Discussion from McGrain and Currens (1978)

Hardin County, situated largely in the Mississippian Plateaus area of Kentucky, contains a diversity of topographic features. Rolling Fork, which marks the eastern boundary of the county, occupies a broad, flat valley near the edge of Muldraugh Hill (Highland Rim escarpment). Adjacent hills and ridges rise 300 feet above the valley floor. This well-dissected upland, with ridgetop elevations of 800 to 900 feet, is part of the knobs country.

The east-central part of Hardin County is part of an extensive karst landscape. It is a gently rolling plain with springs, sinking creeks, abundant sinkholes, and other features associated with underground drainage in a limestone terrane. Elevations on the sinkhole plain range from 800 feet, east of Elizabethtown, to less than 700 feet at the base of the Dripping Springs escarpment.

The Dripping Springs escarpment marks the boundary between the low sinkhole plateau and a higher tableland to the west. The rise is approximately 200 feet. This upland, with elevations of approximately 850 feet in the east and about 750 feet at the western edge of the county, is dissected by normal stream drainage, incised about 200 feet. Broad, flat-topped ridges occupy areas between narrow stream valleys. Resistant rock formations make the valley walls steep; cliffs are present locally.

The highest elevation in the county, 1017 feet, is on Blueball Hill, an isolated ridge on the karst plain about 4 miles northeast of Howe Valley. The lowest point, 383 feet, is the normal pool level of the Ohio River at the north end of the county.

The elevation of Elizabethtown, the county seat, at the intersection of U. S. Highways 31 -W and 62, is 731 feet. Elevations of other communities are Cecilia, 709 feet; Colesburg, 450 feet; East View, 830 feet; Glendale, 709 feet; Godman Airfield at Fort Knox, 734 feet; Radcliff, 763 feet; Sonora, 720 feet; Stephensburg, 687 feet; Summit, 852 feet; Upton, 744 feet; and Vine Grove, 682 feet. The normal pool level of Rough River Lake, which touches the extreme western end of the county, is 495 feet.

The 7.5-minute topographic quadrangle maps that cover the county are shown, by name and by index code (Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet) on the index map.

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