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Loamy High Lime Till Plains

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About the Loamy High Lime Till Plains

The Loamy High Lime Till Plains are a fairly broad region covering much of southwestern Ohio through central Indiana. "High Lime" refers not to elevation but to the soils here being rich in lime.

This region is flat to rolling, and has glacial features including terminal moraines and outwash plains. Soils are formed on loamy, lime-rich glacial till, which is underlain by bedrock of carbonates and shale. There are also some scattered loess deposits. The difference in substrate produces soils that are markedly better-drained than those in the clayey regions farther north, and more fertile and less acidic than those in regions to the south. The climate is humid and continental, with a growing season ranging from 150-185 days.

Although this area is flat, it reaches the highest elevations in the state, 1,550 feet (470 m) at Campbell Hill outside of Bellefontaine.

Naturally, this area supported beech forests, oak-sugar maple forests, and elm-ash swamp forests on the most poorly-drained sites. There was also some mixed oak forest and open prairie in the Pickaway Plains region.

Most of the forests in this area have been cleared for agriculture. This region primarily produces corn, soybean, and livestock. Little forest cover remains, although there is more than in the nearby Darby Plains. There are small, isolated woodlots separated from each other by large distances, and some slightly larger, more connected tracts of woods in riparian areas along major streams. Remaining forests are beech-maple on better-drained sites, and pin oak and swamp white oak on wetter sites.

Although most of this region is rural, it does contain the entire Indianapolis, IN metro area, where there is extensive urbanization and suburbanization. It also contains the Dayton, OH metro area, and some smaller cities.

Over most of its area, this region is bordered to the north by the more poorly-drained Clayey High Lime Till Plains. However, at its western end it borders the Middle Tippecanoe Plains to the north, and the Sand Area in a small border to the northwest. The border to the northeast is with the more acidic Low Lime Drift Plain.

To the southeast, at the limit of glaciation, lies the Knobs-Lower Scioto Dissected Plateau, part of the Western Allegheny Plateau, which is part of the Appalachians. West of this, this region is bordered to the south by the Pre-Wisconsinan Drift Plains, which was glaciated earlier, but escaped glaciation more recently. In some areas, this region directly borders the Outer Bluegrass to the south. There are also small borders to the south with the Knobs-Norman Upland, the Mitchell Plain, and the Crawford-Mammoth Cave Uplands. At its western end, this region is bordered to the southwest by the Glaciated Wabash Lowlands and to the northwest by the Illinois/Indiana Prairies.

References

1. Woods, A.J, Omernik, J.M., Brockman, C.S., Gerber, T.D., Hosteter, W.D., Azevedo, S.H. "Ecoregions of Indiana and Ohio (Poster)", US Geological Survey (1998) Web.