Blackwater River-South Grand River drainage divide area landform origins in Johnson and Henry Counties, Missouri, USA

Authors

Abstract:

The Blackwater River-South Grand River drainage divide area in Johnson and Henry Counties, Missouri is actually the Blackwater River-Osage River drainage divide area and was eroded by immense south oriented floods derived from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet. Flood waters in Henry County were captured by headward erosion of the deep Osage River-South Grand River valley, which eroded headward from what was then an actively eroding Missouri River valley and which diverted flood waters east and northeast to the newly eroded Missouri River valley. Southeast and south oriented tributary valleys then began to actively erode headward from the newly eroded South Grand River valley along and across the south and southeast oriented flood flow routes. Headward erosion of the Missouri River-Blackwater River-Muddy Creek valley next captured south and southeast-oriented flood flow in southeast Johnson County. Flood flow routes to the actively eroding Muddy Creek valley were next beheaded by headward erosion of the Blackwater River-Clear Fork valley, which also beheaded flood flow routes to actively eroding south and southeast-oriented South Grand River tributary valleys. Blackwater River valley and tributary valley headward erosion next beheaded and reversed flood flow routes in western Johnson County to erode north-oriented Blackwater River tributary valleys. Evidence supporting this flood origin interpretation includes orientations and positions of major and tributary valleys and shallow through valleys eroded across present day 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 are listed on the sidebar category list under their appropriate Missouri River tributary drainage basin, Missouri River segment drainage basin (by state), or states in which the Missouri River drainage basin is located.

Introduction:

  • The purpose of this essay is to use topographic map interpretation methods to explore Blackwater River-South Grand River drainage divide area landform origins in Johnson and Henry 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 Blackwater River-South Grand River drainage divide area in Johnson and Henry Counties, Missouri will be regarded as evidence supporting the “thick ice sheet that melted fast” paradigm.

Blackwater River-South Grand River drainage divide area location map

Figure 1: Blackwater River-South Grand 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 Blackwater River-South Grand River drainage divide area in Johnson and Henry Counties, Missouri location map and illustrates a region in western and central Missouri with a thin strip of eastern Kansas located near the figure 1 west edge. The Missouri River flows from the figure 1 northwest corner in a southeast direction to Kansas City and then flows in an east-northeast direction to the figure 1 north center edge. Just north of the figure 1 north center edge the Missouri River turns to flow in a southeast direction to Jefferson City (located in the figure 1 east center area). From Jefferson City the Missouri River flows in an east-northeast and east direction to the figure 1 east edge and east of figure 1 the Missouri River flows to the south-oriented Mississippi River. The Osage River is a northeast oriented tributary joining the Missouri River just east of Jefferson City and flows from the Lake of the Ozarks, which is a large reservoir flooding the Osage River and tributary valleys. Upstream from the Lake of the Ozarks the Osage River flows from the Harry S. Truman Reservoir, where the Osage River originates at the confluence of several major tributaries including the southeast-oriented South Grand River, which originates as a south-southeast oriented stream south of Kansas City and joins the Osage River in Harry S. Truman reservoir near the dam located near Warsaw, Missouri. Near Leeton, which is located north of the Harry S. Truman Reservoir, a north-oriented Blackwater River tributary originates and flows to the northeast and east-oriented Blackwater River. The Blackwater River segment of concern in this Blackwater River-South Grand River drainage divide area in Johnson and Henry Counties essay is located upstream from Sweet Springs. Following the railroad line the Johnson County area extends from west of Holden to east of Knob Noster and includes Warrensburg. Henry County is directly south of Johnson County and extends south beyond the South Grand River valley, much of which has now been flooded by Harry S. Truman Reservoir. This essay is one of several hundred Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project essays. Collectively essays present evidence for immense south-oriented floods from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet which flowed into Missouri and which were captured by headward erosion in sequence (from south to north) of deep east-oriented valleys. This flood interpretation explains Blackwater River-South Grand River drainage divide area evidence in Johnson and Henry Counties. Headward erosion of the deep east- and northeast-oriented Osage River-South Grand River valley from what was then an actively eroding Missouri River valley first captured the south-oriented flood flow and diverted flood waters to what was then a newly eroded Missouri River valley. Headward erosion of the deep Missouri River-Blackwater River valley next beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes to the newly eroded Osage River-South Grand River valley. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode north-oriented Blackwater River tributary valleys.

Blackwater River-South Grand River drainage divide area detailed location map

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

Figure 2 provides a Blackwater River-South Grand River drainage divide area in Johnson and Henry Counties, Missouri detailed location map. Cass, Johnson, Pettis, Henry and Benton are Missouri county names and county boundaries are shown. The South Fork Blackwater River flows in a south-southeast direction from near the figure 2 north edge in western Johnson County before turning to flow in an east-northeast direction to join other Blackwater River tributaries and then turns to flow in a northeast direction as the Blackwater River to the figure 2 north edge (north of Knob Noster State Park). Post Oak Creek with its East and West Forks is the major north oriented Blackwater River tributary located just west of Warrensburg. Clear Fork is the major north-northeast oriented Blackwater River tributary flowing through Knob Noster State Park. Muddy Creek is a north- and northeast-oriented stream originating in southeast Johnson County (east of Clear Fork) and flowing in a northeast direction across Pettis County to the figure 2 east edge. North and east of figure 2 Muddy Creek water eventually reaches the Blackwater River. The South Grand River is the southeast oriented river flowing to the Cass County south border and then forming the Cass County south boundary until it flows into Henry County. Once in Henry County the South Grand River flows in a southeast direction to join other Osage River tributaries to form the east-oriented Osage River. The South Grand River and Osage River valleys (and valleys of their tributaries) in Henry and western Benton Counties are flooded by the Harry S. Truman Reservoir. Big Creek is the southeast oriented tributary flowing through Pleasant Hill in northeast Cass County across the Johnson County southwest corner to join the South Grand River west of Clinton in Henry County. Honey Creek is a south oriented Big Creek tributary in northern Henry County. Tebo Creek is a south and southeast oriented Osage River tributary in northeast Henry County which joins the Osage River in western Benton County and has southeast- and southwest-oriented tributaries. Headward erosion of the deep Osage River-South Grand River valley captured south and southeast-oriented flood flow moving across the figure 2 map area. South and southeast oriented tributary valleys then eroded headward from the newly eroded Osage River-South Grand River valley along and across the south- and southeast-oriented flood flow routes. Headward erosion of the deep Blackwater River valley next beheaded the south-oriented flood flow routes to the actively eroding south-oriented Osage River-South Grand River tributary valleys. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode north and north-northeast oriented Blackwater River tributary valleys and to create the Blackwater River-South Grand River drainage divide.

South Fork Blackwater River-West Fork Post Oak Creek drainage divide area

Figure 3: South Fork Blackwater River-West Fork Post Oak Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.


Figure 3 illustrates the South Fork Blackwater River-West Fork Post Oak Creek drainage divide area in western Johnson County. Warrensburg is the city located in the figure 3 northeast quadrant. Holden is the smaller town located near the figure 3 west edge. Centerview is the much smaller town located on the railroad line between Holden and Warrensburg. The South Fork Blackwater River flows in a southeast direction from the figure 3 west edge (near northwest corner) and then turns to flow in an east-northeast direction to the figure 3 north center edge. The south oriented stream in the figure 3 southwest corner is Bear Creek and south of figure 3 Bear Creek flows to southeast oriented Big Creek, which flows to southeast oriented South Grand River, which flows to the east and northeast oriented Osage River. The north-oriented tributary north of Holden is Pin Oak Creek. Note the unnamed north-northwest oriented Pin Oak Creek tributary originating east of Holden. Brush Creek (with Briar Creek as a north-oriented tributary) is the north-oriented South Fork Blackwater River tributary located east of Pin Oak Creek and its unnamed north-northwest tributary. East of Briar Creek north-northeast oriented Butcher Creek flows to the South Fork Blackwater River near the figure 3 north center edge. The West Fork Post Oak Creek originates southeast of the unnamed north-northwest oriented Pin Oak Creek tributary and flows in a southeast and then east direction to join a north-oriented tributary and then to flow in a north-northeast direction to near Warrensburg where it joins north-oriented East Fork Post Oak Creek which flows in a north and northeast direction to the figure 3 north edge (north of Warrensburg). North of figure 3  Post Oak Creek joins the east- and northeast-oriented Blackwater River. Note how the East Fork Post Oak Creek has northwest-oriented tributaries. Bradley Branch is a north and southeast-oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek tributary located south of Centerview. Note shallow north-south and northwest-southeast oriented through valleys linking valleys of north-oriented South Fork Blackwater River tributary valleys with valleys of southeast-oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek tributaries. These through valleys are usually defined by a single ten-meter contour line on each side, but they provide evidence of south oriented flood flow routes to what were once actively eroding West Fork Post Oak Creek tributary valleys prior to headward erosion of the deep South Fork Blackwater River valley. The north-northeast oriented Post Oak-West Fork Post Oak Creek valley was eroded by a reversal of flood flow on south-oriented flood flow routes beheaded by headward erosion of the Blackwater River valley from what was then the actively eroding Missouri River valley head. Reversed flood flow on the north-northeast oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek alignment captured significant yet to be beheaded south-oriented flood flow (yet to beheaded by headward erosion of the South Fork Blackwater River valley). The yet to be beheaded flood flow routes crossed the figure 3 northwest quadrant and supplied water responsible for eroding the southeast- and east-oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek headwaters valley. Headward erosion of the South Fork Blackwater River valley next beheaded the south- and southeast-oriented flood flow routes to the actively eroding West Fork Post Oak Creek valley. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode north-oriented South Fork Blackwater River tributary valleys and to create the South Fork Blackwater River-West Fork Post Oak Creek drainage divide.

Detailed map of Briar Creek-Bradley Branch drainage divide area

Figure 4: Detailed map of Briar Creek-Bradley 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 Briar Creek-Bradley Branch drainage divide area seen in less detail in figure 3 above. Centerview is the town located in the figure 4 northeast corner. Briar Creek is the north-northeast oriented stream in the figure 4 northwest quadrant and north of figure 4 flows to north-oriented Brush Creek which flows to the South Fork Blackwater River. Bradley Branch flows in an east direction across the section 10 north margin and then turns to flow in a north-northeast direction to the section 2 center. From the section 2 center Bradley Branch flows in an east-southeast and southeast direction to the figure 4 east edge and east of figure 4 joins north-northeast oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek which flows to the northeast and east oriented Blackwater River. Note the shallow northwest-southeast through valley in section 3 linking a northwest-oriented Briar Creek tributary valley with a southeast-oriented Bradley Branch tributary valley. The through valley floor elevation is between 880 and 890 feet (the map contour interval is 10-feet). Highest hills along the drainage divide in both directions in the figure 4 map area rise to elevations greater than 910 feet. While not deep the through valley (as are other shallow through valleys crossing the drainage divide) is evidence of a southeast-oriented flood flow channel that once moved flood water across the figure 4 map area. A north-northwest oriented Bradley Branch tributary valley in section 11 is located downstream on the southeast-oriented flood flow channel route and is linked by a shallow through valley along the figure 4 south edge with a south-southeast oriented tributary valley draining to the north-northeast-oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek valley. Headward erosion of the Bradley Branch valley captured flood flow in the southeast-oriented flood flow channel and flood waters in the beheaded flood flow channel in section 11 reversed flow direction to erode the north-northwest oriented Bradley Branch tributary valley. Next headward erosion of the South Fork Blackwater River valley north of the figure 4 map area beheaded the southeast-oriented flow route and flood waters on the north end of the beheaded flood flow route reversed flow direction to erode the north-oriented Briar Creek-Brush Creek valley and the northwest-oriented Briar Creek tributary valley. High points along the drainage divide provide markers to indicate the surface level flood waters once flowed across and provide a measure of the erosion flood waters accomplished. How much materials flood waters removed from the figure 4 map area prior to flowing across the erosion surface defined by those isolated high points cannot be determined from figure 4 evidence and may never be determined.

West Fork Post Oak Creek-Honey Creek drainage divide area

Figure 5: West Fork Post Oak Creek-Honey Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 5 illustrates the West Fork Post Oak Creek-Honey Creek drainage divide area located south of the figure 3 map area. Chilhowee is the town located south and east of the figure 5 center area. Blairstown is the town located in the figure 5 southwest quadrant. Big Creek is the southeast-oriented stream in the figure 5 southwest quadrant and south of the figure 5 map area flows to the southeast-oriented South Grand River which flows to the east and northeast oriented Osage River. Bear Creek is the south-oriented Big Creek tributary located near the figure 5 west edge. Norris Creek is the south-oriented Big Creek tributary located east of Blairstown (and which joins Big Creek south of the figure 5 map area). Honey Creek is the southwest and south oriented stream flowing to the figure 5 south edge (south of Chilhowee) and south of the figure 5 map area also flows to Big Creek. The southwest-oriented stream near the figure 5 south edge east of Honey Creek is the East Fork Honey Creek and south of the figure 5 map area joins Honey Creek. The north-northeast oriented stream originating near Chilhowee is the East Fork Post Oak Creek. A north-northeast oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek tributary can be seen joining east and northeast oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek along the figure 5 north center edge. North of the figure 5 map area the East and West Fork Post Oak Creek join to form Post Oak Creek which flows to the northeast and east-oriented Blackwater River. Close inspection of the figure 5 map area reveals shallow north-south oriented through valleys linking the north-oriented Post Oak Creek tributary valleys with the south-oriented Big Creek tributary valleys. The figure 5 map area is a low relief region and the through valleys are usually defined by only a single ten meter contour line on each side. However, the through valleys are water eroded features and provide evidence of south-oriented flood flow routes across the figure 5 map area prior to headward erosion of the deep Blackwater River valley north of the figure 5 map area. Headward erosion of the deep Blackwater River valley beheaded the south-oriented flood flow routes to what were then actively eroding south-oriented Big Creek tributary valleys. The south-oriented Big Creek tributary valleys were eroding headward from what were then the newly eroded Big Creek, South Grand River, and Osage River valleys. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode the north-oriented East and West Fork Post Oak Creek valleys.

Detailed map of West Fork Post Oak Creek-Honey Creek drainage divide area

Figure 6: Detailed map of West Fork Post Oak Creek-Honey 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 West Fork Post Oak Creek-Honey Creek drainage divide near Chilhowee seen in less detail in figure 5 above. Chilhowee is the town located in the figure 6 southeast corner. North-oriented streams flowing to the figure 6 north edge in sections 2, 3, and 4 are tributaries to northeast oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek which flows to north-northeast oriented Post Oak Creek, which in turn flows to the northeast and east-oriented Blackwater River. Honey Creek originates in section 17 near the figure 6 west edge and flows to the figure 6 south edge. South of figure 6 Honey Creek flows to Big Creek, which flows to the South Grand River, which in turn flows to the Osage River. The south oriented stream in section 14 and flowing in a southwest direction in section 22 is a Honey Creek tributary and joins Honey Creek south of the figure 6 map area. Note in sections 10 and 11 shallow north-south oriented through valleys linking the north-oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek tributary valley with the south and southwest-oriented Honey Creek tributary valley. The through valley floor elevation in section 10 is between 890 and 900 feet and hills on either side rise to elevations greater than 930 feet. The highest hill east of the through valley is in section 13 north of Chilhowee and west of the through valley is between sections 4 and 9 in the figure 6 northwest quadrant. While there are ups and downs the drainage divide between those two hills is lower suggesting the distance between the two hills is a broad shallow water eroded through valley. The through valleys provide evidence flood waters once flowed on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 6 hills today and eroded the south-oriented through valleys into that earlier erosion surface. Flood waters were moving to what were then south-oriented Honey Creek tributary valleys which had eroded headward from the newly eroded Honey Creek valley, which had eroded headward from what were then newly eroded Big Creek, South Grand River, and Osage River valleys. Headward erosion of the Blackwater River valley from the actively eroding Missouri River valley (north of the figure 6 map area) beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes across the figure 6 map area. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode the northeast-oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek valley and the north-oriented West Fork Post Oak Creek tributary valley and to create the West Fork Post Oak Creek-Honey Creek drainage divide.

Clear Fork-Muddy Creek drainage divide area

Figure 7: Clear Fork-Muddy Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.


Figure 7 illustrates the Clear Fork-Muddy Creek drainage divide area east of the figure 3 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 3. Warrensburg is the city located in the figure 7 northwest corner. Knob Noster is the town located near the figure 7 north edge in the northeast quadrant. Whitman Air Force Base is located south of Knob Noster. The Turkey Kearn State Wildlife Area is located in the figure 7 southeast quadrant. Bear Creek is the north and northeast oriented stream between Warrensburg and north-northeast oriented Bristle Ridge. North of the figure 7 map area Bear Creek flows to the northeast and east oriented Blackwater River. Clear Fork is the north-northeast oriented stream flowing between Bristle Ridge and Whitman Air Force Base and north of the figure 7 map area Clear Fork flows to the northeast and east-oriented Blackwater River. Muddy Creek is the northeast-oriented stream originating in the figure 7 southeast quadrant and east and north of the figure 7 map area water in Muddy Creek eventually reaches the east-oriented Blackwater River. Long Branch is the east-oriented stream flowing from the Whitman Air Force Base to the figure 7 east edge and is a Muddy Creek tributary. Northwest-oriented drainage in the figure 7 southwest corner area flows to north-northeast oriented East Fork Post Oak Creek. Note how Clear Fork has northwest and southeast oriented tributaries. These tributaries provide evidence the north-northeast oriented Clear Fork valley was eroded across multiple southeast-oriented flood flow channels. Erosion of the north-northeast oriented Clear Fork valley itself was initiated by a reversal of flood flow on the north ends of south-oriented flood flow routes beheaded by the actively eroding Blackwater River valley and was successful in capturing significant yet to be beheaded flood flow routes from west of the actively eroding Blackwater River valley head. This captured flood water enabled the Clear Fork valley to erode south across the figure 7 map area. The northwest-oriented tributary valleys were eroded by reversals of flood flow on northwest ends of beheaded flood flow routes. At least some of the captured flood flow routes had been moving flood waters to was then the actively eroding northeast-oriented Muddy Creek valley. Headward erosion of the deep Blackwater River valley north of the figure 7 map area then beheaded and reversed flood flow in the Bear Creek area causing a reversal of flood flow to erode the north-oriented Bear Creek valley. Reversal of flood flow on the Post Oak Creek alignment west of Warrensburg ended flood flow to the reversed and newly eroded north-oriented Bear Creek and Clear Fork valleys. Figure 7 map evidence is not adequate to determine whether Bristle Ridge is an erosional remnant or if Bristle Ridge is composed of more resistant bedrock than surrounding area.

Detailed map of Clear Fork-Muddy Creek drainage divide area

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


Figure 8 provides a detailed map of the Clear Fork-Muddy Creek drainage divide area seen in less detail in figure 7 above. Muddy Creek flows in a north-northeast and northeast direction in the figure 8 southeast quadrant. The east-northeast oriented stream in sections 28 and 27 is a Muddy Creek tributary. Coperas Creek is the north- and northwest-oriented in sections 32 and 30. Plum Branch in the northwest-oriented stream in sections 29 and 19 (in the figure 8 northwest corner area) and Bell Branch is the north-northwest oriented stream in the figure 8 southwest corner. Bell Branch, Coperas Creek, and Plum Branch flow to north-northeast oriented Clear Fork which is located west of the figure 8 map area. Note how east-northeast oriented Muddy Creek is linked by through valleys with the northwest-oriented Coperas Creek and Plum Branch valleys. A west-east oriented through valleys is located between sections 29 and 32 and a northwest-southeast oriented through valley can be seen in section 29. Another west to east oriented through valley is located between sections 20 and 29. Floors of the two southern through valleys have elevations between 870 and 880 feet and the floor of the northern through valley has an elevation of between 880 and 890 feet. Hills along the figure 8 south center edge rise to elevations greater than 920 feet and near the figure 8 north center edge rise to elevations greater than 910 feet. The through valleys provide evidence that prior to being beheaded by Blackwater River valley headward erosion flood waters were flowing in a southeast and east direction to what was then the actively eroding Muddy Creek valley. The Muddy Creek valley had eroded headward from the actively eroding Blackwater River valley head north and east of the figure 8 map area. The Muddy Creek valley reached the figure 8 map area before headward erosion of the Blackwater River valley (north of the figure 8 map area) beheaded flood flow routes to the figure 8 map area. Headward erosion of the north-northeast oriented Clear Fork valley captured southeast-oriented flood flow moving to the newly eroded Muddy Creek valley. Flood waters on northwest ends of beheaded flood routes reversed flow direction to erode northwest-oriented Clear Fork tributary valleys and to created the Clear Fork-Muddy Creek drainage divide.

Clear Fork-Tebo Creek drainage divide area

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


Figure 9 illustrates the Clear Fork-Tebo Creek drainage divide area south of the figure 7 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 7. Windsor is the town located in the figure 9 southeast corner. Leeton is the smaller town located south and west of the figure 9 center. Several strip mines are located in the figure 9 southeast quadrant and south center area. Clear Fork flows in a northwest and north-northeast direction from the figure 9 center region to the figure 9 north center edge. Mineral Creek is the northeast oriented Clear Fork tributary flowing near Leeton. North of the figure 9 map area Clear Fork joins the northeast and east oriented Blackwater River. The north- and northeast-oriented stream in the figure 9 northeast quadrant which flows through the Turkey Kearn State Wildlife Area is Muddy Creek. North and east of the figure 9 map area Muddy Creek joins the east-oriented Blackwater River. Middle Fork Tebo Creek is the south oriented stream in the figure 9 southeast quadrant located midway between Leeton and Windsor and flows to the figure 9 south edge. Little Tebo Creek is the south-southeast oriented stream originating near Leeton and flowing to the figure 9 south center edge. Other south-oriented streams flowing to the figure 9 south edge are Tebo Creek tributaries. South of the figure 9 the Tebo Creek tributaries join to form south- and southeast-oriented Tebo Creek, which flows to the east- and northeast-oriented Osage River. Close inspection of the figure 9 map area reveals shallow north-south oriented through valleys linking north-oriented Blackwater River tributary valleys with south-oriented Tebo Creek tributary valleys. Figure 9 illustrates a region with low relief and through valleys are generally defined by a single ten-meter contour line on each side, although closer inspection reveals broader through valleys defined by an additional contour line on each side. The through valleys provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow routes to what were once actively eroding Tebo Creek tributary valleys which had eroded headward from what was then the newly eroded Osage River valley. At that time the deep Blackwater River valley (and Missouri River valley) north of the figure 9 map area did not exist and flood waters were freely moving south on a topographic surface at least as high as the present day Blackwater River-Osage River drainage divide. Headward erosion of the deep Blackwater River-(northeast-oriented) Muddy Creek valley beheaded and reversed south-oriented flood flow in the figure 9 northeast quadrant to erode the north-oriented Muddy Creek headwaters valley. Continued headward erosion of the deep Blackwater River valley north of the figure 9 map area then beheaded and reversed flood flow routes that resulted in erosion of the north-northeast oriented Clear Fork valley, which beheaded and reversed southeast-oriented flood flow routes to what was then the newly eroded Muddy Creek valley. The reversals of flood flow created the Blackwater River-Osage River drainage divide or more locally the Clear Fork-Tebo Creek drainage divide.

Detailed map of Clear Fork-Tebo Creek drainage divide area

Figure 10: Detailed map of Clear Fork-Tebo 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 Clear Fork-Tebo Creek drainage divide area east of Leeton which was seen in less detail in figure 9 above. Leeton, Missouri is the town located near the figure 10 west edge. A strip mine area in the figure 10 southeast quadrant has significantly altered local drainage although streams in the southeast quadrant flow to south oriented Middle Fork Tebo Creek, which is located east of the figure 10 map area. The south oriented stream in sections 27 and 28 is Little Tebo Creek, which like all other south oriented streams flowing to the figure 10 south edge are tributaries to south- and southeast-oriented Tebo Creek, which flows to the east and northeast oriented Osage River. Clear Fork flows in a west-northwest and northwest direction in sections 13, 14, and 15 to the figure 10 north center edge. North-northeast oriented Mineral Creek is located in the figure 10 northwest corner north of Leeton and is a Clear Fork tributary. North of the figure 10 map area Clear Fork flows in a north-northeast direction to join the northeast-and east-oriented Blackwater River. Shallow north-south oriented through valleys crossing the Clear Fork-Tebo Creek drainage divide can be seen in sections 21, 22, 23, and 24. Floors of the deepest through valleys have elevations of between 920 and 930 feet. The hill east of Leeton in section 21 rises to an elevation of at least 980 feet. Three miles west of Leeton hills rise to over 990 feet. The highest hill in section rises to over 970 feet and three miles east of the figure 10 east edge a hill rises to over 1000 feet. In other words the through valleys are broader and deeper than appear on this limited area map. The through valleys provide evidence of south-oriented flood flow channels to what were once actively eroding Tebo Creek tributary valleys and also provide evidence of the amount of regional erosion flood waters accomplished. Flood waters originally flowed on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest regional hill tops today. At that time the deep Blackwater River valley north of the figure 10 map area did not exist. Headward erosion of the deep Blackwater River valley enabled the north-northeast oriented Clear Fork valley (north of the figure 10 map area) to erode headward and to behead and reverse south- and southeast-oriented flood flow routes on the northwest-oriented Clear Fork valley segment. The reversal of flood flow eroded the north- and northwest-oriented Clear Fork headwaters valleys and created the Clear Fork-Tebo Creek drainage divide.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: