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Pre-Wisconsinan Drift Plains

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About the Pre-Wisconsinan Drift Plains

The Pre-Wisconsinan Drift Plains is a region located within southwest Ohio and southeastern Indiana, which was previously glaciated, but escaped glaciation during the most recent Wisconsinian glacial period.

This area is covered in pre-Wisconsinian glacial till, which has been extensively leached and is thus acidic and nutrient-poor. There are also thin loess deposits. The region is underlain by older carbonates. The area is deeply dissected, more so than the more recent glacial plains to the north, creating greater local relief, ranging from 50-500 feet.

The climate is borderline between the colder end of a humid subtropical climate and the warmer end of a humid continental climate. Precipitation peaks in May and is slightly lower September-Februrary. The frost-free growing season ranges from 165-195 days.

Naturally this area was mostly covered in beech forest, with some oak-sugar maple forest and elm-ash swamp forest on wetter sites.

This area is heavily utilized for agriculture, with production of soybean, livestock, corn, and other general farming. The region also produces tobacco, and is at the northern limit of tobacco production. Forest cover is greatest on either poorly-drained or more rugged sites. Poorly-drained sites are now mostly covered in pin oak and swamp white oak, and there is some beech-maple forest as well.

This region is bordered to the south by the Outer Bluegrass region, and to the north by the more recently-glaciated Loamy High Lime Till Plains. There is also a small border to the east with the Knobs-Lower Scioto Dissected Plateau.

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.