Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area landform origins in Ellis, Russell, Rush, and Barton Counties, Kansas, USA

· Arkansas River, Kansas, Smoky Hill River
Authors

Abstract:

The Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area in Ellis, Russell, Rush, and Barton Counties, Kansas is the drainage divide between the Missouri River drainage basin and the Arkansas River drainage basin and was eroded by immense south-oriented floods. Flood waters were derived from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet and flowed across Nebraska and into Kansas where headward erosion of deep east-oriented river valleys in sequence from south to north captured the south-oriented flood waters and diverted flood flow east to the south-oriented Mississippi River valley. Walnut Creek is an Arkansas River tributary and Arkansas River-Walnut Creek valley headward erosion captured south-oriented flood flow first. Headward erosion of southeast-oriented Arkansas River tributary valleys, including the Blood Creek valley, from the newly eroded Arkansas River valley into the present day Barton County area beheaded some flood flow routes to what were then the newly eroded Arkansas River and Walnut Creek valleys. Headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley from what were then newly eroded Kansas and Missouri River valleys next beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes to the actively eroding Blood Creek valley and to actively eroding south-oriented tributary valleys, which had eroded headward from the newly eroded Walnut Creek valley. Evidence supporting this flood origin interpretation includes positions and orientations of present day Arkansas River, Walnut Creek, Blood Creek, and Smoky Hill River valleys and their tributary valleys and the presence of numerous north-south oriented shallow through valleys crossing the Smoky Hill River-Blood Creek and the Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek 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 Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area landform origins in Ellis, Russell, Rush, and Barton 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-Walnut Creek drainage divide area landform origins in Ellis, Russell, Rush and Barton Counties, Kansas will be regarded as evidence supporting the “thick ice sheet that melted fast” paradigm.

Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area location map

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

Figure 1 provides a Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area location map and shows an area in central Kansas. The Smoky Hill River flows from the figure 1 west center edge in an east direction to Cedar Bluff Reservoir and then continues to flow in an east and east-southeast direction to near Marquette where it turns to flow in a north direction to Salina. From Salina the Smoky Hill River flows in an east-northeast direction to Junction City where it joins the southeast-oriented Republican River to form the east-oriented Kansas River, which flows to the figure 1 east edge. 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 Arkansas River is the major river system south of the Smoky Hill River drainage basin. The Arkansas River flows from Garden City along the figure 1 west edge (south half) in an east-southeast direction to Dodge City and Ford. At Ford the Arkansas River turns to flow in a northeast direction to Great Bend, where it turns again to flow in a southeast direction to Wichita and the figure 1 south edge (east half). South and east of figure 1 the Arkansas River eventually reaches the south-oriented Mississippi River. Walnut Creek is an east-oriented Arkansas River tributary, which originates near the figure 1 west center edge and which joins the Arkansas River at Great Bend. The Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area in Ellis, Russell, Rush, and Barton Counties represents the eastern half of the Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area and is located east of Cedar Bluff Reservoir on the Smoky Hill River and east of Alexander on Walnut Creek. The Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area in Gove, Trego, Lane, and Ness Counties essay addressed drainage divide evidence west of these points and can found under Smoky Hill River on the sidebar category list. Hundreds of Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project collectively present evidence for massive south-oriented floods which flowed across Nebraska and into Kansas. Flood waters were derived from a rapidly melting North American ice sheet and were captured by headward erosion of east- and southeast-oriented valleys which eroded headward in sequence (from south to north) across Kansas and Nebraska. In other words the Arkansas River valley eroded headward across Kansas to capture south-oriented flood flow before headward erosion of the Smoky Hill River valley beheaded south-oriented flood flow to what was then the newly eroded Arkansas River valley.

Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area detailed location map

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

Figure 2 provides a somewhat more detailed location map for the Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area in Ellis, Russell, Rush, and Barton Counties, Kansas. Trego, Ellis, Russell, Rush, and Barton are Kansas county names and the county boundaries are shown. The Smoky Hill River flows in an east direction from Cedar Bluff Reservoir in southern Trego County into southern Ellis County where after flowing in an east-southeast direction it flows in an east-northeast direction into southern Russell County. The Smoky Hill River flows in an east direction across southern Russell County and then flows into Ellsworth County. The Arkansas River flows in a northeast direction from the figure 2 south center edge to Great Bend in southern Barton County and then turns to flow in a southeast direction to the figure 2 south edge (east half). Walnut Creek flows in an east direction from Ness City located near the figure 2 west edge (south half) to Alexander in western Rush County. Once in Rush County Walnut Creek flows in an east direction to Barton County where it flows in an east-southeast direction to join the Arkansas River near Great Bend. An important Smoky Hill River tributary discussed in this essay is Big Timber Creek, which originates south of the Cedar Bluff Reservoir as a southeast-oriented drainage system and which turns in northwest Rush County to flow in east-northeast direction to join the Smoky Hill River. North oriented Eagle Creek in northeast Rush County is another Smoky Hill River discussed below. Southeast oriented Blood Creek in northwest Barton County is also discussed and is shown as ending at Cheyenne Bottoms near Hoisington in central Barton County, although the Cheyenne Bottoms area drains to Cow Creek and then to the Arkansas River. Note how many Smoky Hill River tributaries from the south are north or north-northeast oriented. These tributaries originated when the deep Smoky Hill River valley eroded headward across the figure 2 map area to capture south-oriented flood flow moving to what was then the newly eroded Walnut Creek valley, which had eroded headward from what was then the newly eroded Arkansas River valley. Headward erosion of the Walnut Creek valley beheaded south-oriented flood flow to the newly eroded Arkansas River valley (west of Great Bend). The Smoky Hill River valley eroded headward from what were then the newly eroded Kansas and Missouri River valleys and beheaded south-oriented flood flow routes to the newly eroded Blood Creek and Walnut Creek valleys in sequence from east to west. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to flow north to the newly eroded and deep Smoky Hill River valley. Reversed flood flow eroded north and north-northeast oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys and created the Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide.

Page Creek-Big Timber Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 3 uses reduced size maps to illustrate the Page Creek-Big Timber Creek drainage divide area. Cedar Bluff Reservoir in the figure 3 northwest quadrant is located in the Smoky Hill River valley and the Smoky Hill River flows in an east direction from Cedar Bluff Reservoir to the figure 3 east edge. Page Creek is the northeast and north oriented tributary flowing from the figure 3 west center edge to join the Smoky Hill River at Cedar Bluff Reservoir. Big Timber Creek is the southeast-oriented stream in the figure 3 south center area flowing to the figure 3 south center edge. Southeast-oriented streams in the figure 3 southeast quadrant are all Big Timber Creek tributaries. South and east of the figure 3 map area Big Timber Creek turns to flow in an east-northeast direction to join the east-oriented Smoky Hill River. Brownell is the small town located in the figure 3 south center area just south of the Big Timber Creek headwaters. Southeast-oriented streams flowing to the figure 3 south edge west of Brownell are Walnut Creek tributaries, with Walnut Creek flowing to the southeast-oriented Arkansas River. In other words, the railroad line on which Brownell is located marks the location of the Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide, which in reality is the Missouri River drainage basin-Arkansas River drainage basin divide. Note how Page Creek tributaries from the south and east are north or north-northwest oriented and are linked by shallow through valleys with headwaters of southeast oriented Walnut Creek tributaries and with the Big Timber Creek headwaters. The figure 3 evidence is here interpreted to mean prior to headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley southeast-oriented flood flow moved across the entire figure 3 map area on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 3 elevations. Flood waters were probably moving to what were then actively eroding southeast-oriented tributary valleys, which were eroding headward from what was then the newly eroded Walnut Creek valley. Headward erosion of the east-northeast oriented Big Timber Creek valley from what was then the actively eroding Smoky Hill River valley head captured the southeast-oriented flood flow east of Brownell. Headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley head to the Cedar Bluff Reservoir area then permitted the Page Creek valley to erode headward to capture southeast-oriented flood flow west of Brownell. Flood waters on the northwest ends of flood flow routes beheaded by the Page Creek valley headward erosion reversed flow direction to flow in north or north-northwest directions to the newly eroded Page Creek valley, to erode north and north-northwest oriented Page Creek tributary valleys, and to create the Page Creek-Big Timber Creek drainage divide.

Smoky Hill River-Big Timber Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 4 illustrates the Smoky Hill River-Big Timber Creek drainage divide area east of the figure 3 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 3. Smoky Hill River meanders can be seen in the figure 4 north center edge area and from there the Smoky Hill River flows in an east-southeast direction to the figure 4 east edge (north half). Big Timber Creek is the east-northeast oriented stream in the figure 4 southeast corner and east of figure 4 joins the Smoky Hill River. Note how all Big Timber Creek tributaries located near the figure 4 south edge are southeast oriented. The southeast orientations of these tributaries provides evidence the east-northeast oriented Big Timber Creek valley eroded headward from the actively eroding Smoky Hill River valley head to capture multiple yet to be beheaded (by Smoky Hill River valley headward erosion) southeast oriented flood flow channels that had been moving flood waters to what were then actively eroding Walnut Creek tributary valleys. Note how north of the words HAMPTON-FAIRVIEW there is an unnamed southeast, east, and northeast oriented Smoky Hill River tributary, headward erosion of which would have beheaded southeast-oriented flood flow routes to what were then actively eroding southeast-oriented Big Timber Creek tributary valleys. Notice also how headwaters of that unnamed Smoky Hill River tributary are linked by shallow through valleys in the Ellis County southwest corner with north and north-northeast oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys. The through valleys have been eroded across some of the higher elevations in the figure 4 map area and provide evidence of flood flow routes which were beheaded and reversed by Smoky Hill River valley headward erosion to erode the north and north-northeast oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys. Figure 5 below provides a detailed map of the Ellis County southwest corner area to better illustrate the shallow through valleys. At the time the unnamed tributary valley was being eroded headward from what was then the actively eroding Smoky Hill River valley head flood waters were still moving in a southeast and south direction across the Ellis County southwest corner. Smoky Hill River valley headward erosion then beheaded the south and southeast oriented flood flow routes. Flood waters on north ends of the beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to flow north to the newly eroded and deep Smoky Hill River valley.

Detailed map of Smoky Hill River-Big Timber Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 5 provides a detailed map of the Smoky Hill River-Big Timber Creek drainage divide area in the Ellis County southwest corner and Rush County northwest corner which was seen in less detail in figure 4 above. South and southeast oriented streams in the figure 5 southwest quadrant are Big Timber Creek tributaries and after flowing in a southeast direction to Big Timber Creek flow in an east-northeast direction to join the Smoky Hill River. Southeast and east oriented streams in the figure 5 southeast quadrant flows to the unnamed southeast, east, and northeast oriented Smoky Hill River tributary seen in figure 4, which flows to the Smoky Hill River east of the figure 5 map area. Other northeast and north oriented drainage flows in a north direction to join the Smoky Hill River north of figure 5 map area. Note how north oriented valleys are linked by shallow through valleys in sections 32, 33, 34, 28, and 35 with south, southeast, and east oriented valleys. All valleys drain to the Smoky Hill River, but the through valleys provide evidence of continued south oriented flood flow as the south, southeast, and east oriented valleys eroded headward into figure 5 map area. At that time the deep Smoky Hill River valley had not yet eroded headward north of the figure 5 map area, although it had eroded far enough west to permit the east-northeast oriented Big Timber Creek valley to erode headward south of the figure 5 map area (and for south and southeast oriented tributary valleys to erode headward into the figure 5 map area) and for the unnamed Smoky Hill River tributary east of figure 5 to erode headward into the figure 5 map area. The through valleys are shallow and are defined by four or fewer contour lines on each side (the map contour interval is ten feet). However, the through valleys are water eroded features and provide 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 5 map area. Flood waters were moving to what at that time were the actively eroding Big Timber Creek valley and its tributary valleys and the actively eroding unnamed southeast-, east-, and northeast-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valley. Headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley north of the figure 5 map area beheaded the south-oriented flood flow channels in sequence from east to west. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow channels reversed flow direction to flow north to the newly eroded Smoky Hill River valley and erode the north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys.

Big Timber Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide area

Figure 6: Big Timber Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 6 illustrates the Big Timber Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide area south of the figure 4 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 4. Big Timber Creek flows in an east-northeast direction from the figure 6 west edge (north half) to the figure 6 north edge (east half). McCracken is the town in the Big Timber Creek valley near the figure 6 west edge. La Crosse is the town located in the figure 6 east center area. Hargrave is the much smaller town located between McCracken and La Crosse. Walnut Creek flows in an east direction near the figure 6 south edge. Nekoma is the small town near the figure 6 south center edge, Alexander is the small town near the figure 6 southwest corner, and Rush Center is the small town located near the figure 6 southeast corner. Sand Creek is the southeast-oriented stream flowing through La Crosse and joins Walnut Creek east of the figure 6 map area. Note how south-southeast oriented Sand Creek headwaters and tributaries are linked by shallow through valleys with north-oriented Big Timber Creek tributary valleys. Continuing west along the Big Timber Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide note additional north-south oriented through valleys linking north-oriented Big Timber Creek tributary valleys with south-oriented Walnut Creek tributary valleys. The multiple north-south oriented through valleys provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow channels that once moved flood waters to what were then actively eroding south-oriented Walnut Creek and Sand Creek tributary valleys. At that time the deep east-northeast oriented Big Timber Creek valley did not exist nor did the deep Smoky Hill River valley exist north of the figure 6 map area. Headward erosion of the deep east-northeast oriented Big Timber Creek valley beheaded the south-oriented flood flow channels to the actively eroding Sand Creek and Walnut Creek tributary valleys in sequence, from east to west. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow channels reversed flow direction to erode north-oriented Big Timber Creek tributary valleys and to create the Big Timber Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide.

Detailed map of Big Timber Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide area

Figure 7: Detailed map of Big Timber Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 7 provides a detailed map of the Big Timber Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide area near Hargrave, which was seen in less detail in figure 6 above. Hargrave is the very small town located on the railroad line near the northwest corner of the figure 7 southeast quadrant. North-oriented streams in the figure 7 north half flow to east-northeast oriented Big Timber Creek, which is located north of the figure 7 map area. South-oriented streams in the figure 7 south half flow to east-oriented Walnut Creek, which is located south of the figure 7 map area. Note the north-south oriented through valley in the east center area of section 19 near the figure 7 center. The map contour interval is ten feet and the valley floor is at least 50 feet lower than the hill-top to the west and at least 70 feet lower than the hill-top to the east. Another shallower north-south oriented through valley can be seen in section 21 east of Hargrave. The through valleys are water eroded features and provide evidence of a drainage system that existed prior to headward erosion of the deep Big Timber Creek valley north of the figure 7 map area. At the time the through valleys were first eroded multiple channels of south-oriented flood water were moving across the figure 7 map area on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 7 elevations today. Flood waters were moving to what was then the newly eroded and deep east-oriented Walnut Creek valley located south of the figure 7 map area. Deep south-oriented tributary valleys then eroded headward from that newly eroded east-oriented Walnut Creek valley. The through valleys are northward extensions of those actively eroding south-oriented Walnut Creek tributary valleys. Headward erosion of the deep east-northeast oriented Big Timber Creek valley north of the figure 7 map area then 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 Big Timber Creek tributary valleys and to create the Big Timber Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide.

Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area

Figure 8: Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 8 illustrates the Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area east and slightly north of the figure 6 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 6. La Crosse is the town located in the figure 8 southwest corner. Otis is the town located in the figure 8 southeast corner. Bison is the town located on the figure 8 south center edge (south of the words LONE STAR). North-oriented streams flowing to the figure 8 north edge are Smoky Hill River tributaries. South-oriented streams flowing to the figure 8 south edge east of Bison are Walnut Creek tributaries and west of Bison are Sand Creek tributaries and southeast-oriented Sand Creek flows to east-oriented Walnut Creek. Note how shallow north-south oriented through valleys again link the north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys with the south-oriented Sand Creek and Walnut Creek tributary valleys. The through valleys are better seen on more detailed maps and figure 9 below provides a detailed map of the Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide near Otis (in the figure 8 southeast corner) to better illustrate the through valleys at that location. Again the shallow through valleys provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow channels which once crossed the figure 8 map area. The flood flow channels were eroded into a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 8 elevations today and were moving flood waters to what were then the newly eroded Walnut Creek and Sand Creek valleys and to south-oriented tributary valleys actively eroding headward from those newly eroded valleys. The through valleys were eroded as northward extensions of those south-oriented tributary valleys. Flood flow to those actively eroding south-oriented tributary valleys was beheaded in sequence from east to west by headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley north of the figure 8 map area. Flood waters on north ends of the beheaded flood flow channels reversed flow direction to flow north to the newly eroded and deep Smoky Hill River valley. The reversed flow eroded the north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys and created the Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek and Smoky Hill River-Sand Creek drainage divides.

Detailed map of Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area near Otis

Figure 9: Detailed map of Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area near Otis. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

Figure 9 provides a detailed map of the Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek drainage divide area near Otis, which was seen in the figure 8 map area in less detail. Otis is the town located in the figure 9 southeast quadrant. South-oriented streams in the figure 9 south half are Walnut Creek tributaries with water flowing to the Arkansas River. North-oriented streams in the figure 9 north half are Smoky Hill River tributaries with water eventually reaching the Missouri River. The southeast-oriented stream in the figure 9 northeast corner area is a Blood Creek tributary with water eventually reaching the Arkansas River. Note the large north-south oriented through valley in sections 22 and 23 linking a north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valley with a south-oriented Walnut Creek tributary valley. In sections 20 and 21 there are several much shallower and higher level through valleys also linking north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys with south-oriented Walnut Creek tributary valleys. In sections 14 and 13 in the figure 9 northeast corner area there are northwest-oriented headwaters of a north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valley and headwaters of a southeast-oriented Blood Creek tributary. Note how the two opposing drainage routes are linked by a through valley even broader than the sections 22 and 23 through valley. The Smoky Hill River-Blood Creek drainage divide area is better illustrated in figure 10 below. The north-south oriented through valleys again provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow channels that were eroded into a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 9 elevations today. Flood waters were flowing to what was then the newly eroded Walnut Creek valley and to south-oriented tributary valleys actively eroding headward from that valley (and also to what was then the actively eroding southeast-oriented Blood Creek tributary valley). Headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill River valley north of the figure 9 map area beheaded the south-oriented flood flow channels in sequence from east to west. Flood waters on north ends of beheaded flood flow routes reversed flow direction to flow north to the newly eroded and deep Smoky Hill River valley, eroded the north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys, and created the Smoky Hill River-Walnut Creek and Smoky Hill River-Blood Creek drainage divides.

Smoky Hill River-Blood Creek drainage divide area

Figure 10: Smoky Hill River-Blood Creek drainage divide area. 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-Blood Creek drainage divide area in northwest Barton County and east of the figure 8 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 8. Otis is the town in the figure 10 southwest corner. Hoisington is the much larger town located near the figure 10 southeast corner. Olmitz is the town near the figure 10 south center edge. Blood Creek is the southeast-oriented stream flowing  to the figure 10 south edge near Hoisington. Susank is the small town just south of the word UNION in the figure 10 northeast quadrant. The south-southeast and southeast oriented stream originating near Susank and flowing to the figure 10 east edge (south half) is Deception Creek. Water in Blood Creek and in Deception Creek eventually reaches the Arkansas River and Blood Creek and Deception Creek are treated here as southeast oriented Arkansas River tributaries. North oriented streams flowing to the figure 10 north edge are tributaries to the east-oriented Smoky Hill River, which is located north of the figure 10 map area. Note how the north oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys are linked by shallow north-south oriented through valleys with south oriented Blood Creek and Deception Creek tributary valleys. Figure 10a below provides a detailed map of the Smoky Hill River-Blood Creek drainage divide area in the WHEATLAND township area to better illustrate the north-south oriented through valleys. Streams flowing to the figure 10a north edge are Smoky Hill River tributaries and streams flowing to the figure 10a south edge are Blood Creek tributaries. Note north-south oriented through valleys linking the north and south oriented valleys in sections 32, 33, and 2 (and also section 31 west of section 32). The through valleys again provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow channels eroded by flood waters moving to what were then actively eroding south oriented Blood Creek tributary valleys. At that time the deep Smoky Hill River valley north of the figure 10 map area had not been eroded. Headward erosion of the deep Smoky Hill 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 the north-oriented Smoky Hill River tributary valleys and to create the Smoky Hill River-Blood Creek and Smoky Hill-Deception Creek drainage divides.

Figure 10a: Detailed map of Smoky Hill River-Blood Creek drainage divide area in WHEATLAND townshipUnited States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software.

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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