Location: Shannon County, Missouri
Average Flow: 33 million gallons per day (51 cubic feet per second)
Recharge Area: Some of Round Spring's recharge lies to the southwest over Spring Valley. Rainfall versus springflow patterns seem to indicate another recharge area to the northeast. If this is so, some of Round Spring's flow would have to pass under the Current River to reach the spring. Which area the flow comes from depends on amount of is known to depend on rainfall and ground conditions.
Interesting Information: Spring rises in a circular, collapsed cavern, then flows through a natural tunnel before forming the spring branch. Round has the largest variance in measured flow from a minimum of 6.5 million gallons of water a day (mgd) to a record 239 mgd, or a maximum 37 times larger than the minimum. Nearby Round Spring Caverns has an interesting geographical relationship with the spring, since one arm of the cave points almost directly to the spring. About once a decade, water boils up faster than it can drain through the tunnel and it overflows the lowest wall of the rise chamber.
Brief History: Round Spring was extensively used by native peoples in prehistory, and was the site of an early 1800's gristmill. About a mile downstream was the original location of Eminence, Missouri, which was destroyed during the Civil War. The spring was located on the Eminence to Salem wagon road which became Missouri 19. Round Spring was the first site purchased for the state park system in 1924; nearby Round Spring Caverns was opened privately to tourists in 1932. Both the park and the caverns were incorporated into the Ozark National Scenic Riverways by 1972. For many years locals told of a wagon lost into the spring one foggy Ozark night; wagon wheels were discovered by divers in the 55 foot deep boulder choked pool in 1978.
Ownership and Access: Owned by the National Park Service since 1971. Developed campground on the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. No charge for entry to view the spring.
last updated on May 17, 2006.
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