Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Lloyd Schmaltz

Second Advisor

Dr. W. Thomas Straw

Third Advisor

Dr. William Harrison III

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The Kentucky River has responded to a lowering of base level control by: 1) deepening the course of its channel; 2) cutting off meanders as incision proceeded; 3) developing knickpoints on tributaries; 4) widening its valley; and 5) dissecting the upland surface.

Field work involved surveying streams to obtain profiles. Twenty streams covering 125 miles of river from Carrollton to Camp Nelson, Kentucky were surveyed. Knickpoints were defined from these profiles. Data from stream profiles showed knickpoint distances decreasing with increasing distance up river. Map work involved obtaining data for hypsometric curves. Hypsometric integrals were determined from these curves. Data showed an increase in hypsometric integrals with increasing distance up river. Statistical analyses of this data verified these trends. The response of the Kentucky River drainage basin to a lowering of its base level control is differential adjustment to a change in equilibrium states with more of the relict upland surface present with increasing distance up river.

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Geology Commons