Tag Archives: Missouri Karst and Cave Conservancy
Cave exhibit at the Missouri State Museum
Don’t miss your opportunity to explore and learn about different cave features and life within a cave Friday, Nov. 2 where the Missouri State Museum in the State Capitol will be transformed into an underground grotto. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, this special program will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Cave tours are free and everyone is welcome!
Find out how caves have been used through time by Missouri’s people, from American Indians to outlaws. There will be other cave-related hands-on activities and information as well for this special program about Missouri caves. Evening entry to the museum will be through the carriage entrance on the south side of the building underneath the grand staircase.
The Missouri State Museum, which is part of the Missouri state park system, is located on the first floor of the Missouri State Capitol. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Read more about Missouri caves. Check out our magazine article about karst, caves and springs in Missouri.
Practice proper disposal of wastes
There are numerous reasons to recycle materials and properly dispose of wastes and keeping trash out of our rivers and streams is certainly one. However making the connection between putting trash in a sinkhole and impacting the water quality of a special resource that many Missourians enjoy is not one that easily comes to mind. Enter Goodwin Pit.
Goodwin Pit, also known as Lanscaster Sink and located in Laclede County, has been used as an illicit dumping site for more than 50 years. The subject of a groundwater investigation by the Division of Geology and Land Survey, water traces using non-toxic fluorescent dye, have shown that the surface water that seeps through the trash in the sink emerges at Ha Ha Tonka Spring, flowing into Lake of the Ozarks.
Recently, the Missouri Caves and Karst Conservancy (MCKC) has made great strides in cleaning up Goodwin Pit. MCKC, working with other groups and volunteers have collected 25,860 lbs. of trash, 7.38+ tons of tires and 2500+ lbs. of metal, which was picked up for recycling, since the beginning of the project. The site is starting to look much better, but a good deal of work remains. This effort to clean up Goodwin Pit improves not only the landscape but will greatly improve the water quality of the karst system as well.
Learn more about MCKC and see more photos. Upcoming workdays at Goodwin Pit are Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 and Saturday and Sunday, Nov, 3 and 4, 2012.
Limestone is important to fish and aquatic life
Missouri’s geology consists of an abundant amount limestone. This underlying bedrock and highly weathered karst landscape has produced some of the largest springs and best trout stream habitat in the Midwest.
An especially wonderful characteristic of limestone chemistry is its ability to buffer acids, including acidic rainwater. This is important to fish and aquatic life because it helps protect against rapid changes in pH. As rainwater infiltrates into the ground and becomes groundwater, the limestone and slightly acidic rainwater react. The result is decreased water acidity while at the same time the dissolving away of small amounts of limestone, thus creating a karst landscape and springs for which the Ozarks are famous.
In addition to the benefits of the buffered water, the springs and spring creeks below them have a much more consistent year-round water temperature. This constant temperature allows for a steady growing cycle for trout food sources such as macro invertebrates and other smaller fish.
See photos from Trout Season opening day at Bennett Spring, Roaring River and Montauk state parks.
Read more about Missouri limestone, Missouri caves and Missouri karst landscapes in The Geologic Column of Missouri. –Joe
Maze Caves are found in only few places in the U.S.
Maze caves like Mark Twain are the most unique karst features in the state. Maze caves were created when water was sandwiched between layers of shale and was only able to move along fractures in the limestone, dissolving out a network of passages in a regular pattern. They exhibit tall straight canyons among their many features. Caves in Missouri can be divided into two patterns: maze and branch work. Whichever pattern a cave becomes mainly depends upon the movement of water through the subsurface. Most caves in Missouri are branch work caves that form when water moves through a single conduit and branches into tributaries, much like a surface stream. Read more in the latest issue of our Missouri Resources Magazine. Also, see our Geologic Column publication. –Joe
New Low Price of $2 per set (tax and shipping extra)
These educational card sets cover natural resources topics about caves, Ice Age animals, rivers, springs, dams, rocks, minerals, wells, former state geologists and much more. Cards are suitable for children and adults of all ages. Sets are packaged in 60 and 80 card collections — all are different!
You can also play games with these educational cards and they are fun to take on road trips! Visit the Missouri Geology Store to order. –Joe
Sinkholes are abundant in our state — when they collapse, the result can be dramatic
Sinkholes are places where there is rapid recharge (replenishing) of groundwater from the surface and, therefore, are areas of potential groundwater contamination. For this reason, managing surface water and waste disposal in sinkhole-prone areas are important to maintaining good groundwater quality.
In 2006, a formerly unidentified sinkhole collapsed below the home of a Nixa resident. Fortunately, no one was injured when the collapse occurred. See these photos by Springfield News-Leader photographers.
A recent article written by Jose Rey (SinkholeReport.com), identifies Missouri as No. 7 in the United States as having the most sinkholes. According to the article, the states with the most sinkholes are Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
Our environmental geologists apply geologic and hydrologic information to the protection of Missouri citizens and the environment and are regularly called on to provide expertise when sinkholes are reported. The division maintains a database of known sinkholes. Learn more about sinkhole formation. –Joe
Speleothem – from the Greek words spelaion (cave) and thema (deposit)
- Cave formations are created from mineral deposits left by groundwater and are known as speleothems.
- Speleothems take various forms depending whether the water drips, condenses, seeps, flows or ponds.
- Some examples of speoleothems include: stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone.
- The Missouri Caves Resources Act prohibits removal of speleothems from caves to be kept as souvenirs.
Missouri, long known as the “Cave State,” has more than 5,600 known caves and Missouri State Parks showcases four of the best for public tours. The four are Onondaga Cave and Cathedral Cave at Onondaga Cave State Park, Fisher Cave at Meramec State Park and Ozark Caverns at Lake of the Ozarks State Park. These caves are open through October. Learn more about Missouri caves. –Joe
Mark your calendar for Saturday, July 9, 2011
A Dedication Ceremony and Open House for the Lloyd and Ethel Hoff Underground Nature Preserve (aka Berome Moore Cave), Perryville, Mo., will be held Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 12 noon.
The cave will be open for limited entry on July 9 for trips to base camp and/or to the adjacent Cat Track Passage.
Check out these related sites:
- Missouri Karst and Cave Conservancy
- Missouri Geology Store Cave related publications
- Missouri Speleological Survey