Subterranean Drainage Routes of Lost River, Orange County, Indiana

S.H. Murdock
R.L. Powell

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The upper Lost River watershed consists of a drainage net of sinking streams that are tributary to the main stream through subterranean channels and intermittent surface flood water routes. The subterranean routes developed during early to middle Pleistocene time and beneath a topographic surface of Tertiary age. Material eroded from the Mitchell Plain during middle to late Pleistocene time alluviated the subterranean systems. Flood water from the sinking streams over flows through higher relic surface and subterranean channels. Fluoresce in was used to trace the subterranean routes within the 163 square mile topographic drainage basin to their outlets. Subsurface water from a portion of the basin that lies on the Mitchell Plain, about 139 square miles, was traced along the trend of the west ward dipping bed rock and descends 100 to 150 feet to resurge at the rise of Lost River and the Orangeville Rise. Drainage in a14.5 square mile area in the Crawford Upland along the South Fork of Stamper Creek is diverted downdip south-westward beneath the topographic divide into Lick Creek which lies about 80 feet below the sinks. Drainage from Dry Branch, a 9.4 square mile karst valley in the Crawford Upland, follows the strike and descends 90 feet to the Orangeville Rise.