The loess soil, chiefly a mixture of porous clay and carbonate of lime, forms the bluffs that border the bottom lands of the Missouri.
The city is laid out fairly regularly in the river valley and on bluffs along the river, and has attractive residential districts, commanding good views.
During 1849-1850 Council Bluffs became an important outfitting point for California gold seekers - the goods being brought by boat from Saint Louis - and in 1853 it was incorporated as a city.
Along the river bluffs there is a silicious deposit called loess, which is well suited to the cultivation of fruits and vegetables.
Some of the bess is thought to have been derived by the wind from the surface of the drift soon after the retreat of the ice, before vegetation got a foothold upon the new-made deposit; but a large part of the bess, especially that associated with the main valleys, appears to have been blown up on to the bluffs of the valleys from the flood plains below.
The principal villages are Oak Bluffs on the north-east coast, facing Vineyard Sound; Vineyard Haven, in Tisbury township, beautifully situated on the west shore of Vineyard Haven Harbor, and Edgartown on Edgartown Harbor - all summer resorts.
The country is covered with limestone in many parts, and large isolated bluffs of this formation stand up in the plains both on the eastern and the western slopes.
Of the town of Tver, occupying the bluffs on both banks of the Volga (here 350 ft.
Beloit is attractively situated on high bluffs on both sides of the river.
The coast is for the most part flat, with occasional low cliffs and bluffs of red sandstone.