Abstract

Patterns formed by the networks of furrows separating the natural mounds of pimpled plains in eastern Oklahoma are regarded as attributable to shrinkage-polygon systems of coarse texture comparable to those occurring (1) in mound-studded parts of the northwestern United States that are underlain by vertically jointed basalt, (2) in tracts of Alaskan tundra that are occupied by ice-wedge networks, and (3) in beds of playa lakes in the arid southwest that are cut by systems of giant desiccation fissures. While the inter-mound furrow networks characteristic of pimpled plains in the mid-continent region may owe their origin to former frigid climatic conditions, one of a number of alternative possibilities is that the peculiar configuration of these surfaces, as exemplified in eastern Oklahoma, has resulted from erosion of systems of giant soil polygons caused by desiccation. The time of origin of the pimpled plains of eastern Oklahoma is believed to have been not earlier than late Pleistocene.

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