The swallow-holes of Lost River, Orange County, Indiana


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Publication Date

January 1951


Lost river southern Indiana has an upper area a surface drainage on an upland lime stone plain, a middle area of subterranean drainage through a perched sinkhole or plain, and a lower area of insurance drainage at or near base level. Entrenchment of the lower section of last river permitted the lowering of the water bowl of the middle area and sinkhole topography and sinking drainage followed. The upper area of surface drainage on the lime stone airplane removed from the insurance lower part of the stream basin remains unaffected and still has a water bowl limited by the stream itself. The sinkholes, the sinking streams, the lengthened and little used dry-bed section of Lost River, and capacious cavernous underground drainage routes of the middle section have been developed during the present cycle of drainage intrenchment, and they are the products of invading surface waters keeping pace with a progressively lowered or withdrawn water table in the perch section of the limestone upland.


Water Table, Drainage, Lost River, Intrenched, Sinkholes

Document Type



Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science, Vol. 61 (1951).