Roark Bluff along the Buffalo River
A view of Buffalo National River carving the karst landscape. The white sides of the bluff are visible towards the center right of the image. Vibrant green trees cover the land.

AR Dept. of Tourism

The rocks that define our Ozark Mountains began as sand, silt, and the remains of marine invertebrates. Over the course of millions of years, sediment continued to be deposited and formed layers as the sea level and environment changed. Each of those beginning materials took the forms of sandstone, limestone, or shale. What we view as “mountains” are old, eroded plateaus. As the ground uplifted, the streams, rivers, and rainfall carved out bluffs, caves, and hidden wonders into the land. This is what we have come to know and enjoy as Karst.

For more information about Karst click here!

Part of a series of articles titled Phenomenal Science.

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Buffalo National River

Last updated: July 25, 2021