Of Caves and Speleothems

This is a story told by Jerry Vineyard, former Missouri deputy state geologist and one of the founders of the MSS. The tale goes that a young boy wrote Vineyard, and asked him to send him "all the rocks in Missouri." Vineyard wrote back, and explained to the zealous youth that if he sent him all the rocks in Missouri, there would be no more Missouri, and he was very sorry, but could not fulfill his request.

It is just as impossible in a few words to describe the cave geology of Missouri, since, by definition, a cave is that part of the geology which "isn't there". The processes by which caves are formed are fairly, but not entirely understood, as are the processes by which speleothems, commonly called cave deposits, are formed. Only the caves are set in stone, but here is a taste of the current theories of speleogenesis.

The SpeleOzarks--Cave Factory to the Nation.

Stone Waterfalls and Cave Carrots--The Story of Speleothems.

Other Cave Rock Stories.

How Many Caves Are There?

2003 Jo Schaper.

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