Discussion from McGrain and Currens (1978)

Owsley County is in the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field. Elevations range from a low of approximately 650 feet on the South Fork of the Kentucky River where it leaves the northern edge of the county, to a high of 1,720 feet on the Owsley-Clay County line less than 0.5 mile from the junction with Perry County.

The area is well dissected by normal stream erosion. The South Fork of the Kentucky River flows northward, bisecting the county. It has carved a valley that is 300 feet below the upland in the north and is more than 600 feet below the higher adjacent mountains in the south. The Sag, at Booneville, is an abandoned meander loop of the South Fork of the Kentucky River.

The highest elevations are in the southeastern part of the county, particularly along the drainage divides that mark the approximate boundaries between Owsley and Clay, Perry, and Breathitt Counties. Elevations from 1,400 to 1,700 feet are found here. The elevations of the ridgetops in the northern part of the county are commonly between 1,000 and 1,100 feet.

The elevation of Booneville, the county seat, is 708 feet. Elevations at other communities are Cowcreek, 810 feet; Ida May, 715 feet; Island City, 838 feet; Levi, 833 feet; Mistletoe, 858 feet; Sturgeon, 917 feet; and Travellers Rest, 841 feet.

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

Previous--Next--Back to "Groundwater Resources in Kentucky"