region M Area 111 D larger picture

Indiana and Ohio Till Plain, Western Part

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

73% of this area within Indiana.
27% of this are within Ohio.

Total Land Area 5,355 square miles (13,880 square kilometers).

Towns/cities include:
Crawfordville, Delphi, Frankfort, Lafayette and Liberty in Indiana.
Hamilton, Lebanon, Middletown and Wilmington in Ohio.

Shades and Turkey Run State Parks are in the part in Indiana, and Caesar Creek and Hueston Woods State Parks are in the part in Ohio.


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 dominated by loess hills and flats. Some end moraines, kames, outwash plains and stream terraces. Narrow, shallow valleys commonly are along the few large streams in area.

Topography -

Elevation ranges from 530 to 1,050 feet (160 to 320 meters) increasing from southwest to northeast. 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 convective thunderstorms during the growing season.
The average annual temperature is 49 to 54 degrees F (10 to 12 degrees C).
The freeze-free period averages about 200 days and ranges from 180 to 215 days.

Major Hydrologic Unit Areas

Name Code Extent*
Wabash (0512) 68%
Great Miami (0508) 15%
Middle Ohio (0509) 14%
Scioto (0506) 2%
Upper Illinois (0712) 1%

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

The Sugar Creek, Walnut creek, and Whitewater River in Indiana, and the Sevenmile, Fourmile and Great Miami Rivers in Ohio cross this area.

Wildcat Creek in Indiana and the Little Miami River in Ohio have been designated as National Wild and Scenic Rivers


Estimated withdrawls in this MLRA:
Public supply surface water 10.6% ground water 35.3%
Livestock surface water 1.4% ground water 1.5%
Irrigation surface water 1.3% ground water 0.2%
Other surface water 26.9% ground water 22.8%

Total daily withdrawls average 240 million gallons per day (910 million liters).
60% Ground water sources
40% Surface water sources

A few large streams, mainly tributaries of the Ohio River is a potential source for water purposes. Surface waters are suitable for almost all uses.

A glacial outwash aquifer in northern Indiana is one source of ground water in this area. It is a sand and gravel deposit that has around 440 parts per million (milligrams per liter) total dissolved solids with very high iron levels.

Other isolated lenses buried in the glacial till have average total dissolved solids of 358 parts per million (milligrams per liter) and the highest iron levels of all aquafirs in the area.

Glaciofluvial deposits of sand and gravel in the valleys along the Whitewater and Great Miami Rivers are primary sources of ground water in the parts of this area in southeastern Indiana and southwestern Ohio, respectively. The median level of total dissolved solids in the ground water is 546 and 413 parts per million (milligrams perliter), respectively, and the water in both aquifers is very hard.

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 mineralogy
  • The soils are generally deep, loamy or silty, and can range from well drained to very poorly drained. Dominant soil parent materials are till, outwash, loess, and alluvium.

    Dominant Soils:

  • Alfisols
  • Inceptisols
  • Mollisols
  • Histosols
  • Great Group Series Location
    Hapludalfs Celina, Miami, Miamian, Reesville, Russell, Wynn, and Xenia serieson till plains
    Epiaqualfs Crosby and Fincastle serieson till plains
    Endoaquolls Drummer serieson till plains or outwash plains
    Argiaquolls Cyclone, Kokomo, Mahalasville, Ragsdale, and Treaty serieson till plains or outwash plains
    Endoaqualfs Starks series on till plains or outwash plains
    Haplosaprists Houghton and Palms seriesin deep depressions and potholes.
    Hapludalfs Camden, Eldean, Fox, Martinsville, and Ockley series on terraces and outwash plains.
    Endoaqualfs Sleeth series on terraces and outwash plains.
    Argiaquolls Westland seriesin depressions on terraces and outwash plains.
    Eutrudepts Beckville, Eel, and Genesee serieson flood plains.
    Endoaquepts Shoals series on flood plains.
    Endoaquolls Sloan series on flood plains.

    Fauna and Flora

    When the area was settled, the northwestern part supported prairie vegitation with the rest of area supporting 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

    74% - Cropland - private
    5% - Grassland - private
    11% - Forest - private
    6% - Urban development - private
    1% - Water - private
    3% - 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 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 on cropland 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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