Karst Topography and Groundwater
History of Karst in the Ozarks
- Karst topography dominated the Ozarks long before humans arrived, and our ways of building on the land don’t work the same here as in other areas. In places with deep topsoil, rainwater is filtered nicely as it trickles through, making clean groundwater. But here, the thin soil filters little and the rocks beneath it do practically nothing, leaving our underground water at risk of being polluted.
The Importance of Groundwater
- Many Ozark residents – both city and rural – drink groundwater. Household wells are vulnerable, and even deep city wells have at times been infiltrated by surface water and any pollution it might carry with it.
- The better we understand karst and groundwater, the more likely we are to build things above ground that are not likely to be damaged by flooding or the ground sinking, and the more likely we are to keep our groundwater clean and safe to drink, and to be a pleasure to swim or float after it emerges in a spring.
As a part of their Karst Project, the Ozarks Resource Center produced the educational documentary below, previously aired on the City of Springfield’s cable channel: