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Miami County Geohydrology

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Topography and Drainage

Miami County lies within the Osage Plains section of the Central Lowlands physiographic province as defined by Schoewe (1949). The major topographic features are the southeast-trending Marais des Cygnes River valley and the gently sloping upland plains formed by erosion of the flat-lying sedimentary rocks underlying the county.

The Marais des Cygnes River and its tributaries drain the county except for the extreme northeastern part, which is drained by a few small streams flowing into the state of Missouri. The highest point in the county, which is about 1,150 feet above mean sea level, is 2.0 miles south and 2.5 miles east of Louisburg. The lowest point, which is about 790 feet above mean sea level, is along the Marais des Cygnes River at the south edge of the county. The Marais des Cygnes River has an average gradient of about 2.7 feet per mile in Miami County.


Miami County has a sub-humid to humid climate characterized by moderate precipitation, reasonably mild winters, and fairly hot summers.

The mean annual precipitation at Paola, as compiled from records of the U.S. Weather Bureau, is summarized in Table 1.

Table 1--Monthly and annual precipitation at Paola, Kansas, 1931-60. (From records of U.S. Weather Bureau).

Month Mean monthly
January 1.37  
February 1.32  
March 2.53  
April 3.58 184-day
(Apr. to Oct.)
May 4.86
June 5.29
July 4.68
August 3.86
September 3.72
October 2.95
November 1.87  
December 1.53  
Mean annual 37.56  


Miami County was organized in 1855. In 1961 the county had a population of 19,820, of which about 53 percent was urban. Paola, the county seat, had a population of 4,782. Other communities in Miami County, and their 1961 populations, are: Osawatomie, 4,717; Louisburg, 888; and Fontana, 153 (Kansas State Board of Agriculture, 1961).

Agriculture and Industry

Agriculture is an important part of the economy of Miami County. According to the 1962 census of the State Board of Agriculture, there were 1,661 farms with a total of 126,035 acres under some type of cultivation. Crops produced in 1961 had a value of $5,678,150, while livestock and poultry produced had a value of $6,893,740.

Several small- to medium-sized industries are located in the larger communities of the county. For a complete listing by type of industry and number of employees, the reader is referred to the Kansas Industrial Development Commission Directory (1962).

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Kansas Geological Survey, Miami County Geohydrology
Comments to
Web version June 2002. Original publication date June 1966.