• Canoers


    National Scenic Riverways Missouri

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  • Big Spring area will be closed Nov 8 & 9 and Dec 12 - 14

    The Big Spring area will be temporarily closed to ensure public safety during the Wounded Warrior managed hunt November 8-9 and the managed archery hunt December 12-14.

Cave Glossary

Aquifer - A layer of rock or sediment containing groundwater that can be drawn for use above ground.

Biospeleology - The study of cave life.

Calcite - the crystalized form of calcium carbonate. This is the major material in stalactites and other cave formations.

Carbonic Acid - A weak acid formed by rain or other water in contact with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere or in soils and vegetation.

Cave-A natural cavity beneath the earth's surface. Example: Round Spring Cave

Groundwater - The naturally occurring water found beneath the earth's surface in layers of rock or sediment.

Joints - natural cracks of fractures in rock that do not show displacement.

Karst topography - a landscape characterized by the presence of sinkholes, caves, springs, and losing streams created by groundwater solution of sedimentary rock such as limestone.

Losing Stream-A surface stream that is diverted to the underground via a sinkhole or cave within the stream's valley.

Example: Sinking Creek

Natural Bridge-The roof remnant of a collapsed cave system. A good example is visible at Grand Gulf State Park, about 30 mile south of the Ozark Riverways.

Seep-A slow, oozing natural discharge of water from rock or soil to the surface.

Sinkhole-A rounded depression in the landscape formed by solution of bedrock or collapse of an underlying cavity.

Example: Devils Well

Speleology - The study of caves.

Speleothem - Cave formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, dripstone, rimstone, soda straws, helictites, columns, etc.

Spring-A natural discharge of water from rock or soil to the surface.

Examples: Big Spring, Alley Spring, Round Spring, Pulltite Spring, Blue Spring, etc

Troglobites - Animals that spend their entire lives in caves. Often with special adaptations to the cave environment, such as long sensitive limbs.

Example: Southern Cave Fish

Troglophiles - Animals that can and do live in caves, but are capable of surving outside. May be found in similar outside environments such as under rocks or in soil.

Example: Cave Salamander

Trogloxenes - Animals that visit caves but return to the surface regularly. Caves may be used as shelter, denning sites, etc.

Examples: Bats, bears, crickets, people.

Water-filled Conduit-The vertical cracks and spaces between sedimentary layers convey water.

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Did You Know?

thick stand of rivercane, which looks like bamboo.

Cane brakes are thick stands of rivercane, which is much like bamboo. The endangered Swainson's Warbler nests in these thickets. Many stands have been lost to reservoir impoundments throughout the South, but many stands are protected at Ozark National Scenic Riverways. More at www.nps.gov/ozar More...