South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area landform origins in Henry, St Clair, and Benton Counties, Missouri, USA

Authors

Abstract:

The South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area in Henry, St Clair, and Benton Counties is located upstream from Harry S. Truman Dam and Harry S. Truman Reservoir floods the South Grand River and Osage River valleys. The Osage River and South Grand River valleys and tributary valleys were eroded during immense south-oriented floods prior to headward erosion of the deep Missouri River valley to the north. Flood waters were derived from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet and were systematically captured (from south to north) by headward erosion of deep east-oriented valleys, with flood waters diverted to the south-oriented Mississippi River valley. In the Henry County-St Clair County area headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley captured flood waters first and diverted flood flow east and northeast to what was then a newly eroded Missouri River valley. Flood flow to the newly eroded Osage River valley deeply eroded the present day South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area prior to South Grand River valley headward erosion. South Grand River valley and tributary valley headward erosion closely followed Osage River valley headward erosion and beheaded south-oriented flood flow to the newly eroded Osage River valley. Evidence supporting this flood origin interpretation includes positions and orientations of the Osage River and South Grand River valleys and tributary valleys and north-south oriented through valleys of various depths and widths which have been eroded across the west to east oriented South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide.

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 South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area landform origins in Henry, St Clair, and Benton 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 South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area in Henry, St Clair, and Benton Counties, Missouri will be regarded as evidence supporting the “thick ice sheet that melted fast” paradigm.

South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area location map

Figure 1: South Grand River-Osage 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 South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area in Henry, St Clair, and Benton Counties, Missouri location map and illustrates a region in western Missouri with a region in eastern Kansas to the west. The Osage River is formed at the confluence of tributaries near Schell City, Missouri and flows in an east and northeast direction to Harry S. Truman Reservoir where it joins the southeast-oriented South Grand River and then flows in east direction to Lake of the Ozarks (another large reservoir). From the Lake of the Ozarks the Osage River flows in a northeast direction to join the Missouri River near Jefferson City, Missouri (located on the figure 1 east edge). The east and southeast oriented Missouri River is mostly located north of the figure 1 map area although the southeast-oriented Missouri River flows across the figure 1 northeast corner to Jefferson City. East of figure 1 the Missouri River flows in an east direction to join the south-oriented Mississippi River. The Henry, St Clair, and Benton County area is located in the Harry S. Truman Reservoir region and the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area illustrated and discussed in this essay is located between the flooded South Grand River valley in the north and the flooded Osage River valley to the south. This essay is one of a series 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. Flood waters flowed south across the figure 1 map area and were captured in sequence from south to north by headward erosion of deep east-oriented valleys and their east-oriented tributary valleys. Headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley captured south-oriented flood flow moving across the figure 1 map area and diverted flood waters to what was then the newly eroded Missouri River valley. At that time the Missouri River valley was still eroding headward across the region north of figure 1 and had not beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes in the figure 1 area. Headward erosion of the deep southeast-oriented South Grand River valley from the newly eroded Osage River valley then beheaded flood flow to the newly eroded Osage River valley to the south and created the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide. Subsequently headward erosion of the deep Missouri River valley and east-oriented tributary valleys beheaded all south-oriented flood flow routes to what were then the newly eroded South Grand River valley and newly eroded Osage River tributary valleys (west of the South Grand River valley head).

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

Figure 2: South Grand River-Osage River 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 South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area in Henry, St Clair and Benton Counties, Missouri. Henry, Benton, St Clair, and Hickory are Missouri county names and county boundaries are shown. The South Grand River flows in an east direction from the figure 2 west edge (near northwest corner) to Urich in western Henry County and then turns to flow in a southeast direction near Clinton to near Brownington where it turns to flow in an east direction to western Benton County. In western Benton County, just upstream from the dam impounding the Harry S. Truman Reservoir, the South Grand River joins the Osage River. The South Grand River valley is today flooded by the Harry S. Truman Reservoir and the high water level is shown. The Osage River flows in an east direction across western St Clair County before turning to flow in a northeast direction to the St Clair County northeast corner and to western Benton County. The Osage River valley has also been flooded by Harry S. Truman Reservoir. Named South Grand River tributaries in the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area in Henry and St Clair Counties are east oriented Deepwater Creek, northeast-oriented Bear Creek, east and northeast-oriented Marshall Creek, and northeast-oriented Cooper Creek. Monegraw Creek is the named southeast-oriented Osage River tributary in northwest St Clair County. Note north-oriented Osage River tributaries from the south. The north-oriented Osage River tributary valleys were eroded by reversals of flood flow on south oriented flood flow routes beheaded by headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley. The south and southeast oriented Osage River tributary valleys eroded headward along and across the south oriented flood flow routes. Headward erosion of the South Grand River valley across south oriented flood flow routes north of the newly eroded Osage River valley beheaded south oriented flood flow routes to the actively eroding south-oriented Osage River tributary valleys and created the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide. South and southeast oriented South Grand River tributary valleys then eroded headward from the newly eroded South Grand River valley. Headward erosion of the deep Missouri River valley and its east oriented tributary valleys north of the figure 2 map area later beheaded and reversed south-oriented flood flow routes to what were then actively eroding south oriented South Grand River tributary valleys.

South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area eastern end

Figure 3: South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area eastern end. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 3 illustrates the east end of the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area. Warsaw, Missouri is the town located near the figure 3 east edge and Harry S. Truman Dam is located a short distance upstream from Warsaw on the Osage River. The meandering Osage River and South Grand River meet a short upstream from Harry S. Truman Dam. The Osage River meanders in an east direction from the figure 3 southwest corner to Harry S. Truman Dam. The north-northwest oriented flooded valley in the figure 3 southeast corner area is the Pomme de Terre River valley. The South Grand River meanders in an east direction from the figure 3 west edge (north half) to the Harry S. Truman Dam area. The flooded southeast-oriented valley in the figure 3 northeast quadrant is the southeast-oriented Tebo Creek valley. The figure 3 map area shows a region of relatively low relief, which makes drainage history reconstructions in the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area difficult. However note southeast and south-southeast oriented South Grand River tributaries from the north and much shorter north and north-northwest oriented tributaries from the south. Also note short southeast-oriented Osage River tributaries from the north with a few southwest-oriented tributaries and some northwest-oriented tributaries from the south (in the figure 3 southeast quadrant). A close look at the drainage divide reveals some shallow north-south through valleys linking north-oriented South Grand River tributary valleys with south-oriented Osage River tributary valleys. These through valleys are subtle features and are better seen on more detailed topographic maps, but even there the through valleys are not obvious. Figure 4 provides a detailed map of the drainage divide area just west of Finey (near figure 3 center). Figure 3 drainage history began with immense south-oriented floods flowing across the entire figure 3 map area. Headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley captured the flood waters first and beheaded south-oriented flood flow channels. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow channels reversed flow direction to erode north-oriented Osage River tributary valleys. At least some of the incised meanders developed as flood flow from south-oriented flood flow channels west of the actively eroding Osage River valley head spilled eastward into newly reversed north-oriented tributary valleys. Headward erosion of the deep South Grand River valley followed closed behind Osage River valley headward erosion and beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes to the newly eroded Osage River valley. The short north-oriented South Grand River tributary valleys were eroded by reversals of flood flow which created the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide. Note elevations greater than 270 meter east of Finey along the drainage divide. Figures 5, 7, and 9 illustrate regions west of the figure 3 map area and elevations will be 20-30 meters lower until figure 9 is encountered. South-oriented flood flow eroded at least 20-30 meters of material from the intervening region.

Detailed map of South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area near eastern end

Figure 4: Detailed map of South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area near eastern end. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.


Figure 4 provides a detailed map of the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area west of Finey which was seen in less detail in figure 3 above. Finey is the small town or cluster of buildings located near the figure 4 east edge (along the highway). A flooded Osage River valley meander is located in the figure 4 southeast quadrant. Flooded South Grand River meanders can be seen along the figure 4 north edge. The north oriented South Grand River tributary near the figure 4 west edge is the Jackson Branch. The south-southeast oriented Osage River tributary south of the Jackson Branch headwaters is Butler Hollow. Note how the north oriented Jackson Branch valley is linked by a shallow through valley with south-oriented Butler Hollow valley. The map contour interval is ten feet and the elevation of the through valley floor is between 840 and 850 feet. The hill east of the through valley rises to elevation of at least 880 feet and the hill west of the through valley rises to at least 870 feet (and to over 880 feet just west of the figure 4 map area). Another shallow north-south oriented through valley can be seen in section 27 linking a north- and northwest-oriented South Grand River tributary valley with a south-oriented Osage River tributary valley. The floor of the section 27 through valley also has an elevation of between 840 and 850 feet. Hills east of Finey rise to an elevation of at least 930 feet and as previously mentioned hills west of the section 27 through valley rise to at least 880 feet. Close inspection of the figure 4 reveals other shallower through valleys. The through valleys provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow channels that existed prior to headward erosion of the deep South Grand River valley. The through valleys were probably eroded by south-oriented flood flow moving to what was then the actively eroding Osage River valley. Headward erosion of the deep South Grand River valley beheaded the south-oriented flood flow channels in sequence from east to west. Flood waters on north-ends of the beheaded flood flow channels reversed flow direction to erode north-oriented South Grand River tributary valleys and to create the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide.

Big Otter Creek-Big Muddy Creek drainage divide area

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


Figure 5 illustrates the Big Otter Creek-Big Muddy Creek drainage divide area west of the figure 3 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 3. Deepwater is the town located near the figure 5 north edge (west half). Brownington is the smaller town located east of Deepwater and south of the word RESERVOIR. Lowry City is the town located near the figure 5 south center edge. The flooded east oriented South Grand River valley is located near the north edge in the figure 5 northeast quadrant. Northeast oriented Marshall Creek is the northeast oriented South Grand River tributary in the figure 5 northwest corner area. Cooper Creek is the northeast-oriented South Grand River tributary flowing between Deepwater and Brownington. Big Otter Creek is the northeast-oriented South Grand River tributary east of Brownington and Little Otter Creek is the north oriented tributary immediately east of Big Otter Creek. Hoy Creek is the northwest and north-northeast oriented tributary east of Little Otter Creek and north-oriented Jackson Branch is located near the figure 5 east edge. The flooded north and northeast oriented Osage River valley is located in the figure 5 southeast quadrant. Big Muddy Creek is the southeast, east, and north oriented Osage River tributary located east of Lowry City. Little Muddy Creek is the south and southeast oriented Osage River tributary located north of Big Muddy Creek. Headwaters of southeast-oriented oriented Gallinipper Creek are located west of Lowry City. Note shallow north-south oriented through valleys linking the north-oriented Little Otter Creek valley with the south and southeast oriented Little Muddy Creek valley and also linking north-oriented Cooper Creek tributary valleys with the southeast-oriented Gallinipper Creek valley. The through valleys are shallow and are defined by only one ten-meter contour line on each side, but they exist and provide evidence of south-oriented flood flow channels prior to headward erosion of the deep South Grand River valley. Additional through valleys can be seen on more detailed maps and figure 6 below provides a detailed map of the Big Otter Creek-Big Muddy Creek drainage divide area near Lowry City. The north oriented Muddy Creek valley segment was eroded by a reversal of flood flow on the north end of a beheaded south-oriented flood flow channel beheaded by headward erosion of deep Osage River valley and its Little Muddy Creek tributary valley. Reversed flood flow along the north-oriented Big Muddy Creek alignment captured significant flood flow from west of the Little Muddy Creek valley and diverted that captured flood flow in a southeast and east direction to the newly reversed flood flow. Movement of this captured flood water eroded the Big Muddy Creek valley until south-oriented flood flow was beheaded and reversed by headward erosion of the deep South Grand River, which eroded the north-oriented Big and Little Otter Creek valleys and created the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide.

Detailed map of Big Otter Creek-Big Muddy Creek drainage divide area

Figure 6: Detailed map of Big Otter Creek-Big Muddy 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 Big Otter Creek-Big Muddy Creek drainage divide area near Lowry City which was seen in less detail in figure 5 above. Lowry City is the town straddling the figure 6 south center edge. The southeast-oriented stream in the figure 6 southeast quadrant is Big Muddy Creek, which is a Osage River tributary. The south-oriented stream west of Lowry City is Gallinipper Creek, also a Osage River tributary. The east-northeast oriented stream  located north of the word BUTLER and flowing to the figure 6 east edge is Little Muddy Creek, another Osage River tributary. The north-oriented stream flowing to the figure 6 north edge directly north of Lowry City flows to Big Otter Creek and north-oriented streams flowing to the figure 6 north edge west of that stream also flows to north-oriented Big Otter Creek. North-oriented streams in the figure 6 northeast quadrant flowing to the north edge east of the figure 6 north center area flow to north-oriented Little Otter Creek. Big Otter Creek and Little Otter Creek are South Grand River tributaries and they join just before reaching the South Grand River (see figure 5). Note shallow north-south oriented through valleys north of Lowry City linking the north-oriented Big Otter Creek and Little Otter Creek valleys with each other and also with the southeast-oriented Big Muddy Creek and the south-oriented Gallinipper Creek valleys. The figure 5 and 6 evidence must be viewed from the perspective of what the region looked like at the time the valleys were eroded. At that time the deep South Grand River valley did not exist and flood waters were flowing south across the entire figure 5 (and figure 6) map area. The Big Otter Creek and Little Otter Creek valleys were initially eroded as diverging channels in a south-oriented anastomosing channel complex and those diverging channels converged in the figure 6 map area before diverging again to supply south-oriented flood water to what were then actively eroding Big Muddy Creek and Gallinipper Creek valleys. Headward erosion of the deep South Grand River valley beheaded the south-oriented flood flow to the diverging, converging, and diverging flood flow channels. Flood waters on north ends of the beheaded flood flow channels reversed flow direction to erode the north-oriented Big Otter Creek and Little Otter Creek valleys and to create the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide.

Cooper Creek-Gallinipper Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 7 illustrates the Cooper Creek-Gallinipper Creek drainage divide area west of the figure 5 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 5. Lowry City is the town located in the figure 7 southeast quadrant near the east edge. An area of strip mines and reclaimed strip mine areas is shown in the figure 7 northwest corner. Big Otter Creek is the north-northeast and northeast oriented stream flowing to the figure 7 northeast corner. Cooper Creek is the northeast-oriented stream west of the Big Otter Creek. Note north-northwest and northwest oriented Cooper Creek tributaries from the southeast and southeast-oriented tributaries from the northwest. West of Cooper Creek and flowing to the figure 7 north center edge is Marshall Creek (see figure 9 below). Note north and north-northwest oriented Marshall Creek tributaries from the south and southeast-oriented tributaries from the northwest. All figure 7 north-oriented streams flow to the South Grand River. Gallinipper Creek is the southeast-oriented stream in the figure 7 southeast quadrant and Panther Creek is the southwest-oriented Gallinipper Creek tributary. Little Monegaw Creek is the south oriented stream flowing to the figure 7 south center edge. Spill Creek is a south and southwest oriented Little Monegaw Creek tributary and Finley Creek is a south-oriented tributary directly west of Little Monegaw Creek. Monegaw Creek is the southeast-oriented stream in the figure 7 southwest corner. Close inspection of the figure 7 map area reveals multiple shallow north-south oriented through valleys linking headwaters of north-oriented stream valleys with headwaters of the south oriented stream valleys. Figure 8 below provides a detailed map of the Cooper Creek-Little Monegaw Creek drainage divide area near Ohio, which is a small town located near the figure 7 center.The through valleys on figure 7 are shallow and are defined by one 10-meter contour line on each side, but they are water eroded features and provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow channels across the figure 7 map area prior to headward erosion of the deep South Grand River valley. At the time flood flow channels were eroded flood waters were moving to what were then actively eroding south-oriented Osage River tributary valleys. Headward erosion of the deep South Grand River valley and its northeast-oriented tributary valleys (in sequence from east to west) beheaded the south-oriented flood flow channels. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow channels reversed flow direction to erode north-oriented tributary valleys and to create the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide.

Cooper Creek-Little Monegaw Creek drainage divide area

Figure 8: Cooper Creek-Little Monegaw 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 Cooper Creek-Little Monegaw Creek drainage divide area located near Ohio, which was seen in less detail in figure 7 above. Ohio is the small cluster of buildings located just west of the figure 8 center. Cooper Creek flows in a northeast direction across the figure 8 north center area located north of Ohio and north and east of the figure 8 map area joins the South Grand River. Little Monegaw Creek flows in an east and south direction in the figure 8 south center area to the figure 8 south center edge. South of figure 8 Little Monegaw Creek joins the Osage River. Note north-south oriented through valleys linking north-oriented Cooper Creek tributary valleys with south-oriented Little Monegaw Creek tributary valleys. The through valleys can be seen in sections 15, 14, 13, and 18 (from west to east). The floor of the through valley in section 13 has an elevation of between 830 and 840 feet. The hill in the figure 8 southeast corner rises to more than 870 feet and east of the figure 8 map area rises to more than 900 feet. Hills in the figure 8 southwest corner rise to more than 860 feet and west of the figure 8 map area rise to elevations greater than 880 feet. The through valleys appear shallow and relatively narrow, but when viewed from the perspective of the higher elevations both east and west of the figure 8 map area are in fact much deeper and broader. The through valleys provide evidence of south-oriented flood flow channels and also of the amount of flood water erosion that occurred. Prior to headward erosion of the deep Osage River valley south of the figure 8 map area flood waters flowed on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest regional elevations today. The south-oriented flood flow channels were eroded headward from the newly eroded Osage River valley prior to headward erosion of the deep South Grand River valley and its northeast-oriented tributary valleys (e.g. Cooper Creek valley). Headward erosion of the northeast-oriented Cooper Creek valley from what was then the actively eroding South Grand River valley beheaded south-oriented flood flow to what was then the actively eroding Little Monegaw Creek valley. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode north-oriented Cooper Creek tributary valleys and to create the Cooper Creek-Little Monegaw Creek drainage divide (which is also the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide).

Marshall Creek-Ricky Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 9 illustrates the Marshall Creek-Ricky Creek drainage divide area located west of the figure 7 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 7. Appleton City is the town located in the figure 9 west center area. Montrose is the town straddling the north edge just west of the figure 9 north center edge. Strip mine areas and reclaimed strip mine areas are shown. Marshall Creek is the north-northeast and northeast-oriented stream flowing to the figure 9 northeast corner. North and east of figure 9 Marshall Creek flows to the South Grand River. Bear Creek is the northeast-oriented stream flowing to the figure 9 north center edge (just east of Montrose). North of the figure 9 map area Bear Creek flows to east-oriented Deepwater Creek, which flows to the South Grand River. Monegaw Creek is the stream originating just east of Appleton City and flowing in a south and south-southeast direction to the figure 9 south edge. Ditty Creek is a south-southeast oriented Monegaw Creek tributary located east of Monegaw Creek and Ricky Creek is a south-southeast oriented Monegaw Creek tributary located east of Ditty Creek. The south-oriented streams in the figure 9 southeast corner flow to Little Monegaw Creek. Note hills west of Appleton City where elevation rise to at least 300 meters. Most of the figure 9 map area east of Appleton City is at an elevation of between 240 and 250 meters, although in the southeast corner area there are some elevations greater than 260 meters. Remember elevations greater than 270 meters shown on the east end of the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area east of Finey in figure 3. The intervening area between Finey and Appleton City is a very shallow, but broad north-south oriented through valley eroded across the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide. Narrower north-south oriented through valleys can be identified on the floor of this very broad through valley as has been done in preceding figures. The broad through valley provides a measure of a minimal measure for the amount of material flood waters removed from the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area prior to headward erosion of the South Grand River valley. Figure 10 below provides a detailed map of the Marshall Creek-Ricky Creek drainage divide area to illustrate narrower through valleys there.

Detailed map of Marshall Creek-Ricky Creek drainage divide area

Figure 10: Detailed map of Marshall Creek-Ricky 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 Marshall Creek-Ricky Creek drainage divide area seen in less detail in figure 9 above. The southeast, east and northeast oriented stream in the figure 10 north center area and the north-oriented stream in the figure 10 northeast corner are Marshall Creek tributaries and flow to northeast-oriented Marshall Creek north of the figure 10 map area. The south-oriented stream along the figure 10 west edge is Ricky Creek and the south-southwest oriented stream in section 18 is a Ricky Creek tributary. Note the north-northeast to south-southwest oriented through valley linking the Ricky Creek tributary with a north-oriented tributary to the northeast-oriented Marshall Creek tributary. The through valley floor has an elevation of between 800 and 810 feet. High points in the figure 10 southeast quadrant exceed 880 feet in elevation. The streamlined erosional residual in the figure 10 northwest quadrant has a marked elevation of 857 feet. West of Appleton City (west of the figure 10 map area) elevations rise to as high as 1000 feet. East of the figure 10 map area elevations rise to more than 930 feet at the east end of the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area east of Finey (seen in figure 3). While the figure 10 through valley appears in figure 10 to only be about 50 feet deep and to be relatively narrow, when the South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area is looked at in a larger perspective the through valley is more than 120 feet deep and is many miles wide. This large north-south oriented through valley not only provides evidence of a south-oriented flood flow route prior to South Grand River valley headward erosion it also provides evidence of as much as feet of erosion, if not more from the present day South Grand River-Osage River drainage divide area. As previously described headward erosion of the deep South Grand River and its northeast-oriented tributary valleys (in sequence from east to west) captured the south-oriented flood flow and diverted flood water more directly to the newly eroded Osage River valley. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode north-oriented tributary valleys and to create the South Grand River-Osage River 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.

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