Discussion from McGrain and Currens (1978)

Crittenden County is located in the Western Kentucky Fluorspar District of the Mississippian Plateaus area of extreme western Kentucky.

The Ohio River forms part of the northern boundary, and the Tradewater River marks the northeastern edge of the county. Livingston Creek forms a small part of the southern border, and the county touches the Cumberland River in the vicinity of Dycusburg. Thus the county is drained by a diverse stream pattern that has left a well-dissected upland characterized by a variety of irregularly shaped, sandstone-capped hills and ridges. The orientation of some of the ridges and bluffs is influenced by the faulting that is so prevalent in the mineral district. Karst features are also present in the area. Locally, features associated with underground drainage are quite noticeable, but these areas do not constitute a major portion of the total landscape.

Wilson Hill, just south of Marion, is on the drainage divide between the Ohio and Tradewater Rivers. The highest elevation in the county, 842 feet, is found here. Hardin Knob, in the western part of the county, is 826 feet, more than 300 feet above the adjacent valleys. Crayne Knob is 810 feet.

The lowest elevation is the Ohio River at the mouth of Deer Creek, where normal pool elevation is 310 feet. (The new Smithland Lock and Dam, now under construction, will raise the normal pool elevation of the Ohio River in Crittenden County.) Normal pool elevation of the Ohio River at the mouth of the Tradewater River is 320 feet. Floodplains along the Ohio are narrow to nonexistent. Bluffs may rise abruptly 200 to 250 feet above the river.

The elevation of Marion, at the courthouse, is 594 feet. Other elevations include Crayne, 642 feet; Dycusburg, 342 feet; Frances, 542 feet; Repton, 483 feet; and Tolu, 373 feet.

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

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