Discussion from McGrain and Currens (1978)

Carlisle County is located in the extreme western part of Kentucky. The Mississippi River, or its former route, marks the western boundary of the county and the northern boundary follows the meandering route of slow-flowing Mayfield Creek, a tributary of the Mississippi. The lowest elevation in the county is approximately 283 feet, the elevation of the Mississippi River.

Two contrasting topographic landscapes characterize Carlisle County: the upland area and the bottom lands. The upland area, well dissected by normal stream erosion, is composed of rolling hills, locally flat-topped ridges, and broad valleys. Local relief, except along the Mississippi
River bluffs, is generally less than 100 feet, and slopes are rarely steep. Ridgetop elevations of 450 to 500 feet are common. The highest elevation in the county is on the ridge between Bardwell and Berkley, where 550-foot contours have been recorded on maps of the area. Closer to the Mississippi
River, slopes are steeper and local relief is greater, as much as 210 feet between the upland and the floodplain below.

Bottom lands adjacent to the Mississippi River range from 290 to 330 feet. They are marked by north-south-oriented lakes, ponds, sloughs, chutes, and swamps, all former routes of the Mississippi in normal or flood-flow conditions. One floodplain area, known as Islands 2, 3, and 4, lies on the
west side of the present channel of the Mississippi River. It has been cut off from the main part of the county as the river changed its route.

The elevation of Arlington is 347 feet; Bardwell, the county seat, 378 feet; Berkley, 395 feet; Cunningham, 398 feet; and Milburn, 480 feet.

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

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