Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Open-File Report 2008-1088


Publications Warehouse OFR 2008-1088

Interior River Lowland Ecoregion Summary Report

By Krista A. Karstensen

OFR 2008-1088

Ecoregion Description

The Interior River Lowlands ecoregion encompasses 93,200 square kilometers (km2) across southern and western Illinois, southwest Indiana, east-central Missouri, and fractions of northwest Kentucky and southeast Iowa. The ecoregion includes the confluence areas of the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, and Wabash Rivers, and their tributaries.

This ecoregion was formed in non-resident, non-calcareous sedimentary rock (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2006). The unstratified soil deposits present north of the White River in Indiana are evidence that pre-Wisconsinan ice once covered much of the Interior River Lowlands. The geomorphic characteristics of this area also include terraced valleys filled with alluvium as well as outwash, acolian, and lacustrine deposits.

Historically, agricultural land use has been a vital economic resource for this region. The drained alluvial soils are farmed for feed grains and soybeans, whereas the valley uplands also are used for forage crops, pasture, woodlots, mixed farming, and livestock (USEPA, 2006). This ecoregion provides a key component of national energy resources as it contains the second largest coal reserve in the United States, and the largest reserve of bituminous coal (Varanka and Shaver, 2007). One of the primary reasons for change in the ecoregion is urbanization.

Posted March 2008

Download report (1.2 MB pdf)

Citation

Karstensen, K.A., 2008, Interior River Lowland Ecoregion Summary Report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008–1088, 5 p.

Back to top


Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Acrobat Reader, free of charge or go to access.adobe.com for free tools that allow visually impaired users to read PDF files.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1088/index.html
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, December 07 2016, 09:11:16 PM