ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to deconstruct the relationship between the Leaf River anticline and the preglacial bedrock paleotopography at the eastern terminus of the Plum River Fault Zone in Ogle County, Illinois, using a geostatistical approach. The contour maps derived from the elevation models provided detailed depictions of the ancient bedrock landscape and subsurface structure in the study area. The Leaf River anticline is interpreted to be a component of hanging-wall anticline at the terminus of the Plum River Fault Zone. The topographic high created by the anticline controlled local drainage and led to the development of the Leaf River paleovalley prior to the Pleistocene. The catastrophic failure of an ice damn during the Illinois glacial episode carved a glacial spillway into the north flank of the Leaf River anticline that interfaced with a tributary of the Leaf River paleovalley. This rerouted the preglacial drainage network and permanently diverted the ancient Rock River to its modern-day position. Ultimately, the subsurface geometry of the Leaf River anticline and its relationship to the local bedrock paleotopography were revealed by the elevation models. The position and development of the Leaf River paleovalley and glacial spillway interpreted in this study aligned with the regional interpretations for the evolution of the ancient bedrock landscape established in prior works. However, this study revealed that the Leaf River anticline and, by association, the terminus of the Plum River Fault Zone extend farther east into the region than indicated by prior works.

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