Smoky Hill River-Arkansas River drainage divide area landform origins in Ellsworth, Rice, and Mc Pherson Counties, Kansas, USA

· Arkansas River, Kansas, Smoky Hill River
Authors

Abstract:

The Smoky Hill River-Arkansas River drainage divide area in Ellsworth, Rice, and Mc Pherson Counties, Kansas was eroded by immense south-oriented floods. Flood waters were derived from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet and flowed south into Kansas where they were captured by headward erosion of deep valleys in sequence (from south to north) and diverted east to the south-oriented Mississippi River valley. Headward erosion of the deep Arkansas River valley captured the flood waters first and south-oriented tributary valleys eroded headward from the newly eroded Arkansas River valley. Headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley from what were then the newly eroded Kansas and Missouri River valleys next beheaded a south-oriented flood flow route in the present day Salina, Kansas area. Flood waters on the north end of the beheaded flood flow route reversed flow direction to flow north to the newly eroded and deep Smoky Hill River valley. The reversed flood flow eroded the north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment (located south of Salina) and captured an east-southeast oriented valley segment, which eroded headward to behead additional south-oriented flood flow routes to what were then actively eroding south-oriented Arkansas River tributary valleys. Evidence supporting this flood origin interpretation includes positions and orientations of the Smoky Hill River and Arkansas River valleys and their tributary valleys and also shallow north-south oriented through valleys crossing the present day Smoky Hill River-Arkansas 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 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 Smoky Hill River-Arkansas River drainage divide area landform origins in Ellsworth, Rice and Mc Pherson 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 Smoky Hill River-Arkansas River drainage divide area landform origins in Ellsworth, Rice, and Mc Pherson Counties, Kansas will be regarded as evidence supporting the “thick ice sheet that melted fast” paradigm.

Smoky Hill River-Arkansas River drainage divide area location map

Figure 1: Smoky Hill River-Arkansas 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 Smoky Hill River-Arkansas River drainage divide area in Ellsworth, Rice, and Mc Pherson Counties, Kansas location map and illustrates an area in central Kansas. The Arkansas River flows in a northeast direction from the figure 1 southwest corner to Great Bend and then in a southeast direction to Hutchinson and the figure 1 south edge. South and east of the figure 1 map area the Arkansas River continues to flow in a southeast direction and eventually reaches the south-oriented Mississippi River. The Smoky Hill River flows from the figure 1 west center edge area in an east and east-southeast direction to Marquette (near the figure 1 center) and then turns to flow in a north direction to Salina. At Salina the Smoky Hill River turns again to flow in an east-northeast direction to Junction City. At Junction City the Smoky Hill River and the south-southeast oriented Republican River join to form the east-northeast oriented Kansas River. East of the figure 1 map area the Kansas River joins the Missouri River at Kansas City, Missouri and the Missouri River flows in an east-southeast direction to eventually join the south-oriented Mississippi River. The Smoky Hill River-Arkansas River drainage divide area discussed in this know is located east of a line extending north from Great Bend to Hoisington and Russell and west of a line extending north from Mc Pherson to Lindsborg and is in reality the divide between the Missouri River drainage basin and the Arkansas River drainage basin. Adjacent Smoky Hill River drainage basin drainage divide area essays can be found under Smoky Hill River on the sidebar category list.  Hundreds of Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project essays collectively present evidence for immense south-oriented floods, which flowed into Kansas from the north. Flood waters were derived from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet and were captured in Kansas by headward erosion of deep southeast and east oriented Mississippi River tributary valleys. Flood waters were captured first by headward erosion of the deep Arkansas River valley. Later, headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley from what were then newly eroded Kansas and Missouri River valleys beheaded flood flow routes to the newly eroded Arkansas River valley. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction and sometimes eroded significant north-oriented valleys. The north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment south of Salina was eroded by such a reversal of flood flow on what had been a beheaded south-oriented flood flow route moving flood water to what was then the newly eroded Arkansas River valley.

Smoky Hill River-Arkansas River drainage divide area detailed location map

Figure 2: Smoky Hill River-Arkansas 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 Smoky Hill River-Arkansas River drainage divide area in Ellsworth, Rice, and Mc Pherson Counties, Kansas. The Ellsworth, Rice, and Mc Pherson County boundaries are shown as are boundaries of adjacent counties including Russell, Barton, Saline, Dickinson, Marion, and Harvey Counties. The Arkansas River flows from the figure 2 west edge (south half) to Great Bend in southern Barton County and then turns to flow in a southeast direction across the Rice County southwest corner to the figure 2 south center edge (the city located at the figure 2 south center edge is Hutchinson, Kansas). Cow Creek originates in northern Baron County and in northwest Rice County and collects water from several south-oriented tributaries originating in southwest Ellsworth County (including Plum Creek and Little Cow Creek) before flowing in a southeast and south direction to join the Arkansas River near Hutchinson at the figure 2 south center edge. The Little Arkansas River originates near Geneseo located on the Rice County-Ellsworth County boundary and flows in a south-southeast direction across the Mc Pherson County southwest corner before reaching the figure 2 south edge. South of figure 2 the Little Arkansas River joins the Arkansas River at Wichita, Kansas. Most south-oriented streams in Mc Pherson County, including Dry Turkey Creek and Turkey Creek are Little Arkansas River tributaries and join the Little Arkansas River south of the figure 2 map area. The Smoky Hill River flows in an east direction in southern Russell County (in the figure 2 northwest corner area) and then in an east-southeast direction across Ellsworth County and into northeast Mc Pherson County. North of the town Mc Pherson the Smoky Hill River turns abruptly to flow north into Saline County to Salina, where it turns again to flow in an east-northeast direction into Dickinson County. The north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment was eroded by a reversal of south-oriented flood flow moving to what was then the actively Turkey Creek and Dry Turkey valleys, which had eroded headward from what was then the newly Little Arkansas River valley. The flood flow reversal occurred when headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley, which had eroded headward from what were then newly eroded Kansas and Missouri River valleys, beheaded a major south-oriented flood flow channel supplying flood waters to the newly eroded Little Arkansas and Arkansas River valleys. Flood waters on the north end of the newly beheaded flood flow channel reversed flow direction to flow north to the newly eroded Smoky Hill River valley. The east-southeast oriented Smoky Hill River valley upstream from the north-oriented valley segment eroded headward from the newly reversed flood flow channel to capture south-oriented flood flow, which had been moving to other actively eroding Little Arkansas River and Arkansas River tributary valleys and to divert the flood waters to the newly eroded Smoky Hill River valley. In other words headward erosion of the east-southeast oriented Smoky Hill River valley beheaded flood flow routes to what were then numerous other actively eroding Little Arkansas River and Arkansas River tributary valleys.

Smoky Hill River-Plum Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 3 uses reduced size maps to illustrate the Smoky Hill River-Plum Creek drainage divide area in southwest Ellsworth County. Ellsworth is the town located in the figure 3 northeast corner. The Smoky Hill River flows in an east-southeast direction in the figure 3 northeast quadrant. Note the northeast and north-northeast oriented Smoky Hill River tributaries, several of which have north-oriented headwaters and tributaries. Holyrood is the town located just west of the figure 3 south center edge area. The southeast and south-southeast oriented stream at Holyrood is Plum Creek, which south of the figure 3 map area flows to southeast and south-southeast oriented Cow Creek, which flows to the Arkansas River. All other south-oriented drainage flowing to the figure 3 south edge also flows to Cow Creek and the Arkansas River. Study of the figure 3 map area reveals several shallow north-south oriented through valleys linking north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys with south-oriented Plum Creek (or Cow Creek) tributary valleys. The through valleys are best seen on more detailed maps and figure 4 below provides a detailed map of the PALACKY township area to better illustrate the through valleys. Figure 3 map evidence can be explained in the context of an immense south-oriented flood moving across the entire figure 3 map area on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 3 elevations today. Flood waters were moving to what were then actively eroding Cow Creek tributary valleys (including the Plum Creek valley), which had eroded headward from the what was then the newly eroded Cow Creek valley, which had eroded headward from what was then the newly eroded Arkansas River valley. Flood flow routes to the actively eroding Cow Creek tributary valleys were then beheaded in sequence from east to west by headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to erode north, north-northeast, and northeast oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys and to create the Smoky Hill River-Plum Creek drainage divide, which in reality is the divide between the Missouri River drainage basin and the Arkansas River drainage basin.

Detailed map of Smoky Hill River-Plum Creek drainage divide area

Figure 4: Detailed map of Smoky Hill River-Plum Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 4 provides a detailed map of the Smoky Hill River-Plum Creek drainage divide area in western PALACKY township, which was seen in less detail in figure 3 above. North-oriented streams flowing to the figure 4 north edge are headwaters of north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributaries. The south-oriented stream near the figure 4 south center edge is a Plum Creek tributary and other figure 4 south-oriented drainage also flows to Plum Creek. Shallow north-south oriented through valleys can be seen linking the north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys with the south-oriented Plum Creek tributary valleys in sections 18, 17, 16, and 15. The map contour interval is ten feet and the through valleys are generally defined by fewer than four contour lines on each side. The multiple north-south oriented through valleys are evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow channels that existed prior to headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley north of the figure 4 map area. At that time the Smoky Hill River valley did not exist and flood waters were flowing on a topographic surface at least as high as the present day Smoky Hill River-Plum Creek drainage divide. Flood waters were flowing to what were then actively eroding south-oriented Plum Creek tributary valleys and the through valleys were eroded as northward extensions of those south-oriented tributary valleys. Headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley north of the figure 4 map area beheaded the south-oriented flood flow channels in sequence from east to west. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flow channels reversed flow direction to flow north to the newly eroded and deeper Smoky Hill River valley. Because flood flow channels were beheaded one at a time from east to west and because flood flow channels were interconnected reversed flow in a newly beheaded flood flow channel could capture yet to be beheaded flood flow from flood flow channels further to the west. Such captures of yet to be beheaded flood flow enabled the reversed flow to erode significant north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys and to create the Smoky Hill River-Plum Creek drainage divide (or the divide between the Missouri and Arkansas River drainage basins).

Smoky Hill River-Little Cow Creek drainage divide area

Figure 5: Smoky Hill River-Little Cow Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 5 again uses reduced size maps to illustrate the Smoky Hill River-Little Cow Creek drainage divide area east and slightly south of the figure 3 map area. Kanopolis Lake is a reservoir flooding the Smoky Hill River valley and flooded incised meanders of the deep east-southeast oriented Smoky Hill River valley can be seen in the figure 5 northeast corner. Lorraine is the town near the figure 5 west center edge. The south-oriented stream near Lorraine is Lost Creek, which flows to south-southeast oriented Cow Creek south of the figure 5 map area. Geneseo is the town located in the figure 5 south center area and Frederick is the smaller town west of Geneseo and southeast of Lorraine. The south-oriented stream located between Frederick and Geneseo is Little Cow Creek, which also flows to Cow Creek south of the figure 5 map area. As seen in figure 2 Cow Creek joins the Arkansas River near Hutchinson, Kansas. The south-southeast oriented stream originating near Geneseo is the Little Arkansas River, which south of the figure 5 map area joins the Arkansas River near Wichita, Kansas. The very small town east of Geneseo in the figure 5 southeast corner area is Crawford. The south-oriented stream located west of Crawford is Horse Creek, which is a Little Arkansas River tributary. Note how the south-oriented Arkansas River tributaries originate almost on the edge of the deep east-southeast oriented Smoky Hill River valley. Smoky Hill River tributaries are short when compared with the much longer Arkansas River tributaries (see also figures 1 and 2). A close look at the figure 5 evidence reveals signs of north-south oriented through valleys linking headwaters of the south-oriented Arkansas River tributaries with the deep east-southeast oriented Smoky Hill River valley. However, the figure 5 evidence is best interpreted in the context of immense sheets of south-oriented flood waters flowing south across the figure 5 map area to what was then the newly eroded Arkansas River valley just prior to headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley. Headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley captured the south-oriented flood flow and diverted the flood waters to what were then the newly eroded Kansas and Missouri River valleys. Flood waters on north ends of the beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction and eroded the relatively short north, north-northeast, and northeast oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys and created the Smoky Hill River-Arkansas River drainage divide.

Detailed map of Smoky Hill River-Little Cow Creek drainage divide area

Figure 6: Detailed map of Smoky Hill River-Little Cow 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 Smoky Hill River-Little Cow Creek drainage divide area seen in less detail in figure 5 above. North-oriented drainage to the figure 6 north edge flows to the deep Smoky Hill River valley north of the figure 6 map area. The south-oriented stream in the figure 6 south center area is Little Cow Creek, which flows to Cow Creek, which in turn flows to the Arkansas River. Note the hill in section 13 in the figure 6 northwest quadrant. The hilltop elevation is at least 1820 feet. Notice also elevations in sections 21 and 22 in THOMAS township in the figure 6 east center area, which are at least 1800 feet. In between the 1820 plus foot elevations in the figure 6 northwest quadrant and the 1800 plus foot elevations in the THOMAS township area are slightly lower elevations in the 1780 to 1790 foot range. While not deep this broad north-south oriented through valley provides evidence of a large south-oriented flood flow channel that was beheaded by headward erosion of the deep east-southeast oriented Smoky Hill River valley. Prior to headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley the flood waters were flowing south to what was then the newly eroded Arkansas River valley. As can be seen in figures 1 and 2 this figure 6 map area is located south and slightly west of the north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment. The north-oriented valley segment was eroded by a reversal of flood flow on the north end of this south-oriented flood flow route. The east-southeast-oriented Smoky Hill River valley immediately north of the figure 6 map area was eroded headward across the what was then a broad and large south-oriented flood flow route. Headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley captured the south-oriented flood waters and diverted the flood flow north and east to what were then the newly eroded Kansas and Missouri River valleys. The figures 5 and 6 evidence only shows a small section of this large north-south oriented flood flow channel, which was reversed to create the north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment. Remaining figures illustrate more of this remarkable flood flow channel.

Smoky Hill River-Little Arkansas River drainage divide area east of Geneseo

Figure 7: Smoky Hill River-Little Arkansas River drainage divide area east of Geneseo. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 7 illustrates the Smoky Hill River-Little Arkansas River drainage divide area east of Geneseo and east of the figure 5 map area (and includes overlap areas with figure 5). Geneseo is the town located near the figure 7 west center edge area. The Little Arkansas River originates near Geneseo and flows in a southeast direction to the figure 7 south edge (west half). Crawford is the very small town near the figure 7 center. The south-southeast oriented stream just west of Crawford is Horse Creek, which is a Little Arkansas River tributary. Langley is the small town in the Ellsworth County southeast corner (and figure 7 northeast quadrant). Langley is located in the valley of an unnamed north-northeast oriented Smoky Hill River tributary with southeast-oriented headwaters. A short distance south of Langley is northeast and east-southeast oriented Wolf Creek, which flows to the Smoky Hill River east of the figure 7 northeast corner area. The Smoky Hill River can just barely be seen in the figure 7 northeast corner and is reaching the point where it ceases to flow in an east-southeast direction and turns abruptly to flow in a north direction. The north and north-northeast oriented Smoky Hill River tributary in the figure 7 north center area is Bluff Creek and the northeast and north-northeast oriented Smoky Hill River tributary in the figure 7 northwest quadrant is Thompson Creek. Figure 7 like figure 5 shows south-oriented Little Arkansas River headwaters originating almost at the edge of the deep Smoky Hill River valley. A close look at the figure 7 evidence again reveals broad and shallow north-south oriented through valleys, which provide evidence large volumes of south-oriented flood water flowed across the figure 7 map area prior to headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley. Again this figure 7 map area is near the south end of the north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment. The north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment was eroded by a reversal of flood flow on the north end of what was then a major south-oriented flood flow route beheaded by headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley in the Salina area (at the north end of the north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment). Flood water north of the figure 7 map area were captured by the deep Smoky Hill River valley while flood waters south of the present day figure 7 Smoky Hill River-Little Arkansas River drainage divide continued to flow south to the Arkansas River valley.

Detailed map of Bluff Creek-Horse Creek drainage divide area

Figure 8: Detailed map of Bluff Creek-Horse 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 Bluff Creek-Horse Creek drainage divide area west of Crawford, which was seen in less detail in figure 7 above. Crawford in the small town located in the figure 8 southeast corner. Horse Creek is the south-oriented stream in the figure 8 south center area and flows to the figure 8 south center edge. South of figure 8 Horse Creek joins the Little Arkansas River. Bluff Creek is the northeast and north oriented stream in the figure 8 north center area and flows to the Smoky Hill River valley north of the figure 8 map area. Note in the figure 8 center area the shallow north-south oriented through valley linking the north-oriented Bluff Creek valley with the south-oriented Horse Creek valley. A close look at figure 8 reveals other shallow north-south oriented through valleys linking north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys with south-oriented Little Arkansas River tributary valleys. The through valleys are shallow and the entire figure 8 map area is probably on the floor of an even larger north-south oriented through valley, but the through valleys identifiable in figure 8 provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow routes that existed prior to headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley. The figure 8 map area is located on what was at that time a major south oriented flood flow route moving flood waters to what was then the newly eroded Arkansas River valley. Headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley beheaded the south-oriented flood flow route (near Salina) and flood waters on the north end of the beheaded flood flow route reversed flow direction to flow north to the newly eroded and deep Smoky Hill River valley. The flood flow reversal also caused the deep east-southeast oriented Smoky Hill River valley north of the figure 8 map area to erode headward across the south-oriented flood flow route and to further behead south-oriented flood flow routes further to the west. The north-oriented Bluff Creek valley was eroded by a reversal of flood flow on flood flow routes beheaded by headward erosion of the deep east-southeast oriented Smoky Hill River valley.

Smoky Hill River-Dry Turkey Creek drainage divide area

Figure 9: Smoky Hill River-Dry Turkey 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 the Smoky Hill River-Dry Turkey Creek drainage divide area east and slightly north of the figure 7 map area. Mc Pherson is the larger town located near the figure 9 south center edge. Conway is the smaller town located near the figure 9 southwest corner and Galva is the smaller town located near the figure 9 southeast corner. The Smoky Hill River is located near the figure 9 north edge in the northwest quadrant and can be seen where it is changing from flowing in an east-southeast direction to flowing in a north direction. The figure 9 map area is directly south of the north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment. The northeast-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary in the figure 9 northeast corner area is Edwards Creek. Sharps Creek is the southeast, north-northeast, and north oriented Smoky Hill River tributary flowing from the figure 9 west center edge to join the Smoky Hill River in the northwest quadrant. East of Sharps Creek the Smoky Hill River tributaries are predominantly north-oriented. Dry Turkey Creek is the south-southwest oriented stream flowing through Mc Pherson to the figure 9 south center edge. Bluff Creek is the south-southeast oriented stream flowing along the east side of Mc Pherson to join Dry Turkey Creek south of the figure 9 map area. Turkey Creek is the south-southwest oriented stream between Mc Pherson and Galva. South of the figure 9 map area Dry Turkey Creek joins Turkey Creek and eventually reaches the Little Arkansas River, which flows to the Arkansas River. A broad shallow north-south oriented through valley extends across much the figure 9 Smoky Hill River-Dry Turkey Creek drainage divide area. Note the hill in the figure 9 southwest corner which is at least 485 meters high (contour lines are at 5 meter intervals on figure 9). The hills east of Galva are at least 475 meters high (and east of the figure 9 map area rise even higher). Much of the figure 9 map south half between the hills in the southeast and southwest corners is at elevations in the 465 to 470 meter range providing evidence of a broad shallow north-south oriented through valley, which once was used by immense sheets of south-oriented flood water moving to what was then the newly eroded Arkansas River valley. Headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley beheaded the south-oriented flood flow route (near Salina north of the figure 9 map area). Flood waters on the north end of the beheaded flood flow route reversed flow direction to flow north to the newly eroded and deeper Smoky Hill River valley. The reversed flow eroded the north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment north of the figure 9 map area.

Smoky Hill River-Turkey Creek drainage divide area east of Mc Pherson

Figure 10: Smoky Hill River-Turkey Creek drainage divide area east of Mc Pherson. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 10 uses reduced size maps to illustrate the Smoky Hill River-Turkey Creek drainage divide area east of Mc Pherson and east of the figure 9 map area (and includes overlap areas with figure 9). Mc Pherson is the town located in the figure 10 southwest corner. Galva is located just west of the figure 10 south center area and Canton is the town east of Galva in the figure 10 southeast quadrant. North-oriented streams in the figure 10 northwest quadrant flow to the north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment the south end of which is located just north of the figure 10 northwest quadrant. The north-oriented drainage system in the figure 10 northeast quadrant is north-oriented Gypsum Creek. North of the figure 10 map area Gypsum Creek flows in a north direction parallel to the north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment to eventually join the east-northeast oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment located down stream from Salina (location of the north end of the north-oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment). In other words, the north oriented Gypsum Creek valley was also eroded by a reversal of flood flow on the north end of a beheaded south oriented flood flow route. South of the Smoky Hill River-Arkansas River drainage divide the south oriented streams in figure 10 are Dry Turkey Creek at Mc Pherson, Turkey Creek located between Mc Pherson and Galva, Running Turkey Creek between Galva and Canton, and Emma Creek south of Canton. All south-oriented streams flow to the Little Arkansas River south of the figure 10 map area. The figure 10 map area along with adjacent map areas provides evidence of a massive flood flow reversal caused by headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley in the Salina area further to the north. This massive flood flow reversal was responsible for erosion of the north-oriented Gypsum Creek valley and the north oriented Smoky Hill River valley segment and was also responsible for creation of the Smoky Hill River-Arkansas 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 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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