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USGS Geology in the Parks

Geologic Provinces of the United States: Ouachita-Ozark Interior Highlands
Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Big Spring

Big Spring

Ozark National Scenic Riverways Near Van Buren, Carter County, Missouri
Photo by Randy Orndorff, USGS

Big Spring is the largest spring in Missouri, and one of the largest in the U.S., producing on average 280 million gallons of water per day. This spring is one of a number of large springs in the Ozark Plateaus Province of southeastern Missouri. A large portion of the Ozarks is karst developed in Cambrian and Ordovician carbonate rocks and characterized by sinkholes, large springs, losing and disappearing streams, and many caves. Dye tracing has shown that ground water from as far as 50 miles ends up at Big Spring and crosses several surface drainage divides.

Ouachita-Ozark Interior Highlands
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