northwest-southeast oriented through valley. The through valley was eroded by immense sheets of south- and southeast-oriented flood flow moving to what were at that time the actively eroding south-oriented James River and Wilson’s Creek valleys. Flood flow to the actively eroding James River and Wilson”s Creek valleys ended when headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley north of the figure 7 map area beheaded the south-oriented flood flow routes and triggered a massive reversal of the south-oriented flood flow. The Pickeret Creek valley along the figure 7 west edge illustrates one of many routes used by captured south-oriented flood flow (from west of the Osage River valley head location) which moved in a southeast and then northeast direction to reach reversed flood flow in what is today the north-oriented Sac River valley.

Detailed map of Pond Creek-Wilson’s Creek drainage divide area

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


Figure 8 illustrates the Pond Creek-Wilson’s Creek drainage divide area seen in less detail in figure 7 above. Republic is the town located in the figure 8 southwest corner. Brookline is the town located in the northeast quadrant. Pond Creek is the northwest-oriented stream flowing to the figure 8 northwest corner. Dry Branch is the northwest stream originating north of Republic and flowing to the figure 8 west edge. Wilson’s Creek is the southwest-oriented stream in the figure 8 southeast corner (Wilson’s Creek is also labeled as Wilson Creek on this map and also on figure 2). Note short southeast-oriented Wilson’s Creek tributaries. Note how elevations in the figure 8 southwest corner rise to more than 1310 feet. Also note an area east of Brookline where elevations rise to more than 1300 feet. Then follow the Pond Creek-Wilson’s Creek and Dry Branch-Wilson’s Creek drainage divide in a southwest direction from Brookline to Republic and note how elevations drop to between 1250 and 1260 feet in section 10, to between 1270 and 1280 feet in the section 17 southeast corner, and are lower than 1300 for almost the entire distance. This broad, but shallow, northwest-southeast oriented through valley is a water eroded feature and was eroded by sheets of southeast-oriented flood water flowing to what was then the actively eroding Wilson’s Creek valley, which had eroded headward from what were then newly eroded James River and White River valleys. The shallow trough valley was eroded just prior to the massive reversal of flood flow triggered by headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley to the north. The reversal of flood flow caused the deep northwest, north-northwest, and north oriented Sac River valley to erode headward into the figure 7 map area and the northwest-oriented Pond Creek and Dry Branch valleys to erode headward into the figure 8 map area and created the Pond Creek-Wilson’s Creek drainage divide. Volumes of flood water involved must have been immense and its is possible that for a time flood waters from the west moved east and north-northeast on the Wilson’s Creek alignment and then in a northwest direction to the Sac River valley. However, present day deep valleys record the final flood movement directions.

Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area

Figure 9: Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 9 illustrates the Little Sac River-James River drainage divide area west and north of the figure 7 map area and south and east of the figure 5 map area. Springfield is the city located in the figure 9 southwest quadrant. Strafford is the much smaller town located north of the figure 9 east center area. The James River flows in a west-southwest direction across the figure 9 southwest corner. Pearson Creek is the southwest and south oriented James River tributary originating near Strafford and flowing to join the James River south of the figure 9 south center edge. Fellows Lake is a reservoir in the figure 9 north center area and floods the west-northwest oriented Little Sac River valley. The Little Sac River originates as a north-oriented stream north of Strafford and then turns to flow in a west-northwest direction to the figure 9 north edge. From the north edge the Little Sac River turns to flow in a southwest direction across the figure 9 northwest quadrant before turning to flow in a northwest and north-northwest direction as seen in figure 5 (the figure 5 southeast corner overlaps the figure 9 northwest corner). The west and west-northwest oriented tributary joining the Little Sac River near the figure 9 west edge is South Dry Sac River and originates in the figure 9 center area. Note how Strafford is located in a small area where elevations are higher than 450 meters, which represent the highest elevations seen along the Sac River-James River drainage divide between Republic and Strafford. South and west of Republic and the figure 7 map area there are elevations west of the James River valley rising to more than 440 meters, which suggests the width of the broad, but shallow, north-south oriented through valley linking the north-oriented Sac River valley with the south-oriented James River valley. While figure 9 elevations along the drainage divide are slightly higher than the figure 7 elevations close inspection of the figure 9 map reveals shallow north-south oriented channels crossing figure 9 drainage divides. Figure 10 below provides a detailed map of the South Dry Sac River-Pearson Creek drainage divide to better illustrate the shallow through valleys.

South Dry Sac River-Pearson Creek drainage divide area

Figure 10: South Dry Sac River-Pearson 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 South Dry Sac River-Pearson Creek drainage divide area seen in less detail in figure 9 above (the figure 10 map shows Pearson Creek as Pierson Creek). Pearson Creek flows in a south direction from the figure 10 northeast corner area to the east center edge and then turns to flow in a  southwest direction from the figure 10 east edge to the figure 10 south edge and south of figure 10 turns to flow in a south direction to join the southwest and south oriented James River, which flows to the southeast-oriented White River. South Dry Sac River flows in a northwest direction in the figure 10 north center area and then in a west direction along the figure 10 edge to the northwest corner. Note how a northwest-oriented South Dry Sac River headwaters valley in section 1 is linked by a northwest-southeast oriented through valley with a southeast-oriented Pearson Creek tributary valley. The relatively narrow through valley floor elevation is between 1400 and 1410 feet and the hill just to the southwest rises to at least 1460 feet. Elevations greater than 1460 feet are reached in the Strafford area which is located east of the figure 10 northeast corner. In other words, what appears to be a relatively narrow through valley is a slightly deeper channel eroded into the floor of a much broader northwest-southeast oriented through valley. East of the hill which rise to at least 1460 feet (east of the figure 10 center) in sections 10 and 11 are what appear to be two more relatively narrow north-south oriented through valleys linking northwest-oriented South Dry Sac River tributary valleys with a south-southeast oriented Pearson Creek tributary valley. Floors of these two channels are between 1360 and 1370 feet along the drainage divide. The high point just east of the through valleys in section 10 rises to at least 1410 feet and as already mentioned the hill to the west rises to at least 1460 feet. Isolated elevations greater than 1450 are found south and west of west of Republic, although the drainage divide elevations in between are lower and are as low as 1250-1260 feet in channels eroded across the drainage divide near Republic seen in figure 8. While it takes some looking to see there is a major north-south oriented through valley linking the north-oriented Sac River valley with the south-oriented James River valley and the through valley is evidence of a major south-oriented flood flow route to what was once the actively eroding White River valley prior to the massive reversal of flood flow caused by headward erosion of the deep Missouri River-Osage River valley.

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 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.

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: