Kansas River-Neosho River drainage divide area landform origins in Geary, Wabaunsee, and Morris Counties, Kansas, USA

Authors

Abstract:

The Kansas River-Neosho River drainage divide area in Geary, Wabaunsee, and Marion Counties, Kansas is in reality the divide between the Missouri River drainage basin and Arkansas River drainage basin. The Kansas River-Neosho River drainage divide area was eroded by immense south-oriented floods from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet, which flowed across Kansas and which were captured by headward erosion of deep valleys. The Arkansas River-Neosho River valley and tributary valleys captured the south-oriented flood flow first and diverted flood waters southeast and east to the south-oriented Mississippi River valley. Headward erosion of the deep east oriented Kansas River valley and tributary valleys from what was then the newly eroded Missouri River valley next captured the flood waters and beheaded flood flow routes to the newly eroded Neosho River and tributary valleys. Evidence supporting this flood origin interpretation includes positions and orientation of present day valleys and through valleys crossing 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 Kansas River-Neosho River drainage divide area landform origins in Geary, Wabaunsee, and Morris Counties, Kansas, 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 Kansas River-Neosho River drainage divide area landform origins in Geary, Wabaunsee, and Morris Counties, Kansas will be regarded as evidence supporting the “thick ice sheet that melted fast” paradigm.

Kansas River-Neosho River drainage divide area location map

Figure 1: Kansas River-Neosho River drainage divide area location map (select and click on maps to enlarge). National Geographic Society map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 1 provides a location map for the Kansas River-Neosho River drainage divide area in Geary, Wabaunsee, and Morris Counties, Kansas and shows a region in east central Kansas with a thin strip of west-central Missouri in the east. The Missouri River flows in a southwest direction from the figure 1 north edge (east half) to Atchison and then turns to flow in a southeast direction to Kansas City. From Kansas City the Missouri River flows in an east-northeast direction to the figure 1 east edge. East of the figure 1 map area the Missouri River flows in an east-southeast direction to eventually reach the south-oriented Mississippi River. The Kansas River is formed at Junction City, Kansas by the confluence of the east-northeast oriented Smoky Hill River and the south-southeast oriented Republican River and then flows in an east direction to join the Missouri River at Kansas City. The Neosho River originates south of Junction City near White City and after flowing in a north-northeast direction turns to flow in a southeast direction to Council Grove, Americus, Emporia, Neosho Rapids, and Redmond Reservoir before reaching the figure 1 south edge. South of figure 1 the Neosho River continues to flow in a southeast and south direction and eventually joins the Arkansas River, which eventually reaches the south-oriented Mississippi River. The Kansas River-Neosho River drainage divide area illustrated and discussed here is located south of the Kansas River segment extending east from Junction City to Rossville and is in reality the divide between the Missouri River drainage basin and the Arkansas River drainage basin. Hundreds of Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project essays collectively present evidence for immense south-oriented floods which flowed into and across Kansas from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet located north of the figure 1 map area. Flood waters were captured in sequence from south to north by headward erosion of deep valleys from the south-oriented Mississippi River valley and headward erosion of tributary valleys from those Mississippi River tributary valleys. Headward erosion of the Arkansas River-Neosho River valley captured the south-oriented flood flow first in the figure 1 map area and diverted flood waters south and east to what was then the newly eroded Arkansas River valley. Headward erosion of the Kansas River valley from what was then the newly eroded Missouri River valley next beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes to the newly eroded Neosho River valley. Headward erosion of the east-oriented Platte River valley in Nebraska then beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes to the newly eroded Kansas River and tributary valleys.

Kansas River-Neosho River drainage divide area detailed location map

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

Figure 2 provides a slightly more detailed location map for the Kansas River-Neosho River drainage divide area in Geary, Wabaunsee, and Morris Counties, Kansas. Riley, Dickinson, Geary, Wabaunsee, Shawnee, Morris, Lyon and Osage are Kansas county names and county boundaries are shown. The Smoky Hill River flows from the figure 2 west center to Abilene in Dickinson County and then to Junction City in Geary County where it joins the south-southeast oriented Republican River to form the Kansas River. From the Junction City area the Kansas River flows to Manhattan in Riley County and then forms the Wabaunsee County north boundary as it flows to Topeka in Shawnee County and the figure 2 east edge. Clarks Creek is a north-northeast oriented Kansas River tributary originating in west-central Morris County and joining the Kansas River near Ogden (between Junction City and Manhattan). Mill Creek is a major east-oriented Kansas River tributary in Wabaunsee County, which joins the Kansas River near the Wabaunsee County-Shawnee County border, and which has an extensive network of northeast, north, and northwest oriented tributaries in western Wabaunsee County. The Neosho River originates in west-central Morris County and flows in a northeast and east direction to Parkerville. From Parkerville the Neosho River flows in a southeast direction to Council Grove and Emporia near the figure 2 south edge. Munkers Creek is a south and south-southwest oriented tributary joining the Neosho River just upstream from Council Grove. Rock Creek is a south-southwest and south oriented tributary, which joins the Neosho River near Dunlap (located between Council Grove and Emporia). Note how the southeast-oriented Neosho River alignment is approximately the same as the south-southeast oriented Republican River alignment north of Junction City. The similarity of these alignments suggests headward erosion of the northeast-oriented Kansas River valley beheaded and captured a significant southeast-oriented flood flow route that was eroding the Neosho River valley headward from what was then the newly eroded Arkansas River valley. Note the north-northwest oriented Clarks Creek tributary and the south-southeast oriented Neosho River tributary also using this northwest-southeast alignment. The north-northwest oriented Clarks Creek tributary valley was probably eroded by a reversal of flood flow on the north of the beheaded flood flow route. Evidence of former south-oriented flood flow routes is better seen on the more detailed topographic maps below and includes through valleys crossing present day drainage divides.

Clarks Creek-Neosho River drainage divide area

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

Figure 3 illustrates the Clarks Creek-Neosho River drainage divide area near White City in Morris County. White City is the town near the figure 3 center. Latimer is the small town near the figure 3 southwest corner. Parkerville is the smaller town located in the figure 3 southeast quadrant and Skiddy is the even smaller town near the figure 3 north edge (west half). Clarks Creek flows in a north-northeast direction from the figure 3 southwest corner to Skiddy and the figure 3 north edge. North of figure 3 Clarks Creek flows to the Kansas River. Note northwest-oriented Clarks Creek tributaries including Ralls Creek and Mulberry Creek, both of which have headwaters near White City. The northwest-oriented tributaries provide evidence headward erosion of the north-northeast oriented Clarks Creek valley beheaded multiple southeast-oriented flood flow routes. Flood waters on northwest ends of the beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode the northwest-oriented tributary valleys. The Neosho River flows in a northeast direction from the figure 3 south center edge and then turns to flow in an east direction to Parkerville where it turns to flow in a southeast direction to the figure 3 southeast corner. Note the southeast-oriented Neosho River tributaries. Lairds Creek is the south-southeast oriented tributary joining the Neosho River east of the figure 3 southeast corner. Parkers Creek is the south- and southeast-oriented tributary joining the Neosho River at Parkersville. Note the broad, but shallow northwest-southeast oriented through valleys crossing the Clarks Creek-Neosho River drainage divide. For example in the figure 3 northeast quadrant a broad through valley links the south-southeast oriented Laird Creek valley with the valley of a north-northwest oriented Clarks Creek tributary near the figure 3 north edge. Also note the broad through valley linking the east and southeast oriented Neosho River valley with northwest-oriented Clarks Creek tributary valleys extending from the figure 3 south edge area to northeast of White City. These through valleys provide evidence of southeast-oriented flood flow routes to what was once the actively eroding Neosho River valley prior to headward erosion of the Clarks Creek valley (and prior to headward erosion of the Kansas River-Smoky Hill River valley north and west of the figure 3 map area. Headward erosion of the north-northeast oriented Clarks Creek valley captured the southeast-oriented flood flow. Flood waters on the northwest ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode northwest-oriented Clarks Creek tributary valleys and to create the Clarks Creek-Neosho River drainage divide.

Detailed map of Clarks Creek-Neosho River drainage divide area detailed location map

Figure 4: Detailed map of Clarks Creek-Neosho River drainage divide area detailed location map. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 4 provides a detailed map of the Clarks Creek-Neosho River drainage divide area near White City, which was seen in less detail in figure 3 above. White City is located near the figure 4 south edge. Ralls Creek originates just north of White City and flows in a north-northwest direction to the figure 4 northwest corner area. North and west of figure 4 Ralls Creek joins north-northeast oriented Clarks Creek. The south-oriented stream in sections 25 and 36 just east of White City is an unnamed tributary which joins the east and southeast oriented Neosho River south of the figure 4 map area. The south-oriented stream flowing to the figure 4 southeast corner area is Parkers Creek, which joins the Neosho River at Parkersville. The northwest-oriented stream in sections 23 and 14 (in the figure 4 northwest quadrant) is Thomas Creek, which flows to north-northeast oriented Clarks Creek. Other north-oriented streams flowing to the figure 4 north edge also flow to Clarks Creek and the Kansas River. The railroad line is located approximately on the Clarks Creek-Neosho River drainage divide. Following the railroad line from the figure 4 northeast corner to White City reveals several shallow through valleys crossing the drainage divide. Through valleys can be seen in sections 17, 18, 19, and at the corner of sections 23, 24, 25, and 26. The drainage divide elevation is decreasing in a southwest direction from elevations of at least 1500 feet in the figure 4 northeast quadrant to elevations of less than 1440 feet just south of the figure 4 map area. However, southwest of the figure 4 map area the drainage divide rises again to elevations of at least 1470 feet suggesting the drainage divide between the figure 4 northeast quadrant area and the area southwest of the figure 4 map area is in reality a broad northwest-southeast oriented through valley. The entire drainage divide appears to have been eroded by massive southeast-oriented floods which were captured by headward erosion of the deep north-northeast oriented Clarks Creek valley and diverted to what was then the newly eroded Kansas River north and east of the figure 4 map area. At that time the Kansas River valley and its tributary Smoky Hill River valley had not eroded far enough west to behead the southeast-oriented flood flow moving to the figure 4 map area.

Mill Creek-Munkers Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 5 illustrates the Mill Creek-Munkers Creek drainage divide area near Alta Vista, which is located east of the figure 3 map area. Alta Vista is the town located north and west of the figure 5 center area. Dwight is the smaller town located near the figure 5 west center edge. The northeast, north, east, and northeast oriented stream originating near Alta Vista is the West Branch of Mill Creek. Illinois Creek is a north-northeast oriented Mill Creek tributary located in the figure 5 northeast quadrant. North and east of the figure 5 map area Mill Creek flows in an east direction to join the Kansas River. The north and north-northwest oriented stream in the figure 5 northwest corner is Humboldt Creek, which joins Clarks Creek just before Clarks Creek flows to the Kansas River. The northeast- and south-oriented stream located on the south side of Alta Vista and which flows to the figure 5 south center edge is Munkers Creek. The south-southwest oriented stream immediately east of Munkers Creek near the figure 5 south edge is the Middle Branch Munkers Creek and the southwest-oriented stream to the east is the East Branch Munkers Creek. South of figure 5 Munkers Creek flows to the southeast-oriented Neosho River. Note the broad north-south oriented through valley linking the north-oriented West Branch Mill Creek valley segment with the south-oriented Munkers Creek valley. The map contour interval is ten meters and at least three contour lines define the valley walls, which are approximately 8 miles apart (the map grid is based on sections, which are one mile square). The through valley is a water eroded feature and provides evidence of massive south-oriented flood flow prior to headward erosion of the West Branch Mill Creek valley and prior to headward erosion of the deep Kansas River valley north of the figure 5 map area. Headward erosion of the Mill Creek-West Branch Mill Creek valley beheaded the south-oriented flood flow and diverted the flood waters north and east to what was then the newly eroded Kansas River valley head located north and east of the figure 5 map area. At that time the deep Kansas River valley was just beginning to erode headward across the region north of the figure 5 map area. The north-oriented Mill Creek tributary valleys were eroded by reversals of south-oriented flood flow to flow north to the newly eroded east-oriented Mill Creek valley. The reversals of flood flow also created the Mill Creek-Munkers Creek drainage divide.

Detailed map of West Branch Mill Creek-Munkers Creek drainage divide area

Figure 6: Detailed map of West Branch Mill Creek-Munkers 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 Branch Mill Creek-Munkers Creek drainage divide area near Alta Vista, which was seen in less detail in figure 5 above. Alta Vista is located near the figure 6 center. The West Branch Mill Creek flows in an east-southeast direction in section 4 near the figure 6 west edge before turning to flow in a northeast direction in section 3. While the West Branch Mill Creek flows generally in a northeast direction from section 3 to the figure 6 north edge it does make a a southeast-oriented jog just northwest of Alta Vista. Note the southeast-oriented tributary in section 34 just northwest of the southeast-oriented jog. Munkers Creek flows in an east direction across section 9 in the figure 6 southwest corner and then turns in section 10 to flow in a northeast direction to the Alta Vista southwest edge in section 2. In section 2 Munkers Creek turns to flow in a southeast and then south direction to the figure 6 south edge. The West Branch Mill Creek and Munkers Creek valleys and the valleys of their tributaries have been eroded into the floor of the much broader north-south oriented through valley illustrated in the larger area figure 5 above. However, smaller scale north-south oriented through valleys link the north-oriented West Branch Mill Creek valley and the south-oriented Munkers Creek valley and provide further evidence of flood flow movements. The deepest through valley is located at Alta Vista and links the north-oriented West Branch Mill Creek valley with the south-oriented Munkers Creek valley. The southeast-oriented West Branch Mill Creek jog and the southeast-oriented West Branch Mill Creek tributary are also linked to this through valley. The through valley provides evidence the northeast-oriented West Branch Mill Creek valley beheaded southeast-oriented flood flow to what was then the actively eroding south-oriented Munkers Creek valley. The northeast-oriented Munkers Creek valley segment suggests headward erosion of the Munkers Creek valley at the time headward erosion the West Branch Mill Creek valley was beheading flood flow to the south-oriented Munkers Creek valley also beheaded northeast-oriented flood flow to the actively eroding West Branch Mill Creek valley. In other words, for a time the south-oriented Munkers Creek valley and the northeast-oriented West Branch Mill Creek valleys were both actively eroding headward into the figure 6 map area and were competing for the flood water flowing into the region. Headward erosion of the deep Kansas River-Smoky Hill River valley north of the figure 6 map area beheaded all flood flow to the figure 6 map area and the figure 6 drainage pattern reflects the status of valley erosion as the final flood waters drained from the figure 6 map area.

Mill Creek-Rock Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 7 illustrates the Mill Creek-Rock Creek drainage divide area east of the figure 5 map area. Eskridge is the town located in the figure 7 northeast quadrant. The north-oriented stream in the figure 7 northwest corner is Illinois Creek, which flows to northeast and east oriented Mill Creek north of the figure 7 map area. The north-northeast and north-northwest streams joining at the figure 7 north edge (east of Illinois Creek) form north-oriented South Branch Mill Creek and the north-oriented stream flowing from the reservoir west of Eskridge is a north-oriented East Branch Mill Creek tributary. The northwest-oriented stream north of Eskridge is the East Branch Mill Creek. North of figure 7 the Mill Creek tributaries all join northeast- and east-oriented Mill Creek, which flows to the Kansas River east and north of the figure 7 map area. The south-southeast oriented stream south of Eskridge is Elm Creek, which eventually reaches the Osage River, which is a Missouri River tributary. The southwest, south, and southeast oriented drainage in the ROCK CREEK township area in the figure 7 south center and southwest quadrant areas represents headwaters of south-oriented Rock Creek, which flows to the southeast-oriented Neosho River and the Arkansas River. West-oriented drainage flowing to the figure 7 west edge are Munkers Creek tributaries and flow to the Neosho River. Figure 7 then illustrates a drainage divide between three major drainage basins. Streams flowing north are flowing to the Kansas River, which flows to the Missouri River. The stream south of Eskridge flows to the Osage River, which is a Missouri River tributary, but which has an extensive drainage basin of its own. And Rock Creek and Munkers Creek flow to the Neosho River and then the Arkansas River, which is a completely independent drainage basin from the Missouri River drainage basin. A close look at the figure 7 drainage divides reveals shallow through valleys crossing the drainage divides and providing evidence flood waters once crossed those drainage divides. The Elm Creek valley eroded headward into the figure 7 map area, from what then the actively eroding Osage River drainage basin valley network, at about the same time as the Rock Creek and Munkers Creek valleys eroded headward into the figure 7 map area from what was then the newly eroded Neosho River valley. Headward erosion of these actively eroding south-oriented valleys was stopped by headward erosion of the northeast and east oriented Mill Creek valley north of the figure 7 map area. The Mill Creek valley eroded headward from what were then the newly eroded Kansas and Missouri River valleys. The north oriented Mill Creek tributary valleys were eroded by reversals of flood flow on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes.

Detailed map of South Branch Mill Creek-Rock Creek drainage divide area

Figure 8: Detailed map of South Branch Mill Creek-Rock 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 South Branch Mill Creek-Rock Creek drainage divide area west of Gun Barrel Hill which was seen in less detail in figure 7 above. Gun Barrel Hill is the labeled landmark in the figure 8 southeast quadrant. The stream flowing north from the Gun Barrel Hill area is a tributary of the northwest-oriented East Branch Mill Creek. The northwest-oriented stream in sections 18 and 7 and the north-oriented stream in sections 13 and 12 join north of the figure 8 map area to form north-oriented South Branch Mill Creek. North and east of the figure 8 map area Mill Creek flows to the Kansas River. South-oriented drainage flowing to the figure 8 south edge (and west edge) flows to south-oriented Rock Creek, which flows to the Nesoho River.  The Mill Creek-Rock Creek drainage divide seen in figure 8 is in reality the divide between the Missouri River drainage basin and the Arkansas River drainage basin. Note north-south oriented through valleys linking the north-oriented Mill Creek tributary valleys with the south-oriented Rock Creek tributary valleys. These through valleys are especially obvious in sections 14, 13, 20, and 21, although less obvious through valleys are present in sections 18 and 28. The through valleys provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow channels moving flood waters to what were then actively eroding Rock Creek tributary valleys. The Rock Creek valley and its tributary valleys had eroded headward from what was then the newly eroded Neosho River valley. At that time the Mill Creek valley north of the figure 8 map area did not exist nor did the Kansas River valley north of the Mill Creek valley exist. Headward erosion of the Mill Creek valley north of the figure 8 map area 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 the north-oriented Mill Creek tributary valleys. Because flood flow channels were beheaded one at a time from east to west and because flood flow channels were anastomosing (or interconnected) reversed flood flow in a newly beheaded flood flow channel could capture yet to be beheaded flood flow from channels further to the west. The capture of such yet to beheaded flood flow provided the water volumes required to erode significant north-oriented valleys. The reversal of flood flow also created the Mill Creek-Rock Creek drainage divide.

Kansas River-Mill Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 9 uses reduced size maps to illustrate Kansas River-Mill Creek drainage divide area north and slightly east of the figure 7 map area. Wamego is the town located near the north edge in the figure 9 northwest quadrant. St Marys is the town in the figure 9 northeast corner. The east-oriented Kansas River is located in the figure 9 north half and Wabaunsee is the town south of Kansas River in the figure 9 northwest quadrant. McFarland is the town located near the figure 9 south center edge and Paxico is the town located east of McFarland. Mill Creek flows in a northeast direction from the figure 9 south edge to McFarland and then in an east direction to Paxico and the figure 9 east edge. East of the figure 9 map area Mill Creek joins the Kansas River. Note how Mill Creek tributaries from the north are southeast-oriented and how tributaries from the south are north-oriented. Also note the Kansas River tributaries from the south. Antelope Creek is the north-oriented Kansas River flowing through WABAUNSEE township and joining the Kansas River just east of Wabaunsee. Note how Antelope Creek has northwest-oriented tributaries and southeast-oriented headwaters. Further note how the Antelope Creek valley is linked by through valleys with valleys of southeast-oriented Mill Creek tributaries. Figure 10 below provides a detailed map of the Antelope Creek-Pretty Creek drainage divide area northwest from McFarland to better illustrate the through valleys. Note also how the northeast-oriented Kansas River tributary in the figure 9 north center area has northwest-oriented headwaters and how those northwest-oriented headwaters are linked to headwaters of a southeast-oriented Mill Creek tributary. The figure 9 map evidence is best interpreted in the context of massive southeast-oriented floods flowing across the entire 9 map area on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 9 elevations today. Headward erosion of the deep Mill Creek valley from what was then the actively eroding Kansas River valley head captured the southeast-oriented flood flow and diverted the flood waters east to the newly eroded Kansas River valley. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode the north-oriented Mill Creek tributary valleys while southeast-oriented tributary valleys eroded headward along major southeast-oriented flood flow routes. Headward erosion of the deep Kansas River valley and its northeast-oriented tributary valleys next beheaded southeast-oriented flood flow routes to what were then actively eroding southeast-oriented Mill Creek tributary valleys. Reversals of flood flow on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes eroded the north-oriented Kansas River tributary valleys in the figure 9 west half.

Detailed map of Antelope Creek-Pretty Creek drainage divide area

Figure 10: Detailed map of Antelope Creek-Pretty 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 Antelope Creek-Pretty Creek drainage divide area northwest of McFarland which was seen in less detail in figure 9 above. Antelope Creek flows in a north-northeast direction from the figure 10 west edge (south half) into section 17 and then turns to flow in a north direction across section 9 to the figure 10 north edge (west half). North of figure 10 Antelope Creek flows to the east oriented Kansas River. Pretty Creek flows in a southeast direction in section 22 to the figure 10 south edge (east half) and south of figure 10 joins east-oriented Mill Creek near McFarland. Note the deep northwest-southeast oriented through valley linking a northwest-oriented Antelope Creek tributary valley with the southeast-oriented McFarland Creek valley. The through valley floor elevation is 1165 feet and elevations of hill tops in section 20 (in the figure 10 southwest corner) exceed 1350 feet and elevations of hill tops in section 9 (in the figure 10 northwest quadrant) exceed 1330 feet. Also note other shallower and higher level through valleys throughout the figure 10 map area. For example shallow north-south oriented through valleys can be seen in sections 9, 10, and 11 providing evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow routes to what was once a major southeast-oriented flood flow route in the Antelope Creek-Pretty Creek through valley. The higher level north-south oriented through valleys provide evidence of south-oriented flood flow before headward erosion of the southeast-oriented Antelope Creek-Pretty Creek through valley from what was then the newly eroded east-oriented Mill Creek valley. The present day north-oriented Antelope Creek valley originated as a south-oriented flood flow channel supplying flood water to the newly eroded Antelope Creek-Pretty Creek through valley and Mill Creek valley. At that time the deep Kansas River valley had not yet eroded headward across the region north of the figure 10 map area. When the deep east-oriented Kansas River valley did erode headward across the region north of the figure 10 map area it beheaded the south-oriented flood flow channel on the Antelope Creek alignment. Flood waters on the north end of the beheaded flood flow channel reversed flow direction to flow north to the newly eroded Kansas River valley and eroded the north-oriented Antelope Creek valley. The reversed flood flow also captured yet to be beheaded flood flow from west of the actively eroding Kansas River valley head and that captured flood flow eroded the east, northeast, and southeast oriented Antelope Creek valleys segments located west of the figure 10 map area.

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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