Cave Formation in the Ozarks

Posted October 8, 2012

by Lensyl Urbano

Ceiling of Twin Cave.

Rain falls.
Some runs off,
Some seeps into the ground.

Water drips from the tips of limestone straws on the roof of Twins Cave.

It trickles through soil.
Leaching acids, organic,
Out of the leaf litter,

But even without these,
It’s already, every so slightly, corrosive,
From just the carbon dioxide in the air.

Gravity driven,
The seeping water seeks the bedrock,
Where it might find,
In the Ozark Mountains,

Planktonic shell (from Coon Creek which is 30 million years old, compared to the limestone rocks in the Ozarks which are 300 million years old.)

Microscopic shells, of plankton,
Raining down, over millenia,
Compacting into rocks,
In a closing ocean,
As North America and Africa collide,
From the Devonian to the Carboniferous.

Orogenic uplift,
Ocean-floor rocks,
Become mountains,

Appalachians, Ouachitas,
The Ozark Plateau.

The collision of North America and Africa uplifted the limestone rocks from the closing ocean (the Rheic Ocean) to create the Ouachita Mountains and Ozark Plateau. (Figure adapted from iimage by Dr. Ron Blakey -

Limestone dissolves,
In acid water.
Shaping holes; caves in bedrock,
Where we go,

Crawling through the "Brith Canal".

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2012. Cave Formation in the Ozarks, Retrieved January 21st, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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