Delaware River-Missouri River drainage divide area landform origins in Jefferson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte Counties, Kansas, USA

Authors

A geomorphic history based on topographic map evidence

Abstract:

This essay uses topographic interpretation methods to determine landform origins in the Delaware River-Missouri River drainage divide area located in Jefferson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte Counties, Kansas.The Delaware River-Missouri River drainage divide area in Jefferson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte Counties, Kansas was eroded by massive south, southeast, and southwest oriented floods. Flood waters were probably derived from a rapidly melting thick North American ice sheet and were captured by headward erosion of what was then a deep east-oriented Missouri River-Kansas River valley, which eroded headward from the south-oriented Mississippi River valley. The deep south-southeast oriented Missouri River valley, Stranger Creek valley, and Delaware River valley and their tributary valleys eroded headward from this actively eroding east-oriented Missouri River-Kansas River valley. Evidence for south-oriented flood flow is found in present day valley alignments and in numerous shallow 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), and/or state in which the Missouri River drainage basin is located. 

Introduction:

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

Delaware River-Missouri River drainage divide area location map

Figure 1: Delaware River-Missouri 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 Delaware River-Missouri River drainage divide area in Jefferson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte Counties, Kansas. The Missouri River flows in a southeast, southwest, and southeast direction from the figure 2 north center edge to Kansas City and then turns to flow east to the figure 1 east edge. South of Kansas City is the north-south Kansas-Missouri state line, with Missouri located east of the state line and Missouri River and Kansas located west of the state line and the Missouri River. The Kansas River flows east from the figure 1 west edge to Wamego, Topeka, and Lawrence before joining the east-oriented Missouri River at Kansas City. Note how there is a Kansas City, Kansas and a Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City, Kansas is located in Wyandotte County and is included in the region this essay addresses. The Delaware River is not labeled in figure 1, but is the south-southeast oriented stream flowing from Sabetha (in the figure 1 northwest quadrant near the north edge) to Muscotah and Valley Falls before joining the east-oriented Kansas River near Perry.  The unlabeled south-southeast oriented stream located between the Delaware River and Missouri River is Stranger Creek, which originates near Effingham and joins the east-oriented Kansas River downstream from Eudora. The Jefferson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte County area illustrated and discussed here is located north of the Kansas River, west of the Missouri River, east of the Delaware River and south of Nortonville. The Delaware River-Missouri River drainage divide area in Brown, Doniphan, and Atchison Counties essay addresses the region located immediately north of the Jefferson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte County area and can be found under Kansas River or KS Missouri River on the sidebar category list. Hundreds of Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research projects essays published on this website collectively present overwhelming evidence for massive southeast  and south oriented floods, which flowed across Kansas and Missouri prior to headward erosion of the Missouri River, Kansas River, and tributary valleys. Flood waters were probably derived from a rapidly melting thick North American ice sheet located to the north and northwest of this northeast Kansas region. The Missouri River, Kansas River, and tributary valleys systematically eroded headward into the figure 1 map area to capture the immense southeast and south oriented flood flow and to divert the flood waters east to the south-oriented Mississippi River (east of Figure 1).

Delaware River-Missouri River drainage divide area detailed location map

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

Figure 2 provides a more detailed location map for the Delaware River-Missouri River drainage divide area in Jefferson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte Counties. Atchison, Jefferson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte Counties are Kansas counties and county boundaries are shown. Platte is a Missouri County. The Missouri River flows in a southeast direction from the figure 2 north center edge to Kansas City and is the Kansas-Missouri state boundary (the state boundary south of Kansas City is the north-south line extending south from Kansas City). Note how the Missouri River north of Kansas City has lengthy southwest and south-southwest oriented tributaries from the east, but virtually no tributaries from the west. The Kansas River flows in an east direction along the southern boundaries of Jefferson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte Counties and joins the southeast oriented Missouri River at Kansas City. From Kansas City the Missouri River flows in an east-northeast direction to the figure 2 east edge. The Delaware River flows in a south-southeast direction from Muscotah in Atchison County in the figure 2 northwest corner to Valley Falls in Jefferson County, where the Delaware River enters Perry Lake. Perry Lake is a large reservoir flooding the Delaware River valley. Downstream from the dam impounding the Perry Lake Reservoir the Delaware River joins the east-oriented Kansas River near Perry. Note how the Delaware River has several well-developed southeast oriented tributaries from the west, but has much shorter southwest and west oriented tributaries from the east. Between the Delaware River and the Missouri River is southeast and south-southeast oriented Stranger Creek, which flows through Farmington, Hawthorne and Potter in Atchison County and then Easton in Leavenworth County before flowing in a south-southeast across Leavenworth County to the east-oriented Kansas River near Linwood. Stranger Creek has north- and northeast-oriented tributaries joining it in Atchison County. Further south the longer tributaries from the west are east or southeast oriented, while the only figure 2 tributary from the east is south-oriented. Tributaries to the Delaware River and Missouri River (north of Kansas City) suggest large volumes of southeast oriented flood flow converged with massive southwest-oriented flood flow in this northeast Kansas region. The east-oriented Missouri River-Kansas River valley eroded across these converging flood waters to capture the flood flow and to divert the water east. The southeast-oriented Missouri River valley, the south-southeast oriented Stranger Creek valley, and the south-southeast oriented Delaware River valley eroded headward from the actively eroding east-oriented Missouri River-Kansas River valley head along southeast- and south-southeast flood flow channels the converging flood waters created.

Delaware River-Crooked Creek drainage divide area south of Nortonville

Figure 3: Delaware River-Crooked Creek drainage divide area south of Nortonville. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software. 

Figure 3 illustrates the Delaware River-Crooked Creek drainage divide area south of Nortonville. Nortonville is the town located along the figure 3 north center edge. Winchester is located in the figure 3 southeast quadrant. Valley Falls is the town located near the figure 3 west center edge. The Delaware River is the south-southeast oriented river flowing by Valley Falls and the Delaware River valley is flooded by Perry Reservoir, which has been impounded behind the dam seen in figure 10. Note how many Delaware River tributaries from the east are northwest-oriented or have northwest-oriented headwaters or tributaries. These northwest-oriented tributary valleys or valley segments provide evidence Delaware River valley headward erosion beheaded multiple southeast oriented flood flow routes or channels, such as might be expected in a southeast oriented anastomosing channel complex. Southeast-oriented flood flow was probably moving to what was then the actively eroding and deep Kansas River valley head. The northwest-oriented valleys or valley segments were probably eroded by reversals of flood flow on the northwest ends of beheaded southeast oriented flood flow channels. Dunavant is a place-name in the figure 3 south center area and Crooked Creek originates near Dunavant. Crooked Creek flows in a northeast direction from near Dunavant to the figure 3 north edge (east half). North and east of the figure 3 map area Crooked Creek joins south-southeast oriented Stranger Creek as a barbed tributary. Note the southeast and northwest oriented Crooked Creek tributaries. These southeast and northwest oriented tributaries provide evidence the Crooked Creek valley also eroded headward across multiple southeast-oriented flood flow channels. The Crooked Creek valley is unusual in its length and orientation and may have for a time served as a southwest oriented flood flow channel before headward erosion of the south-southeast oriented Stranger Creek valley beheaded and reversed the flow direction. As noted in figure 2 Missouri River valley tributaries from the east are predominantly southwest oriented, suggesting the convergence of southwest and southeast oriented flood waters in this Delaware River-Missouri River drainage divide area. Southwest from Dunavant are headwaters of southwest-oriented Fishpond Creek, which flows to southwest-oriented Little Slough Creek. This southwest oriented alignment suggests the possibility of an earlier southwest-oriented flood flow channel, which was beheaded and reversed by Stranger Creek valley headward erosion. Regardless of which direction the initial Crooked Creek flow was moving, the valley was eroded headward across southeast oriented flood flow and was eroded to its present depth after headward erosion of the south-southeast oriented Stranger Creek valley. Figure 4 provides a detailed map of the Crooked Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide area, which is located in the figure 3 southeast quadrant.

Detailed map of Crooked Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide area

Figure 4: Detailed map of Crooked Creek-Walnut 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 Crooked Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide area near Winchester, which was seen in less detail in figure 3 above. Crooked Creek flows in a northeast direction across the figure 4 northwest quadrant. Note northwest-oriented Crooked Creek tributaries, some with north oriented headwaters. Walnut Creek headwaters are located in the figure 4 southeast quadrant. South and east of figure 4 Walnut Creek flows in a southeast and east direction to join south-southeast oriented Stranger Creek. A close look at the drainage divide between Crooked Creek and Walnut Creek reveals numerous shallow north-south oriented through valleys. The through valleys are shallow when compared with the deeper valleys on either side, but the through valleys provide evidence of multiple south-oriented flood flow routes across the figure 4 map area prior to headward erosion of the Crooked Creek valley. The south-oriented flood flow was probably moving to what was then the newly eroded and actively eroding Walnut Creek valley (and tributary valleys) and was moving on a topographic surface at least as high as the present day Crooked Creek-Walnut Creek drainage divide (in other words the Crooked Creek valley did not exist). Headward erosion of the Crooked Creek valley beheaded the south-oriented flood flow routes and in the end diverted the flood water northeast to what was then the newly eroded south-southeast oriented Stranger Creek valley. Flood waters on north ends of the beheaded south oriented flood flow channels reversed flow direction to erode the north and northwest oriented Crooked Creek tributary valleys. Remember headward erosion of the Crooked Creek valley beheaded flood flow channels one channel at a time and that the flood flow channels were anastomosing or interconnected. In other words, reversed flood flow in a newly beheaded flood flow channel could usually capture yet to be beheaded flood flow in adjacent channels. This capture of yet to be beheaded flood flow provided the water volumes required to erode the north- and northwest-oriented valleys.

Crooked Creek-Stranger Creek drainage divide area

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

Figure 5 illustrates the Crooked Creek-Stranger Creek drainage divide area east of the figure 3 map area and includes overlap areas with figure 3. The southeast oriented Missouri River valley can just barely be seen in the figure 5 northeast corner. Crooked Creek is flowing in a northeast direction across the figure 5 northwest quadrant. Stranger Creek flows in a southeast and south direction from the figure 5 north center edge to the figure 5 south edge. Winchester is the town located in the figure 5 southwest quadrant along the west edge. The southeast-oriented stream between Winchester and Stranger Creek is flowing to southeast and east oriented Walnut Creek (located south of the figure 5 map area). Note how many of the Stranger Creek tributaries from the west are southeast-oriented or have southeast-oriented segments and/or tributaries. Also note the proximity of the south-southeast-oriented Stranger Creek valley to the southeast oriented Missouri River valley. The two valleys were eroding north during the same south oriented flood (the Delaware River valley was also eroding north at the same time). As previously mentioned flood waters east of the Missouri River valley were flowing in a southwest direction to reach what was then the deep Missouri River valley head while flood waters west of  the Delaware River valley were flowing in a southeast direction. Between the Delaware River valley and the Missouri River valley there is evidence of flood movements in both directions. This evidence suggests flood flow movements were constantly changing as the three adjacent deep valleys eroded headward from what was then the newly eroded east oriented Kansas River-Missouri River valley. Prior to headward erosion of the deep Missouri River valley, Stranger Creek valley, and Delaware River valley and their tributary valleys the prevailing flood flow movement in the figure 5 map area was to the south and the north and northwest oriented Crooked Creek tributary valleys are linked by north-south through valleys to east and southeast oriented Stranger Creek tributary valleys north and east from Winchester. Figure 6 below provides a detailed map of the north-oriented Hulls Branch (Crooked Creek)-Indian Creek (Walnut Creek) drainage divide area near Winchester to show evidence of that prevailing south-oriented flood flow movement.

Detailed map of Hulls Branch-Indian Creek drainage divide area

Figure 6: Detailed map of Hulls Branch-Indian 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 Hulls Branch-Indian Creek drainage divide area near Winchester, which was seen in less detail in figure 5 above. Winchester is located in the figure 6 southwest corner. Hulls Branch originates in section 24 and flows north to the figure 6 north edge. North of figure 6 Hulls Branch turns to flow in a northwest direction to join northeast-oriented Crooked Creek as a barbed tributary. A Hulls Branch tributary originates in the section 19 northwest quadrant and flows north and northwest to join Hulls Branch. The south-oriented stream originating in section 20 is Indian Creek, which south of figure 6 flows to east-oriented Walnut Creek, which joins south-oriented Stranger Creek. The southeast oriented stream in section 16 (in the figure 6 northeast quadrant) is east-southeast oriented Dawson Creek, which also flows to south oriented Stranger Creek. The north oriented stream in section 17 is the headwaters of north and northwest oriented Howard Creek, which flows to northeast-oriented Crooked Creek. Unnamed north and northwest oriented in the figure 6 northwest corner flow directly to northeast oriented Crooked Creek. Note the numerous through valleys linking the various drainage systems. For example in section 24 and along the section 19 west edge are north-south through valleys linking the north oriented Hulls Branch valley with the south-oriented Indian Creek valley. Additional through valleys link the unnamed Crooked Creek tributaries north of Winchester with a southeast-oriented Indian Creek tributary. North-south oriented through valleys also link the Dawson Creek headwaters valley with Indian Creek tributary valleys and in section 17 with the north and northwest oriented Howard Creek valley. The through valleys provide evidence of multiple south oriented flood flow channels prior to headward erosion of the present day deep valleys. Flood waters were probably moving to what was then the actively eroding Indian Creek valley and tributary valleys, which had eroded headward from the Walnut Creek valley, which had eroded headward from the newly eroded Stranger Creek valley. Next the Dawson Creek valley eroded headward into the region and captured south-oriented flood flow routes in the figure 6 east area. Headward erosion of the Crooked Creek valley next beheaded all south-oriented flood flow across the figure 6 map area. Flood waters on the north ends of the beheaded flood flow channels reversed flow direction to erode north- and northwest-oriented Crooked Creek tributary valleys.

Stranger Creek-Missouri River drainage divide area near Leavenworth

Figure 7: Stranger Creek-Missouri River drainage divide area near Leavenworth. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software. 

Figure 7 illustrates the Stranger Creek-Missouri River drainage divide area near Leavenworth, Kansas and is located east of the figure 5 map area (and includes overlap areas with figure 5). Stranger Creek flows south along the figure 7 west edge. The Missouri River flows in a south-southeast oriented direction in the figure 7 west half. The northeast oriented Missouri River tributary north of Leavenworth is Salt Creek. Note how Salt Creek joins the Missouri River as a barbed tributary. This figure 7 map area illustrates the very narrow drainage area between the south oriented Stranger Creek valley and the south-southeast oriented Missouri River. The Missouri River has very short tributaries from the west and its major tributary in the figure 7 map area is a barbed tributary. Stranger Creek has very short tributaries from the east. Refer back to figures 1 and 2 to note the southwest-oriented Missouri River tributaries from the east. As previously mentioned those tributaries are evidence of southwest-oriented flood flow movements to what was at that time the actively eroding Missouri River valley. The Stranger Creek valley was also eroded headward at the same time and if the Stranger Creek valley head was north of the Missouri River valley head, the southwest-oriented flood flow would have moved to the Stranger Creek valley head (although at that time the Stranger Creek valley floor was at the level of the present day Stranger Creek-Missouri River drainage divide). The northeast-oriented Salt Creek alignment may have been initiated by such a southwest-oriented flood flow movement. Headward erosion of the Missouri River valley then beheaded the southwest-oriented flood flow channel on the Salt Creek alignment and caused a reversal of flood flow on the northeast end of the beheaded flood flow channel. The reversed flood flow captured significant yet to be beheaded south-oriented flood water from west of the actively eroding Missouri River valley head. The captured flood water eroded the northeast-oriented Salt Creek valley. Headward erosion of a deeper Stranger Creek valley then beheaded flood flow routes being used by the captured south-oriented flood waters moving to the actively eroding Salt Creek valley and diverted the flood waters south to the east-oriented Kansas River valley. Figure 7 evidence requires flood flow moving in several different directions and multiple capture events to explain. Figure 8 below provides a detailed map of the Salt Creek-Rock Creek drainage divide area, which is located in the figure 7 south center area.

Detailed map of the Salt Creek-Rock Creek drainage divide area

Figure 8: Detailed map of the Salt 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 Salt Creek-Rock Creek drainage divide area seen in less detail in the figure 7 map area. North oriented drainage in the figure 8 north half flows to northeast-oriented Salt Creek, which flows to the Missouri River. The southeast and south oriented drainage in the figure 8 west center and southwest quadrant is flowing to south-oriented Rock Creek. South of the figure 8 map area Rock Creek flows south and southwest to join south-oriented Stranger Creek, which flows to the east-oriented Kansas River. East of the Rock Creek drainage basin in section 7 are headwaters of another south-oriented Stranger Creek tributary. That tributary is Little Stranger Creek, which flows south to eventually join south-oriented Stranger Creek. A close look at the drainage divide between the north oriented Salt Creek tributaries and the south-oriented Rock Creek and Little Stranger Creek drainage basins reveals numerous shallow through valleys. Some of the through valleys are northwest-southeast oriented while other through valleys are north-south oriented. The through valleys provide evidence of south-oriented flood flow channels that existed before headward erosion of the present day deep valleys. The quarry located in section 2 suggests the bedrock in this region may not be easily eroded, which poses a puzzle concerning the well-developed and deep north-oriented valleys. Movement of south-oriented flood water to the actively eroding Rock Creek and Little Stranger Creek valleys can explain the south-oriented valleys. Headward erosion of the Missouri River valley can explain beheading of the southwest-oriented flood flow channels on the Salt Creek alignment. A reversal of flood flow on the northeast end of those southwest oriented flood flow channels can explain the north- and northeast-oriented Salt Creek drainage system. However, the north and northeast oriented Salt Creek valleys required vast quantities of flood water to erode and that water had to come from the west and northwest, which meant the deep Stranger Creek valley west and northwest of the figure 8 map area did not yet exist.

Missouri River-Kansas River drainage divide area in Wyandotte County

Figure 9: Missouri River-Kansas River drainage divide area in Wyandotte County. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software. 

Figure 9 illustrates the Missouri River-Kansas River drainage divide area south and east of the figure 7 map area (there is no overlap with figure 7). The east-southeast oriented Missouri River is located in the figure 9 northeast quadrant. The east-oriented Kansas River is located along the figure 9 south edge and in the figure 9 southeast quadrant. The Missouri River and Kansas River join east of the figure 9 map area to form the east-oriented Missouri River, which flows across the state of Missouri to join the south-oriented Mississippi River. The Missouri River-Kansas River drainage divide here has been eroded by multiple north-south oriented flood flow channels. Perhaps the best developed north-south through valley is located near the figure 9 west edge and is drained by south-oriented Wolf Creek. A north-oriented unnamed tributary of north-northeast oriented Ninemile Creek (not labeled in figure 9) drains the through valley’s north end. The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad line makes use of the north-south oriented through valley. Piper Creek in the figure 9 west center is an interesting Wolf Creek tributary. Piper Creek originates south of Piper (the place-name) as a northwest-oriented stream and then turns to flow in a southwest direction to join south-oriented Wolf Creek. The southwest-oriented Piper Creek valley is on the same alignment as the alignment of a northeast-oriented Island Creek tributary valley and the two opposing valleys are linked by a through valley. What has happened here is prior to Missouri River valley headward erosion south-oriented flood flow moved across the present day Missouri River-Kansas River drainage divide to what was then the actively eroding east-oriented Kansas River valley. Flood flow moved in anastomosing channels and was southwest-oriented north of the Missouri River valley. A southwest-oriented flood flow channel on the (northeast-oriented) Island Creek-(southwest oriented) Piper Creek alignment joined a south-oriented flood flow channel using the(north-northeast oriented Ninemile Creek tributary)-(south-oriented) Wolf Creek alignment. Headward erosion of the southwest-oriented Piper Creek-Island Creek alignment flood flow channel beheaded a southeast oriented flood flow channel on the northwest-oriented Piper Creek alignment. The north- and northwest-oriented Piper Creek headwaters valley was then eroded by a reversal of flood flow on the north and northwest end of that beheaded southeast and south oriented flood flow channel. Next the deep Missouri River valley eroded headward across the south-oriented flood flow routes. Flood waters in the northeast ends of the beheaded flood flow channels reversed direction to flow northeast to the newly eroded Missouri River valley and to create the Missouri River-Kansas River drainage divide. Figure 9a provides a detailed map of the Missouri River-Kansas River drainage divide area further east in the figure 9 map area. Note how in Kansas City, Kansas numerous valleys record flood flow routes used by south-oriented flood waters moving to what was then the actively eroding Kansas River valley.

Figure 9a: Detailed map of Missouri River-Kansas River drainage divide area in western Kansas City, Kansas. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software. 

Slough Creek-Buck Creek drainage divide area near Oskaloosa

Figure 10: Slough Creek-Buck Creek drainage divide area near Oskaloosa. United States Geological Survey map digitally presented using National Geographic Society TOPO software. 

Figure 10 illustrates the Slough Creek-Buck Creek drainage divide near Oskaloosa and west of the figure 9 map area. The south-southeast oriented Delaware River is located near the figure 10 west edge and the dam impounding Perry Reservoir is located in the figure 10 southwest corner. The east-oriented Kansas River is located south of the figure 10 map area. Oskaloosa is the town located near the figure 10 north center edge. Slough Creek flows in a southwest and south direction from the figure 10 north center edge to join the Delaware River just upstream from the Perry Reservoir dam. Buck Creek is the long south-oriented Kansas River tributary originating south of Oskaloosa and flowing to the figure 10 south edge. Note how north and northwest oriented Slough Creek tributaries in the Oskaloosa area are linked by shallow through valleys with the south-oriented Buck Creek headwaters. The through valleys provide evidence of south-oriented flood flow channels prior to headward erosion of the southwest-oriented Slough Creek. The Slough Creek valley eroded headward from what was then the actively eroding Delaware River valley and headward erosion of the southwest-oriented Slough Creek valley beheaded the southeast and/or south oriented flood flow channels moving flood waters to the actively eroding Buck Creek valley. Flood waters on the north and northwest ends of the beheaded flood flow channels reversed flow direction to flow north and/or northwest to the newly eroded Slough Creek valley. Prior to headward erosion of the Kansas River valley (south of the figure 10 map area) and its south-oriented tributary valleys south- and/or southeast-oriented flood water moved across the entire figure 10 map area on a topographic surface at least as high as the highest figure 10 elevations today, if not higher. The Kansas River valley, the Delaware River valley, and their tributary valleys initially were eroded into that higher level topographic surface and flood erosion created the landscape seen today.

Additional information and sources of maps studied

This essay has provided only a sample of the detailed topographic map evidence supporting the flood erosion interpretation. Many additional illustrations could be provided. Readers are encouraged to look at mosaics of detailed topographic maps to see the abundance of available data. Maps used in this study were created and published by the United States Geologic Survey and can be obtained directly from the United States Geological Survey and/or from dealers offering United States Geological Survey maps. Hard copy maps can also be observed at United States Geological Survey map depositories which are located throughout the United States and elsewhere. Illustrations used here were created using National Geographic Society TOPO software and digital map data. TOPO software and map data can be obtained from the National Geographic Society and/or dealers offering National Geographic Society digital map data.

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