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Abstract

The Osage Plains are that part of the Central Interior Lowlands extending from the glacial limit southwestward through eastern Kansas, central Oklahoma, and north-central Texas (Fig. 1). The Interior Highlands adjoin the Osage Plains on the east and comprise two distinctly different highland areas, the domed Ozark Plateaus and the tightly folded mountains of the Ouachita Province (Fig. 2). The Osage Plains and Interior Highlands have little in common, physiographically or stratigraphically, and are included in the same chapter for convenience because of their proximity to one another.

Situated near the center of the conterminous United States, the Osage Plains are a place of transition between regions of contrasting character. They lie between the humid east and the semiarid west and the glaciated Interior Lowlands on the north and the Coastal Plain of the Gulf of Mexico on the south. The ecotonal boundaries between forest and grassland lie within the Osage Plains, as does the boundary between calcic and noncalcic soils. The Osage Plains differ markedly from the Interior Highlands in many respects, including topography, geology, vegetation, and soils. The Interior Highlands can be thought of as western outliers of the Appalachian Highlands. The plateaus overlying the Ozark dome are similar in topography, rock types, and structure to the Interior Low Plateaus overlying the Nashville dome and to the Appalachian Plateaus farther east and north. Likewise, the tightly folded and faulted Ouachita Mountains are comparable to the Appalachian Mountains. The Quaternary stratigraphy of the Interior Highlands

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