region M Area 111 A larger picture

Indiana and Ohio Till Plain, Central Part

Till Plains Section of the Central Lowland Province of the Interior Plains.

Area includes portions of the following states:
54% in Indiana
46% in Ohio

Total Land Area 10,980 square miles (28,445 square kilometers).

Towns/cities include:
Anderson, Columbus, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Muncie, Plainfield, and Richmond, Indiana.
Dayton, Eaton, Greenville, Springfield, and Washington Court House, Ohio.

Numerous State parks occur in this area. The Fort Harrison, Mounds, Summit Lake, and White River State Parks are in the part of the area in Indiana, and Buck Creek, Deer Creek, John Bryan, Kiser Lake, Little Miami, Madison Lake, and Sycamore State Parks are in the part in Ohio.


Most of this area is underlain by Silurian and Devonian limestone and dolostone. Some areas of Late Ordovician shale and limestone are in the western part.

Surface deposits in this area include glacial deposits of till, lacustrine sediments, and outwash from Wisconsin and older glacial periods. A moderately thick mantle of loess covers much of the area.

It is dominated by broad, nearly level ground moraines that are broken in some areas by kames, outwash plains, and stream valleys along the leading edge of the moraines. Narrow, shallow valleys commonly are along the few large streams in the area.

Topography -

Elevation ranges from 680 to 1,250 feet (205 to 380 meters). Relief is mainly a few meters, but in some areas hills rise as much as 100 feet (30 meters) above the adjoining plains.


The average annual precipitation in this area is 36 to 43 inches (915 to 1,090 millimeters).
Most of the rainfall occurs as high-intensity, convective thunderstorms during the growing season.
The average annual temperature is 49 to 53 degrees F (9 to 12 degrees C).
The freeze-free period averages about 195 days and ranges from 175 to 215 days.

Major Hydrologic Unit Areas

Name Code Extent*
Wabash (0512 ) 46%
Great Miami (0508) 30%
Scioto (0506) 22%
Middle Ohio (0509) 2%

* this is the percent of area drained by each named hydrologic unit

The major rivers in the area include the East and West Forks of the White River and the Whitewater River in Indiana and the Great Miami, Stillwater, Big Darby, Scioto, and Big Walnut Rivers in Ohio.


Estimated withdrawls in this MLRA:
Public supply surface water 6.6% ground water 11%
Livestock surface water 0.3% ground water 0.4%
Irrigation surface water 0.2% ground water 0.1%
Other surface water 62% ground water 19.4%

Total daily withdrawls average 1,985 million gallons per day (7,515 million liters).
31% Ground water sources
69% Surface water sources

Reservoirs on the East Fork of the White River and on the Great Miami and Scioto Rivers and their tributaries provide water for public, municipal, and industrial supplies and for cooling thermoelectric power plants.

Rivers receiving wastewater effluent from the larger urban centers in Ohio have poor-quality water during periods of low flow. The water in the other streams and rivers in this area is of good or fair quality and is suitable for most uses.

Abundant ground water in shallow glaciofluvial deposits (unconsolidated sand and gravel along streams and in glacial channels) meets some of the water needs in the part of this area in Indiana. Average values of total dissolved solids are 546 parts per million (milligrams per liter).

The extensive sand and gravel deposits in the valleys along the Great Miami and Scioto Rivers are heavily used in Ohio. Average values of total dissolved solids are 416 parts per million (milligrams per liter), and the water is very hard. The iron exceeds the secondary (esthetic) standard for drinking water in Ohio.

Isolated lenses of sand and gravel buried in the glacial till provide some very hard ground water throughout the area. Average values of total dissolved solids are 358 parts per million (milligrams per liter), but this water has the highest levels of iron of all the aquifers in the area.

Some deeper wells in the fractured limestone and dolomite bedrock beneath the glacial drift have water that is very similar in quality to the water in the glacial deposits.


  • Mesic soil temperature regime.
  • Aquic or udic soil moisture regime.
  • Mixed mineralogy.
  • The soils are generally very deep, very poorly drained to somewhat poorly drained, and loamy or clayey.

    The dominant kinds of parent material are till, outwash, and loess. Others include alluvium, glaciolacustrine sediments, residuum, and organic deposits.

    Dominant Soils:

  • Alfisols
  • Inceptisols
  • Mollisols
  • Great Group Series Location
    Hapludalfs Cardington, Celina, Lewisburg, Losantville, Miami, Miamian, Milton, Russell, Strawn, Wawaka, Williamstown, and Xenia seriesformed on moraines.
    Eldean, Fox, Martinsville, and Ockley series formed on terraces and outwash plains.
    Epiaqualfs Crosby and Fincastle series formed on moraines.
    Argiaquolls Brookston, Cyclone, Kokomo, and Treaty series formed in depressions on ground moraines.
    Lippincott and Westland seriesformed in depressions on outwash plains and terraces.
    Endoaquolls Patton and Pella series formed in depressions on outwash plains and terraces.
    Sloan series formed on flood plains.
    Endoaqualfs Sleeth and Whitaker seriesformed on terraces and outwash plains.
    Haplosaprists Linwood and Palms seriesformed in deep depressions or potholes.
    Humaquepts Martisco seriesformed in deep depressions or potholes.
    Eutrudepts Eel and Genesee seriesformed on flood plains.
    Hapludolls Ross series formed on flood plains.
    Endoaquepts Shoals series formed on flood plains.

    Fauna and Flora

    This area supports hardwoods. Pin oak, swamp white oak, blackgum, American sycamore, green ash, silver maple, and cottonwood grow on the wetter soils. White oak, northern red oak, black walnut, tuliptree, shagbark hickory, sugar maple, and white ash are major species on the better drained soils.

    Some of the major wildlife species include whitetailed deer, red fox, gray squirrel, raccoon, opossum, cottontail rabbit, quail, ducks, turkey, dove, and geese.

    Land Use

    65% - Cropland - private
    6% - Grassland - private
    8% - Forest - private
    17% - Urban development - private
    1% - Water - private
    3% - Other - private

    Most of this area is farmed. Corn, soybeans, other feed grains, and hay for livestock are the principal crops. Dairying is an important enterprise near the cities in the area, and truck and canning crops are grown extensively in areas where the soils and markets are favorable.

    The major resource concerns include seasonal wetness; water erosion; maintenance of the content of organic matter and productivity of the soils; excessive sediments, nutrients, and pesticides in surface water; nutrients and pesticides in ground water; and loss of wildlife habitat.

    Conservation practices generally include surface and subsurface drainage systems, conservation crop rotations, crop residue management, filter strips, nutrient and pest management, protection of streambanks, agrichemical containment facilities, and management of wildlife habitat.

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