Physical Geography

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Entries - Entry Category: Physical Geography - Starting with P

Petit Jean Mountain

Petit Jean Mountain is the name commonly given to the largest portion of the Petit Jean Mountains, a group of connected landforms south and east of the confluence of the Petit Jean River with the Arkansas River. Although other terrain features along the Petit Jean River are also called Petit Jean Mountain, notably the long ridge that culminates near the common corner of Yell, Logan, and Scott counties, this entry discusses the large mesa on the south bank of the Arkansas River in Conway County. It is part of the Arkansas Valley, one of the six natural divisions of Arkansas, and the home of Petit Jean State Park. A relatively flat top gives Petit Jean elevations that vary from approximately …

Petit Jean River

The Petit Jean River rises from the confluence of several streams in the northern Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas near Waldron (Scott County). From there, it flows primarily eastward for 113 miles before emptying into the Arkansas River just north of Petit Jean State Park. Many ascribe the name of the river, and of Petit Jean Mountain, to the legend of a young French woman who disguised herself as a man to follow her lover to the New World, though others believe the original French name of the river to have been Petit Jaune, or “little yellow,” possibly in reference to the river’s color. The river is dammed just west of Havana (Yell County), creating Blue Mountain Lake. It is …

Poteau River

The Poteau River rises in Arkansas from springs east of Waldron (Scott County) and flows westward for approximately thirty-nine miles before entering Le Flore County, Oklahoma. From there, the river continues to flow west until entering Wister Lake. Exiting the north side of the lake, the river flows northeast until finally emptying into the Arkansas River in Fort Smith (Sebastian County). The river flows for a total length of 141 miles. Early inhabitants were located along the Poteau River during the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian eras. There are numerous archaeological sites located along the river, giving evidence indicating that the Caddo Indians once inhabited the area. The Poteau River and its banks served as hunting and fishing grounds for early …