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.
2003 Jo Schaper.
Return to Webster's Home Cave.