Our Roots: Caves, Springs and Karst

Missouri has been known as the "Cave State" for many years. Although we are now second in the nation to Tennessee in total number with just shy of 6000 located wild caves, we have still more show caves open to the public than any other state. Missouri is well watered, with the two largest rivers in the nation helping to define our borders, as well as over 4000 springs as of 2002. Karst, or the sort of landscape riddled with caves, springs, sinkholes, natural tunnels and bridges comprises 3/5 of the state's land surface, much of it south of the Missouri River. These resources touch all aspects of our lives, from water supply, to engineering for buildings, methods of waste disposal and the use of our land. I invite you to peruse the websites below to get a taste of how Missouri's unseen landscape affects our livelihoods, our recreation, and our way of life.

Missouri Springs--Jewels in the Ozarks

Missouri Caves and Karst Conservancy Page

Human Use and Study of Missouri Caves

Webster's Home Cave--Overview of Missouri Cave Information

Ozark Caving Page

Spring Reporting Form

Show Caves in the Ozarks

Ozark Cave Diving Alliance

Missouri Speleological Survey, Inc.

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