Osage River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area landform origins in Camden, Miller, and Laclede Counties, Missouri, USA

Authors

Abstract:

The Osage River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area in Camden, Miller, and Laclede Counties, Missouri is bounded on the north by the east oriented Osage River, on the west by the north oriented Niangua River, and on the east and south by north and east-northeast oriented Dry Auglaize Creek, and was eroded by a massive reversal of an immense south oriented flood. South-oriented flood waters from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet flowed across the entire state of Missouri and were captured in sequence from south to north by headward erosion of deep east and southeast oriented valleys from the south oriented Mississippi River valley. Prior to headward erosion of the deep Missouri River-Osage River valley flood waters flowing across Camden, Miller, and Miller Counties were flowing to actively eroding tributary valleys which had eroded headward from what was then the newly eroded and deep White River valley. Headward erosion of the deep Missouri River-Gasconade River-Osage Fork valley captured some of the south-oriented flood flow and Missouri River-Osage River valley next began to behead the south-oriented flood flow routes and also the south , southeast, and northeast oriented flood flow routes in sequence from east to west. Flood waters on north and northwest ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode deep north and northwest oriented valleys. The north oriented Niangua River, Dry Auglaize Creek, and tributary valleys were eroded by these reversals of flood flow. These deep north- and northwest-oriented valleys also captured large volumes of flood flow still moving south on flood flow routes west of the actively eroding Osage River valley and created more southeast, east, and northeast oriented flood flow routes. The deep Osage River valley also eroded headward along short segments of some of the south, southeast, east, northeast, and north-oriented flood flow channels to create a pattern of giant incised meanders. Evidence supporting this flood origin interpretation includes positions and orientations of present day valleys and through valleys eroded across drainage divides.

Preface:

The following interpretation of detailed topographic map evidence is provided as evidence in the Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project, which is compiling similar evidence for all major drainage divides contained within the Missouri River drainage basin and for all major drainage divides with and within certain adjacent drainage basins. The research project is interpreting evidence in the context of a previously unexplored geomorphology paradigm, which is briefly described in the introduction below. 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 Osage River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area landform origins in Camden, Miller, and Laclede 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 essay 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 knots 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 Osage River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area in Camden, Miller, and Laclede Counties, Missouri will be regarded as evidence supporting the “thick ice sheet that melted fast” paradigm (see menu at top of page for a paradigm related essay).

Osage River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area location map

Figure 1: Osage River-Dry Auglaize 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 Osage River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area in Camden, Miller, and Laclede Counties, Missouri location map and shows a large region in Missouri with a thin strip of eastern Kansas along the west edge and an area in western Illinois east of the Mississippi River. The Missouri River flows from the figure 1 northwest corner to Kansas City and then in an east-northeast direction to Brunswick near the figure 1 north edge. From Brunswick the Missouri River flows in a southeast direction to Jefferson City and then in an east direction to join the south-oriented Mississippi River north of St. Louis. The Osage River is formed at the confluence of tributary rivers nears Schell City, Missouri (south of Kansas City) and flows in an east and northeast direction to Harry S. Truman Reservoir and then to the Lake of the Ozarks before turning to flow in a northeast direction to join the Missouri River near Jefferson City. The Niangua River is a north-oriented tributary joining the Osage River at the Lake of the Ozarks. Dry Auglaize Creek is not labeled on figure 1, but is the  north-oriented Osage River tributary originating near Lebanon (east of the Niangua River) and turning to flow in a northeast and northwest direction to join the Osage River at the Lake of the Ozarks east end. On more detailed maps the northwest-oriented segment is named Grandglaize Creek. The Osage River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area in Camdem, Miller, and Laclede Counties as illustrated and discussed in this knol is located south of the Osage River, east of the Niangua River, and north and west of Dry Auglaize Creek. The Osage River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area is one of several hundred similar Missouri River drainage basin drainage divide areas illustrated and described in essays listed on this Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project website. Collectively these essays present evidence for immense south-oriented floods which once flowed across the figure 1 map area to actively eroding south-oriented valleys (located along the figure 1 south edge) which were eroding headward from what was then the newly eroded southeast oriented White River valley (located south of the figure 1 map area). North-oriented Osage River tributary valleys, including the Niangua River and Dry Auglaize Creek valleys, were eroded during a massive reversal of flood flow that occurred as the deep Missouri River-Osage River valley (and northeast-oriented tributary valleys) eroded headward across the figure 1 map area. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction and began to erode deep north-oriented valleys. The actively eroding and deep north-oriented valleys captured flood flow still moving south on flood flow routes west of the actively eroding Osage River valley head. The captured flood water moved in southeast, east, and northeast directions to reach the rapidly eroding north-oriented valleys. The southeast, east, northeast oriented flood flow captured flood flow routes have been recorded in orientations of present day valleys and are best seen on detailed topographic maps.

Osage River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area detailed location map

Figure 2: Osage River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area detailed location map. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

 

Figure 2 provides a more detailed location map for the Osage River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area in Camden, Miller, and Laclede Counties, Missouri. County names and boundaries are shown as are relevant areas of Camden, Miller, and Laclede Counties. The Osage River flows in an east direction across Benton County and then makes some large meanders as it progresses eastward across northern Camden County to Bagnell Dam. The flooded Osage River valley and tributary valleys behind Bagnell Dam is known as the Lake of the Ozarks and the park along the Camden County-Miller County border is Lake of the Ozarks State Park. From Bagnell Dam the Osage River meanders in an east-northeast direction to northeast Miller County and in a northeast direction to the figure 2 north edge and then to join the east-oriented Missouri River north of the figure 2 map area. Dry Auglaize Creek originates in Laclede County near Lebanon and flows in a north, northwest, north, east, and northwest direction to the Lake of the Ozarks at Lake of the Ozarks State Park. The northwest oriented flooded valley segment in the Lake of the Ozarks area on more detailed maps is the valley of Grandglaize Creek and Dry Auglaize Creek is a Grandglaize Creek tributary. An important Dry Auglaize Creek tributary is north-oriented Goodwin Hollow located west of Lebanon. Further west from Lebanon along the Dallas County-Laclede County border is Bennett Springs State Park. The Niangua River flows in a north-northwest and east-northeast direction to Bennett Springs State Park and then meanders in a north direction along the Dallas County-Laclede County border into Camden County where it enters the Lake of the Ozarks and joins the Osage River. Note northwest-oriented Niangua River tributaries in Laclede and Camden Counties. The north-oriented Dry Auglaize Creek, Goodwin Hollow, and Niangua River valleys were eroded by a massive reversal of south oriented flood flow triggered by headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley. Osage River valley headward erosion beheaded south oriented flood flow routes in sequence from east to west. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction and began to erode deep north-oriented valleys. Because flood flow routes were beheaded from east to west and because flood flow routes were interconnected the new and actively eroding deep north-oriented valleys captured flood waters still moving south on flood flow routes west of the actively eroding Osage River valley head. The captured flood flow moved in southeast, east, and northeast directions to the actively eroding north-oriented valleys. As the Osage River valley head progressed west it beheaded the south-, southeast, east, and northeast oriented flood flow routes used by captured flood flow to reach the new north-oriented valleys further to the east. Flood waters on west ends of these beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode northwest-, west, and even southwest oriented tributary valleys to the new and deep north-oriented valleys being eroded by newly beheaded former south-oriented flood flow routes.

Linn Creek-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area

Figure 3: Linn Creek-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 3 uses reduced size maps to illustrate the Linn Creek-Dry Auglaize Creek and the Grandglaize Creek-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divides near Camdenton in Camden County, Missouri. Camdenton is the town located near the figure 3 south edge in the southwest quadrant. Linn Creek is the smaller town located a short distance northeast from Camdenton. The flooded valley of the meandering Osage River is located in the figure 3 north half and the Osage River is flowing in a northeast direction from the figure 3 west edge and then turns to flow in a southwest and a southeast direction before turning to flow in a northeast, northwest, east, north, and west direction to reach the figure 3 north edge (west half). North of the figure 3 map area the Osage River makes another U-turn and then flows in an east direction to the Bagnell Dam location (north of the north oriented Osage River valley segment). Linn Creek is the northwest-oriented stream with the flooded valley extending from the town of Linn Creek to the flooded northeast-oriented Osage River valley. Damsel is a small town located north of the figure 3 center and just east of where the Osage River turns from flowing in northeast direction to flowing in a northwest direction and is located on what is now a peninsula located in the Lake of Ozarks known as Turkey Bend. North of Turkey Bend is Shawnee Bend. The flooded northwest-oriented valley east of Damsel is the Grandglaize Arm of the Lake of Ozarks and is the flooded valley of north and northwest oriented Grandglaize Creek. Dry Auglaize Creek flows in a north-northeast direction from the figure 3 south edge (slightly east of the center) and then turns to meander in an east direction to join northwest-oriented Grandglaize Creek in the figure 3 southeast corner region. Note north-northeast and northeast oriented Grandglaize River tributaries. A close look at figure 3 map area reveals shallow through valleys linking the north-northeast oriented Grandglaize Creek tributary valleys with the east-oriented Dry Auglaize Creek valley to the south. The through valleys provide evidence of flood flow routes to what was once the actively eroding Grandglaize Creek valley. Also note shallow through valleys linking the northwest-oriented Linn Creek valley with the north- and east-oriented Dry Auglaize Creek valley. These west-east oriented through valleys provide evidence of southeast-oriented flood flow routes to what was once the actively eroding Dry Auglaize Creek valley. Simplifying what was a very complicated pattern of flood flow movements, for a time prior to Osage River valley headward erosion to the figure 3 northwest quadrant, yet after Osage River valley headward erosion had beheaded and reversed a southeast-oriented flood flow route on the Grandglaize Creek alignment, flood waters were moving in a southeast direction along the Linn Creek alignment and then north and east to what was then the actively eroding northwest-oriented Grandglaize Creek valley. Headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley into the figure 3 northwest quadrant then beheaded and reversed flood flow in the Linn Creek valley. Evidence shown in following figures suggests considerable flood water moved north along the Dry Auglaize Creek valley after the Linn Creek flood flow route was beheaded and reversed.

Osage River incised east- and west-oriented meander region

Figure 4: Osage River incised east and west oriented meander region. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 4 provides a normal size map of the flooded Osage River valley east-west oriented meanders partially seen in the figure 3 map area above. Bagnell Dam is located near the figure 4 northeast corner. North and east of the figure 4 map area the Osage River continues to meander, but the spectacular east-west reversals seen in figure 4 are not repeated. One of the questions anyone looking at these meanders is bound to ask is how did these east-west oriented meanders form? My hypothesis is these meanders were formed as the deep Osage River valley eroded headward during an immense south-oriented flood. Prior to Osage River valley headward erosion into the figure 4 map area flood waters were flowing south across the entire figure 4 map area on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 4 elevations today. The deep east- and northeast-oriented Osage River valley then eroded headward into the figure 4 northeast quadrant and along the figure 4 north edge and beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes in the figure 4 east half. The beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction and began to erode a north-oriented valley along the present day alignment of the north-oriented Osage River valley in the figure 4 east center area. At that time the north-oriented valley was not as deep as the present day Osage River valley, although it was sufficiently deep to capture south-oriented flood flow from west of the actively eroding Osage River valley head. The captured flood flow moved along multiple routes, although one route was an east-oriented route along the alignment of what is now the west-oriented Osage River valley segment and another was on the alignment of what is now the east-oriented Osage River valley segment. Headward erosion of the deep Osage River then beheaded in the figure 4 north center area a major south-oriented flood flow route supplying water to the northern and newly formed east-oriented flood flow route and triggered a flood flow reversal on that route and in the process captured flood flow from the more southern east-oriented flood flow route. The deep Osage River valley then eroded headward along the captured flood flow routes first in a south direction, then in an east direction, then in a south direction again, and finally in a west direction where it beheaded a southeast-oriented flood flow route. Southeast-oriented valleys may have been developing in response to headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Osage Fork (Gasconade River) south and east of the figures 3 and 4 map area, which was probably occurring at approximately the same time. Northwest and southeast oriented Osage River segments may reflect a repeat of the process used to create the east- and west-oriented Osage River segments, except at a slightly later time when flood flow orientations had been altered by the presence of the deep Osage River valley and the presence of the deep Osage Fork south and east of the map area (see figure 9a below).

Osage River-Mill Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 5 illustrates the Osage River-Miller Creek drainage divide area located east of the figure 4 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 4. Bagnell Dam is located in the figure 5 northwest corner area and the Osage River meanders in an east and northeast direction along and across the figure 5 north edge. Brumley is the small town located east of the figure 5 south center edge area. The flooded northwest oriented Grandglaize Creek valley is located in the figure 5 southwest quadrant and drains to the north-oriented Osage River valley segment located along the figure 5 west edge (see figure 4 to see west and east oriented Osage River route west of the figure 5 map area to reach Bagnell Dam). Mill Creek is the west-northwest and west oriented Grandglaize Creek tributary flowing near the figure 5 south edge near Brumley. Note north-oriented Osage River tributaries downstream from Bagnell Dam. From west to east they are Little Bear Creek, Bear Creek, Dog Creek, and Cattail Creek (which north of the figure 5 map area flows to Dog Creek). Little Bear Creek is interesting because it has east and southeast oriented tributaries and flows in a northeast and east direction from near the north-oriented Osage River valley segment suggesting it was capturing south oriented flood flow before headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley to the north beheaded and reversed the flood flow direction (note north-oriented Osage River valley segment downstream from Bagnell Dam and north of the Little Bear Creek headwaters). Bear Creek is also interesting because it originates as a northwest-oriented stream before turning to flow in a north-northeast and north direction to the Osage River. The northwest-oriented valley segment suggests the presence of southeast-oriented flood flow routes to an actively eroding north-oriented valley located south and east of the Bear Creek valley head. Note northeast oriented Brushy Creek flowing to the figure 5 east center edge. East of the figure 5 map area Brushy Creek flows to northeast and north oriented Tavern Creek, which is a Osage River tributary. Probably the northeast oriented Tavern Creek-Brushy Creek valley eroded headward into the figure 5 map area slightly in advance of the deep Osage River valley to the north and was capturing south oriented flood flow on the present day north-oriented Dog Creek and Bear Creek alignments until Osage River valley headward erosion beheaded and reversed that south-, southeast-, northeast-, and north-oriented flood flow route to erode the present day northwest- and north-oriented Dog Creek and Bear Creek valleys. Evidence supporting this interpretation is found in the shallow northwest-southeast oriented through valleys linking the Dog Creek tributaries with southeast-oriented Brushy Creek tributaries. The northwest-oriented Grandglaize Creek alignment and west-northwest and west oriented Mill Creek alignments were probably created by similar flood flow routes created by south-oriented flood flow west of the actively eroding Osage River valley head moving to rapidly eroding north-oriented valleys eroding headward from newly beheaded and reversed flood flow routes east of the Osage River valley head.

Detailed map of Bear Creek-Mill Creek drainage divide area

Figure 6: Detailed map of Bear Creek-Mill 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 Bear Creek-Mill Creek drainage divide area north of Brumley, which was seen in less detail in figure 5 above. Brumley is the town located near the figure 6 south center edge. West-northwest and west oriented Mill Creek is located south of Brumley and flows to northwest-oriented Grandglaize Creek which can just barely be seen in the figure 6 southwest corner. Bear Creek is the west-northwest oriented stream located in the figure 6 northwest quadrant and flowing to the northwest corner. North of the figure 6 map area Bear Creek turns to flow in a north-northeast and north direction to join the Osage River. Brushy Creek originates in the figure 6 east center area and flows in a northeast direction to the figure 6 east edge (north half). East and north of the figure 6 map area Brushy Creek joins northeast and north oriented Tavern Creek, which flows to the Osage River. The north-oriented streams flowing to the figure 6 north center edge area are north- and northeast oriented Dog Creek headwaters, which flow to the Osage River. Study of the Dog Creek-Brushy Creek drainage divide area in sections 9 and 10 reveals a shallow west to east oriented through valley. The through valley floor elevation at the drainage divide is between 900 and 920 feet (the contour interval for the eastern two-thirds of the map is 20 feet, the western third shows elevations in meters). The hill-top to the north of the through valley is marked as having an elevation of 958 feet and the hill south of the through valley rises to at least 1020 feet. While appearing to be an insignificant saddle the through valley is evidence of a west to east oriented flood flow route to what was once an actively eroding northeast oriented Brushy Creek valley. At that time the deep Osage River valley was eroding headward across the region north of the figure 6 map area and had yet to behead south-oriented flood flow on the present north-oriented Dog Creek and Bear Creek alignments. Headward erosion of the deep northeast- and north-oriented Tavern Creek-Brushy Creek valley from the newly eroded Osage River valley north and east of the figure 6 map area captured south-oriented flood flow still moving on the Dog Creek and Bear Creek alignments. The captured flood waters moved in southeast and east directions to the actively eroding Brushy Creek valley and the west-east oriented through valley in sections 9 and 10 was eroded by those captured flood waters. Headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley north of the figure 6 then beheaded and reversed flood flow on the Dog Creek and Bear Creek alignments. The reversed flood flow then eroded the north-oriented Dog Creek and Bear Creek valleys. Other shallow through valleys crossing other figure 6 drainage divides provide evidence of still other routes used by captured flood waters to reach actively eroding deep valleys.

Niangua River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 7 illustrates the Niangua River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide area south and slightly west of the figure 3 map area. Note the west to east oriented county boundary slightly south of the figure 7 center. Bidwell is the small town in Laclede County on the south-north oriented highway and Decaturville is the small town on the highway in Camden County a short distance north of Bidwell. The Niangua River meanders in a north direction along the south half of the figure 7 west edge and then meanders in a northeast direction across the figure 7 northwest quadrant. Note the northwest-oriented Niangua River tributaries. From north to south the major tributaries include Spencer Creek, Bank Branch, and Woolsey Creek. Note how Bank Branch originates near Bidwell and flows in a northwest and north-northwest direction to join the Niangua River near the figure 7 north edge. Dry Auglaize Creek meanders in a north direction from the figure 7 south edge to the north edge in the area east of the south to north oriented highway. Note how Dry Auglaize Creek tributaries from the west are generally short. Note also northeast-oriented Prairie Branch which flows from near Bidwell to join a northeast-oriented Dry Auglaize Creek meander segment and note how the Prairie Branch headwaters are linked by a through valley with headwaters of northwest and north-northwest oriented Bank Branch. A northwest-southeast oriented through valley near Decaturville also links the northwest-oriented Spencer Creek valley with a southeast-oriented Dry Auglaize Creek tributary. These through valleys and others provide evidence of routes used by flood waters captured by reversed flood flow on the Dry Auglaize Creek alignment prior to headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Niangua River valley. At that time flood waters flowed south-southeast and southeast on the Spencer Creek and Bank Branch alignments and then made a U-turn to flow northeast and north on the Dry Auglaize Creek alignment. These south, southeast, northeast, and north oriented flood flow routes were beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Niangua River valley. The reversal of flood flow eroded the northwest and north-northwest oriented Bank Branch, northwest-oriented Spencer Creek, and north-oriented Niangua River valleys and created the Niangua River-Dry Auglaize Creek drainage divide. At least some of the Dry Auglaize Creek and Niangua River meander valley segments were eroded headward along what began as flood flow channels eroded by similar flood water routes flowing in south, southeast, east, northeast, and north directions

Detailed map of Bank Branch-Prairie Branch drainage divide area

Figure 8: Detailed map of Bank Branch-Prairie Branch drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 8 provides a detailed map of the Bank Branch-Prairie Creek drainage divide area near Bidwell seen in less detail in figure 7 above. The west-east oriented Camden County-Laclede County border is located near the figure 8 north edge. Bidwell is the small town located on the south to north oriented highway. Prairie Branch flows in a northeast direction from near Bidwell to the figure 8 east edge (north of the center). East of the figure 8 map area Prairie Branch joins north-oriented Dry Auglaize Creek. Bank Branch originates in section 7 west of Bidwell and flows in a northwest and west direction to the figure 8 west edge (north half). West and north of the figure 8 map area Bank Branch turns to flow in a north-northeast direction to join the Niangua River. Note the well-defined west to east oriented through valley linking the northwest-oriented Bank Branch valley with the northeast-oriented Prairie Branch valley. Unfortunately the valley is located where two maps with different contour intervals and coloring have been patched together. The map contour interval is 20 feet in the north and 10 feet in the south. The through valley floor elevation at the drainage divide is between 1020 and 1040 feet (the elevation on the map is marked as 1022, although I am not certain that point is at the drainage divide). The hill immediately to the north rises to an elevation greater than 1120 feet and the hill to the south has a high point in excess of 1170 feet. The through valley is a water eroded feature and provides evidence of a south-southeast, southeast, east, northeast, and north oriented flood flow route which moved flood water from a yet to be beheaded (by Osage River valley headward erosion) south-oriented flood flow route on the present day Niangua River alignment to a newly beheaded and reversed flood flow route actively eroding the deep north-oriented Dry Auglaize Creek valley. Headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley and northeast-oriented Niangua River valley segment (see figure 7) then beheaded the southeast, east, and northeast oriented flood flow route. Flood waters on the north and west end of the beheaded southeast, east, and northeast oriented flood flow route then reversed flow direction to erode the northwest and north-northwest oriented Bank Branch valley and to create the Bank Branch-Prairie Branch drainage divide.

Niangua River-Goodwin Hollow drainage divide area

Figure 9: Niangua River-Goodwin Hollow drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 9 illustrates the Niangua River-Goodwin Hollow drainage divide area south of the figure 7 map area and there is a small gap between figures 7 and 9. Lebanon is the city straddling the figure 9 south edge. The Niangua River meanders in a north direction along the figure 9 west edge. Note multiple northwest-oriented Niangua River tributaries. Dry Auglaize Creek flows in a north-northeast direction from Lebanon to the figure 9 east edge (near northeast corner). Goodwin Hollow is drained by the north oriented stream flowing from the figure 9 south edge to the north edge and flows just west of Lebanon. North of the figure 9 map area Goodwin Hollow joins north oriented Dry Auglaize Creek (see figure 7 southeast corner). The northwest-oriented tributary valleys were eroded by reversals of flood flow on northwest ends of southeast-northeast oriented flood flow routes used by south-oriented flood water moving on the Niangua Creek alignment that was captured by reversed and north-oriented flood flow eroding the Dry Auglaize Creek valley, however the initial southeast-oriented flood flow was to the north- and northeast-oriented Osage Fork (Gasconade River) valley, which is located a short distance east of the figure 9 map area. Figure 9a below illustrates the region east and south of Lebanon to show the relationship of the north-oriented Osage Fork (Gasconade River) to the Dry Auglaize Creek and Gordon Hollow headwaters. The Osage Fork meanders in a north direction in the figure 9a east half and north of figure 9a meanders to flow in a northeast direction to join the northeast-oriented Gasconade River, which joins the Missouri River east (or downstream) from where the Osage River joins the Missouri River. The north- and northeast-oriented Gasconade River is located east of the figure 9a map area. The north-oriented Osage Fork valley in the figure 9a map area was eroded by a reversal of flood flow on south-oriented flood flow routes beheaded by headward erosion of the deep northeast-oriented Gasconade River-Osage Fork valley segments north and east of the figure 9a map area. The resulting reversal of flood flow captured south-oriented flood flow moving on the present day north-oriented Niangua River alignment (and Dry Auglaize Creek alignment) and flood waters moved in southeast, east, and northeast directions to reach the actively eroding north-oriented Osage Fork valley. Headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley north of the figures 9 and 9a map areas beheaded and reversed south-oriented flood flow routes on the Dry Auglaize Creek alignment first, which resulted in erosion of that north-oriented valley and its north oriented Goodwin Hollow tributary valley while flood flow was still moving south on the Niangua River alignment. Headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley then beheaded and reversed flood flow on the Niangua River alignment, and the reversed flood flow eroded the north-oriented Niangua River valley and its northwest-oriented tributary valleys.

Figure 9a: Map showing region south and east of Lebanon, Missouri. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Detailed map of Dry Auglaize Creek-North Cobb Creek drainage divide area

Figure 10: Detailed map of Dry Auglaize Creek-North Cobb 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 Dry Auglaize Creek-North Cobb Creek drainage divide area seen in less detail in figure 9a above. Lebanon is the city located in the figure 10 northwest corner. Dry Auglaize Creek originates in section 13 and flows north along the east edge of Lebanon to the figure 10 north edge. Also originating in section 13 is southeast-oriented North Cobb Creek, which flows to the figure 10 south edge. South and east of the figure 10 map area North Cobb Creek turns to flow in an east-northeast and north direction to join the north-oriented Osage Fork (Gasconade River).  Note how in section 13 the Dry Auglaize Creek headwaters and the North Cobb Creek headwaters are linked by a short northwest-southeast oriented through valley. The through valley floor elevation at the drainage divide is between 1280 and 1290 feet (the map contour interval is ten feet). The Lookout Tower in section 7 has an elevation of at least 1350 feet. Elevations in section 26 near the figure 10 southwest corner rise to over 1320 feet and a short distance south and west of the figure 10 map area there are elevations greater than 1400 feet. What at first looks like an insignificant shallow through valley is in fact a broad northwest-southeast oriented valley several miles wide and at least 60 feet deep and probably much deeper. The through valley provides a hint of the magnitude of erosion the flood waters accomplished. Probably flood waters originally flowed on a topographic surface higher than the highest figure 10 elevations today and flood water erosion removed that initial topographic surface as deep valleys eroded headward into the region. Headward erosion of the deep Gasconade River valley and then Osage Fork (Gasconade River) then began to capture the south-oriented flood flow, causing at least some south-oriented flood flow to move in a southeast direction to the newly eroded and deep valley east of the figure 10 map area. Next headward erosion of the deeper Osage River valley beheaded south-oriented flood flow to the figure 10 map area triggering a flood flow reversal that eroded the north-oriented Dry Auglaize Creek valley. Following that reversal of flood flow headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley next beheaded and reversed flood flow on the Niangua River alignment, which resulted in erosion of the north-oriented Niangua River valley and its northwest-oriented tributary valleys.

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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