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Scientific Investigations Map 3161

Geologic Map of the Alley Spring Quadrangle, Shannon County, Missouri

By David J. Weary and Randall C. Orndorff

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.97 MB)


The Alley Spring 7.5-minute quadrangle is located in south-central Missouri within the Salem Plateau region of the Ozark Plateaus physiographic province. About 1,990 feet (ft) of flat-lying to gently dipping Lower Paleozoic sedimentary rocks, mostly dolomite, chert, sandstone, and orthoquartzite, overlie Mesoproterozoic volcanic rocks. A small exposure of the volcanic rocks exists near the eastern edge of the quadrangle. Unconsolidated residuum, colluvium, terrace deposits, and alluvium overlie the sedimentary rocks. Karst features, such as sinkholes, caves, and springs, have formed in the carbonate rocks. Many streams are spring fed. Alley Spring, the largest karst spring in the quadrangle, has an average discharge of 81 million gallons per day. The topography is a dissected karst plain with elevation ranging from 630 ft where the Jacks Fork River exits the quadrangle to more than 1,140 ft at numerous places in the northern half of the quadrangle. The most prominent physiographic feature is the valley of the Jacks Fork River. Most of the land in the quadrangle is privately owned and used primarily for grazing cattle and horses and growing timber. A large minority of the land within the quadrangle is publicly owned, either by the Missouri State Forests or by the Ozark National Scenic Riverways of the National Park Service. Geologic mapping for this investigation was conducted in 2003 and 2004.

First posted August 10, 2012

For additional information contact:
David J. Weary
U.S. Geological Survey
926A National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192

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Suggested citation:

Weary, D.J., and Orndorff, R.C., 2012, Geologic map of the Alley Spring quadrangle, Shannon County, Missouri: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3161, 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000. (Also available at

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