The large springs of Missouri all occur south of the Missouri River, and mostly along the river valleys throughout the Ozark Uplift. Major river basins which are home to large springs are those of the Osage, Gasconade, Meramec, Black, Current, Eleven Point, and North Fork Rivers. Missouri springs are somewhat unique since they occur mainly in dolomite, not limestone--we have the largest number of large springs in dolomite anywhere in the United States. Missouri springwater sources (called recharge areas) overlap the drainages of regional streams, but do not match those drainages exactly. Some geologists believe the karst systems through which the springs flow predate the formation of the current surface streams.
Specific locations of most of the approximately 3600 known springs are shown on USGS 7.5 minute topographic maps. Most are on private property, which should be respected.
This page last updated on May 1, 2006. Return to Missouri Springs homepage.