region M Area 111 B larger picture

Indiana and Ohio Till Plain, Northeastern Part

Eastern Lake and Till Plains Section of the Central Lowland Province of the Interior Plains.

Area includes portions of the following states:
42% in Ohio
35% in Indiana
23% in Michigan

Total Land Area 13,460 square miles (34,880 square kilometers).

Towns/cities include:
Fort Wayne, Huntington, and Marion, Indiana.
Pontiac, Adrian, and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Bellefontaine, Celina, Delaware, Lima, Marion, Sidney, and Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

A number of State parks are in the part of the area in Michigan; the Delaware Lake, Grand Lake St. Marys, Indian Lake, and Lake Loramie State Parks are in the part in Ohio; and the Chain O’Lakes and Ouabache State Parks are in the part in Indiana.


Most of this MLRA is underlain by Silurian and Devonian limestone and dolostone. Middle Devonian to Early Mississippian black shale and Early to Middle Mississippian siltstone and shale are in some areas of the northern part of the MLRA.

The surficial materials in this area include glacial deposits of till, outwash, and lacustrine sediments from Wisconsin and older glacial periods. A thin mantle of loess occurs in some area.

Area is glaciated, domanated by ground moraines broken with some lake, outwash, and flood plains, with many reccessional moraines. Stream valleys are common at the leading points of the reccessional moraines. Narrow and shallow valleys occur along large streams.

Topography -

Elevation ranges from 630 to 1,550 feet (190 to 470 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 30 to 39 inches (760 to 990 millimeters).
Most of the rainfall occurs as convective thunderstorms during the growing season.
The average annual temperature is 47 to 52 degrees F (8 to 11 degrees C).
The freeze-free period averages about 180 days and ranges from 165 to 195 days.

Major Hydrologic Unit Areas

Name Code Extent*
Western Lake Erie (0410) 41%
Wabash (0512) 28%
Scioto (0506) 10%
St. Clair-Detroit (0409) 9%
Great Miami (0508) 6%
Southeastern Lake Michigan (0405) 5%
Southwestern Lake Huron- Lake Huron (0408) 1%

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

The Huron River in Michigan, Cedar Creek in Indiana, and the Sandusky River in Ohio have been designated as National Wild and Scenic Rivers in this area.


Estimated withdrawls in this MLRA:
Public supply surface water 10.2% ground water 7.7%
Livestock surface water 0.3% ground water 0.4%
Irrigation surface water 0.4% ground water 0.4%
Other surface water 70% ground water 10.5%

Total daily withdrawls average 1,715 million gallons per day (6,490 million liters).
19% Ground water sources
81% Surface water sources

Reservoirs in Indiana, rivers in Ohio, and the rivers and lakes in Michigan provide water for public, municipal, and industrial supplies and for cooling thermoelectric power plants.

Recreation is the most important use of some of the reservoirs. The surface water is suitable for almost all 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 water deposits along the Great Miami and Scioto Rivers are heavily used. Average values of total dissolved solids are 185, 413, and 546 parts per million (milligrams per liter) in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, respectively.

The water generally is very hard, but in Michigan it typically is moderately hard or hard. It is very low in iron in Indiana, but it typically exceeds the secondary (esthetic) national standard for drinking water in Michigan and Ohio.

A glacial outwash aquifer consisting of a deposit of sand and gravel in northern Indiana and in Michigan is more extensive than the glaciofluvial deposits. The water from this aquifer has less than 500 parts per million (milligrams per liter) total dissolved solids, and it is very hard. Iron levels are very high.

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. This bedrock provides most of the industrial, agricultural, and domestic water in west-central Ohio.


  • Mesic soil temperature regime.
  • Aquic or udic soil moisture regime.
  • Mixed or illitic 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 clayey till and lacustrine sediments with lesser quantities of outwash, alluvium, loess, and organic deposits.

    Dominant Soils:

  • Alfisols
  • Inceptisols
  • Mollisols
  • Great Group Series Location
    Hapludalfs Glynwood and Morley serieson till plains.
    Belmore, Eldean, and Fox series on terraces and outwash plains.
    Epiaqualfs Blount, Nappanee, and Pandora series on till plains.
    Del Rey seriesare on lake plains.
    Endoaqualfs Wetzel serieson till plains.
    Sleeth serieson terraces and outwash plains.
    Argiaquolls Pewamo serieson till plains.
    Millgrove, Rensselaer, Westland series on terraces and outwash plains.
    Endoaquolls Milford and Montgomery serieson lake plains.
    Saranac and Sloan series on flood plains.
    Haplosaprists Houghton and Linwood seriesin deep depressions or potholes.
    Humaquepts Roundhead and Wallkill seriesin deep depressions or potholes.
    Endoaquepts Wunabuna series are in deep depressions or potholes.
    Shoals series and on flood plains.
    Eutrudepts Genesee series 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

    76% - Cropland - private
    3% - Grassland - private
    7% - Forest - private
    1% - - Federal
    8% - Urban development - private
    1% - Water - private
    4% - Other - private

    More than 80% 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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