Roadside Geology of Missouri

Roadside Geology of Missouri

by Charles G. Spencer


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The Show-Me State has plenty of geology to show, including the biggest entry room of any cave in North America, the largest lead deposit in the United States, and the only exposures in the Midwest of a large province of 1.48-billion-year-old granite and rhyolite. Geologic history is still being made here, too. In 1811 and 1812, an unprecedented series of magnitude 7 and 8 earthquakes rocked southeast Missouri, liquefying the floodplain sediments and temporarily blocking the flow of the Mississippi River. In Roadside Geology of Missouri, author Charlie Spencer shows you around the state-from the flat, glaciated plains in the north to the knobs of rhyolite in the St. Francois Mountains in the south, and from the earthquake-formed sand boils on the Mississippi floodplain in the southeast to the layers of coal, shale, sandstone, and limestone on the Springfield Plateau and Osage Plains in the west. With this book as your guide, find out where dinosaur fossils have been found in Missouri, why caves and springs seem to pop up nearly everywhere, and which of Missouri's mysterious structures were formed by meteorite impacts.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780878425730
Publisher: Mountain Press
Publication date: 03/28/2011
Pages: 273
Sales rank: 246,699
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Charles G. Spencer grew up in Lee s Summit, Missouri, and became interested in geology while walking along the railroad tracks near his home, collecting interesting rocks from the gravel ballast. He earned his geology degrees at the University of Missouri Kansas City, the last being a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies (Geosciences and Physics) in 1995. He currently works as a consultant, advising residential and commercial clients on environmental and engineering geology issues. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Geosciences at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Charlie still lives in Lee s Summit, along with his wife, Shirley, daughter Sarah, their dogs, cats, horse, various domesticated rodents, and a basement full of rocks.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments iv

Preface v

Show Me the Geology 1

Understanding the Earth 1

Plate Tectonics 1

Getting Down to Bedrock 3

Sedimentary Rocks 4

Geologic Structures in Bedrock 8

Geologic Time 11

The Geologic Story of Missouri 13

Proterozoic Eon: 2.5 billion to 542 million years ago 13

Paleozoic Era: 542 to 251 million years ago 16

Cambrian and Ordovician Time 19

Silurian and Devonian Time 22

Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, and Permian Time 24

Folds and Faults in Paleozoic Rocks 31

The Thirty-Eighth Parallel Lineament 33

Get the Lead (and Zinc) Out! 34

Mesozoic Era: 251 to 65 Million Years Ago 37

Cenozoic Era: 65 Million Years Ago to the Present 38

Paleogene and Neogene Time 39

Quaternary Time and the Pleistocene Ice Age 40

Caves, Springs, and Sinkholes 44

A Tale of Two Rivers 47

Harnessing the Mighty Mississippi 49

Narrowing the Wide Missouri 50

The Glaciated Plains 54

Drainage Patterns, Then and Now 56

Road Guides in the Glaciated Plains 57

St. Louis Metropolitan Area 57

Interstate 29: Iowa Border-Kansas City 64

Interstate 35: Iowa Border-Kansas City 67

Interstate 70: Columbia-Missouri River at St. Louis 69

US 36: St. Joseph-Hannibal 71

US 61: Alexandria-Hannibal 76

US 61: Hannibal-Missouri River at St. Louis 80

US 63: Iowa Border-Jefferson City 85

The Osage Plains and Springfield Plateau 93

The Southern Edge of the Ice 93

Road Guides in the Osage Plains and Springfield Plateau 96

Kansas City Metropolitan Area 96

Interstate 44: Oklahoma Border-Northview 107

Interstate 70: Kansas City-Columbia 112

US 50: Kansas City-Sedalia 116

US 54: Kansas Border-Preston 118

US 65: Springfield-Arkansas Border 121

US 71: Harrisonville-Arkansas Border 127

The Ozarks and the St. Francois Mountains 135

Filled-Sink Structures 137

Meandering Valleys in the Ozarks 140

Caldera Eruptions of the St. Francois Mountains 141

Volcanic Rocks 143

Granitic Rocks 145

Skrainka Diabase 147

Fault-Bound Basins and the Great Unconformity 147

Road Guides in the Ozarks and the St. Francois Mountains 148

Interstate 44: Northview-Rolla 148

Interstate 44: Rolla-St. Louis 152

Interstate 55: St. Louis-Cape Girardeau 163

US 50: Sedalia-Jefferson City 170

US 50: Jefferson City-Interstate 44 173

US 54: Preston-Jefferson City 178

US 60: Poplar Bluff-Springfield 184

US 63: Jefferson City-Cabool 189

US 65: Sedalia-Springfield 199

US 67: Festus-Poplar Bluff 204

Arcadia Valley Loop through the St. Francois Mountains 211

The Southeast Lowlands 223

New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 226

Sand Boils, Sand Blows, and Sand Fissures 229

Could It Happen Again? 230

Road Guides in the Southeast Lowlands 231

Interstate 55: Cape Girardeau-Arkansas Border 231

US 60/Interstate 57: Illinois Border-Poplar Bluff 236

Glossary 240

References 247

Index 259

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