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A lacustrine plain or lake plain is a lake basin that has been filled by sediment. Over time, as water drains or evaporates from the lake, the deposited sediments are left behind, resulting in a level plain of land where the lake once existed. This process can be caused by natural drainage, evaporation or other geophysical processes. The soil of the plain may constitute fertile and productive farmland due to the previous accumulation of lacustrine sediments; in other cases, it may become a wetland or a desert.
The topography of Southern Indiana, in the United States, reflects a system of complex lacustrine plains. An ice sheet during the Illinoian stage changed drainage patterns in the area and formed a series of proglacial lakes. One of the more distinct lakes in this series was Lake Quincy, named for Quincy, Indiana. As the ice sheet withdrew, these lakes disappeared, leaving behind the lacustrine plains that are still preserved today. Lake Quincy in particular left 30-to-40-foot-deep (9.1 to 12.2 m) sediments, ranging in composition from gravels to silts.
Other examples of lacustrine plains include the Kashmir Valley and the Imphal basin in the Manipur hills (both in India), and the watershed of the Red River of the North in the United States and Canada.
- United States. Department of Conservation. Division of Geology. Glacial Sluceways and Lacustrine Plains of Southern Indiana. By William D. Thornburry. Bloomington: n.p., 1950. Web. <https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2022/205/B04.pdf?sequence=1>.
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