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Environmental Setting

Location

New Haven, Missouri (population about 1,600), is located along the southern bank of the Missouri River in Franklin County, about 50 mi (miles) west of St. Louis, Missouri (location map 33kb). The city is similar in character to other small towns and cities along the Missouri River with historic late-1800ís era homes along the steep river valley slopes overlooking a downtown business district adjacent to the river. The principal road in the city is State Highway 100, which runs along part of an east-west trending ridge about 1 mi south of the Missouri River. The ridge forms a topographic divide between the Missouri River valley to the north and the Boeuf Creek valley to the south.  The two major towns near New Haven are Washington (approximately 15 mi to the east) and Hermann (approximately 20 mi to the west).

The downtown business district is located within a narrow (less than 600 ft [feet] wide) strip of floodplain and consists of several small shops and restaurants, a few homes, and several small old manufacturing facilities. This area of New Haven is surrounded by a flood protection levee that is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).  Land use north of the State Highway 100, including the downtown area, is mostly residential, and land use outside the city is mostly pasture with some row crops (New Haven topo map 739kb). An industrial park (developed in the mid-1970s) containing several large manufacturing facilities is located south of this ridge and State Highway 100.

Physiographic Setting

New Haven is located along the northern boundary of the Salem Plateau physiographic subprovince. The Salem Plateau is characterized by a moderate to rugged terrane of thin soils and narrow steep walled valleys. Topographic relief is the result of gradual uplift of the Ozark Dome in southern Missouri and erosion of the uplifted rocks by precipitation, runoff, and stream flow. The relief in the New Haven area is accentuated because of proximity to the Missouri River, which controls the base level for most streams in western and central Missouri. The land surface altitude ranges from a low of 470 ft above sea level at the Missouri River to about 920 ft on a ridge about 3 mi west of the city. In the upland areas of New Haven, loess deposits as much as 15 ft thick overlie the cherty, silty, clay residuum that is characteristic of surficial materials throughout most of the Salem Plateau. The average annual precipitation for this area is about 37 in (inches).


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