region M Area 111 C larger picture

Indiana and Ohio Till Plain, Northwestern Part

Eastern Lake Section of the Central Lowland Province of the Interior Plains.
The southern end of the area is in the Till Plains Section of the Central Lowland Province of the Interior Plains

Area almost entirely within Indiana with a very small part in Michigan:

Total Land Area 3,500 square miles (9,065 square kilometers).

Towns/cities include:
Logansport, Plymouth, Syracuse, and Rensselaer, Indiana.


This area is underlain by Late Ordovician shale and limestone. The western part is underlain by shale, siltstone, sandstone, limestone, and dolostone ranging in age from Middle Pennsylvanian to Silurian.

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

This area is in the glaciated part of northcentral Indiana. It has a series of end moraines throughout. Most of the area is dominated by glacial till plains broken in places by lake plains, outwash plains, and flood plains. Narrow, shallow valleys commonly are along the large streams. In many places stream valleys occur at the edge of moraines that represent different episodes of glacial advancement and retreat.

Topography -

Elevation ranges from 630 to 940 feet (190 to 285 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 35 to 39 inches (890 to 990 millimeters).
Most of the rainfall occurs as convective thunderstorms during the growing season.
The average annual temperature is 47 to 51 degrees F (9 to 11 degrees C).
The freeze-free period averages about 185 days and ranges from 170 to 195 days.

Major Hydrologic Unit Areas

Name Code Extent*
Wabash (0512) 53%
Upper Illinois (0712) 24%
Southeastern Lake Michigan (0405) 22%
Western Lake Erie (0410) 1%

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

The Eel, Wabash, Pigeon, Tippecanoe, and St. Joseph Rivers cross this area.


Estimated withdrawls in this MLRA:
Public supply surface water 15.9% ground water 13%
Livestock surface water 16.9% ground water 14%
Irrigation surface water 20.8% ground water 19.3%
Other surface water 0% ground water 0%

Total daily withdrawls average 21 million gallons per day (80 million liters).
46% Ground water sources
54% Surface water sources

A few large streams, mostly tributaries of the Wabash and St. Joseph Rivers are used for water purposes. Surface waters are suitable for almost all uses.

A glacial outwash aquifer consisting of a deposit of sand and gravel in northern Indiana and in Michigan has water with about 440 parts per million (milligrams per liter) total dissolved solids. The water is very hard. Iron levels are very high.

Some deeper wells in the fractured Silurian-Devonian limestone 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 or illitic mineralogy.
  • The soils are generally deep, forming in calcareous, loamy glacial till and can range from well drained to very poorly drained.

    Dominant Soils:

  • Alfisols
  • Mollisols
  • Entisols
  • Inceptisols
  • Histosols
  • Great Group Series Location
    Hapludalfs Miami, Riddles, Williamstown, and Oshtemo serieson summits.
    Epiaqualfs Conover, Baugo, and Crosier serieson flat uplands; in broad, flat depressions; and in drainageways.
    Argiaquolls Brookston, Treaty, and Rennselaer serieson narrow flats and in deep depressions or potholes.
    Endoaquolls Milford, Patton, and Pella serieson narrow flats and in deep depressions or potholes.
    Haplosaprists Adrian, Edwards, Houghton, Muskego, and Madaus series on narrow flats and in deep depressions or potholes.

    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

    58% - Cropland - private
    5% - Grassland - private
    13% - Forest - private
    14% - Urban development - private
    3% - Water - private
    7% - Other - private

    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 water erosion; maintenance of the fertility and productivity of the soils and soil moisture management.

    Conservation practices on croplands include systems of crop residue management (no-till systems), cover crops, nutrient management, terraces, water and sediment control basins, grassed waterways and diversions.

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