|Ozark Mountains, Ozark Plateau|
|Elevation||2,561 ft (781 m)|
|Age of rock||Proterozoic|
The Ozarks, also referred to as the Ozark Mountains, Ozarks Mountain Country, and the Ozark Plateau, is a physiographic and geologic highland region of the central United States, primarily in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The Ozarks cover a significant portion of southern Missouri, extending as far northeast as the southwestern suburbs of St. Louis. In Arkansas, a large portion is contained within the northwestern and northcentral region. Much smaller pieces of the Ozarks extend westward into northeastern Oklahoma and extreme southeastern Kansas.
Although referred to as the Ozark Mountains, the region is actually a high and deeply dissected plateau. Geologically, the area is a broad dome around the Saint Francois Mountains. The Ozark Highlands area, covering nearly 47,000 square miles (122,000 km2), is by far the most extensive mountainous region between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains. Together, the Ozarks and Ouachita Mountains form an area known as the U.S. Interior Highlands, and are sometimes referred to collectively. For example, the ecoregion called Ozark Mountain Forests includes the Ouachita Mountains, although the Arkansas River Valley and the Ouachitas, both south of the Boston Mountains, are not usually considered part of the Ozarks.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Geographic subdivisions
- 3 Geology
- 4 Ecology and conservation
- 5 Lakes and streams
- 6 Regional economy
- 7 Culture
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Ozarks is a toponym believed to be derived as a linguistic corruption of the French abbreviation aux Arcs (short for aux Arkansas, or "of/at Arkansas" in English) in the decades prior to the French and Indian War, aux Arkansas originally referring to the trading post at Arkansas Post, located in wooded Arkansas Delta lowland area above the confluence of the Arkansas River with the Mississippi River. "Arkansas" seems to be the French version of what the Illinois tribe (further up the Mississippi) called the Quapaw, who lived in eastern Arkansas in the area of the trading post. Eventually, the term came to refer to all Ozark Plateau drainage into the Arkansas and Missouri Rivers.
An alternative origin for the name "Ozark" involves the French term aux arcs. In the later 17th and early 18th centuries, French cartographers mapped the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers. The large, top most arc or bend in this part of the Arkansas River was referred to as the aux arcs—the top or most northern arc in the whole of the lower Arkansas. Travelers arriving by boat would disembark at this top bend of the river to explore the Ozarks; the town of Ozark, Arkansas is located on the north bank at this location.
Other possible derivations include aux arcs meaning "[land]of the arches" in reference to the dozens of natural bridges formed by erosion and collapsed caves in the Ozark region. These include Clifty Hollow Natural Bridge (actually a series of arches) in Missouri, and Alum Cove in the Ozark – St. Francis National Forest. It is even suggested aux arcs is an abbreviation of aux arcs-en-ciel, French for "toward the rainbows" which are a common sight in the mountainous regions. After the Louisiana Purchase, American travelers in the region referred to various features of the upland areas using the term Ozark, such as Ozark Mountains and Ozark forests. By the early 20th century, the Ozarks had become a generic term.
- the Boston Mountains and Cookson Hills of north Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma;
- the Springfield Plain or Springfield Plateau of southwest Missouri, northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas and including Springfield and Joplin in Missouri, Tahlequah in Oklahoma and Fayetteville and Harrison in Arkansas;
- the White River Hills along the White River including Branson, Mountain Home to Batesville;
- the Salem Plateau or Central Plateau which includes a broad band across south central Missouri and north central Arkansas including the Lebanon, Salem and West Plains areas;
- the Courtois Hills of southeastern Missouri,
- the Osage-Gasconade Hills around the Lake of the Ozarks;
- the Saint Francois Mountains;
- the Missouri River and Mississippi River border areas along the eastern and northeastern flanks.
Karst features such as springs, losing streams, sinkholes and caves are common in the limestones of the Springfield Plateau and abundant in the dolostone bedrock of the Salem Plateau and Boston Mountains. Missouri is known as "The Cave State" with over 6000 recorded caves; the majority of these caves are found in the Ozark counties. The Ozark Plateaus aquifer system affects groundwater movement in all areas except the igneous core of the St. Francois Mountains. Geographic features include limestone and dolomite glades, which are rocky, desert-like area on hilltops. Kept open by periodic fires that limit growth of grasses and forbs in shallow soil, glades are home to collared lizards, tarantulas, scorpions, cacti and other species more typical of the desert southwest.
The Boston Mountains contain the highest elevations of the Ozarks with peaks over 2,500 feet (760 m) and form the greatest relief of any formation between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains. The Boston Mountains portion of the Ozarks extends north of the Arkansas River Valley 20 to 35 miles (32 to 56 km) and is approximately 200 miles (320 km) and are bordered by the Springfield and Salem Plateau to the north of the White River. Summits can reach elevations of just over 2,560 feet (780 m) with valleys 500 to 1,550 feet (472 m) deep (150 m to 450 m). Turner Ward Knob is the highest named peak. Located in western Newton County, Arkansas, its elevation is 2,463 feet (751 m). Nearby, five unnamed peaks have elevations at or slightly above 2,560 feet (780 m). Drainage is primarily to the White River, with the exception of the Illinois River, although there also is considerable drainage from the south slopes of the Boston Mountains to the Arkansas River. Major streams of this type include Lee Creek, Frog Bayou, Mulberry River, Spadra Creek, Big Piney Creek, Little Piney Creek, Illinois Bayou, Point Remove Creek, and Cadron Creek. Many Ozark waterways have their headwaters in the uplands of the Boston formation, including the Buffalo, King’s, Mulberry, Little Red and White rivers.
Topography is mostly gently rolling in the Springfield and Salem Plateaus, whereas the Saint Francois Mountains are more rugged. Although the Springfield formation's surface is primarily Mississippian limestone and chert, the Salem Plateau is older Ordovician dolostones, limestones, and sandstones. Both are rife with karst topography and form long, flat plains. The formations are separated by steep escarpments that dramatically interrupt the rolling hills. Although much of the Springfield Plateau has been denuded of the surface layers of the Boston Mountains, large remnants of these younger layers are present throughout the southern end of the formation, possibly suggesting a peneplain process. The Springfield Plateau drains through wide, mature streams ultimately feeding the White River.
The Saint Francois Mountains in the northeastern Ozarks are the eroded remnants of an ancient range which form the geological core of the highland dome. The igneous and volcanic rocks of the Saint Francois Mountains are the exposed remains of a Proterozoic mountain range hundreds of millions of years old. The remaining hills are the exposed portion of an extensive terrane (the Spavinaw terrane in part) of granitic and rhyolitic rocks dating from 1485 to 1350 mya that stretches from Ohio to western Oklahoma. The core of the range existed as an island in the Paleozoic seas. Reef complexes occur in the sedimentary layers surrounding this ancient island. These flanking reefs were points of concentration for later ore-bearing fluids which formed the rich lead-zinc ores that have been and continue to be mined in the area. The igneous and volcanic rocks extend at depth under the relatively thin veneer of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks and form the basal crust of the entire region.
A major unconformity in the region attests that the Ozarks was above sea level for several hundred million years from the time of the volcanism in the Precambrian until the mid-Cambrian with an erosionally produced relief of up to 1500 feet. The seas encroached during the late Cambrian producing the Lamotte Sandstone, 200 to 300 feet (61 to 91 m) thick, followed by carbonate sedimentation. Coral reefs formed around the granite and rhyolite islands in this Cambrian sea. This carbonate formation, the Bonneterre now mostly dolomite, is exposed around the St. Francis mountains, but extends in the subsurface throughout the Ozarks and reaches a thickness of 400 to 1,500 feet (120 to 460 m). The Bonneterre is overlain by 500 to 600 feet (150 to 180 m) of dolomite, often sandy, silty or cherty, forming the Elvins Group and the Potosi and Eminence Formations. Withdrawal of the seas resulted in another unconformity during the latest Cambrian and early Ordovician periods. Hydrothermal mineralizing fluids formed the rich lead ore deposits of the Lead Belt during this time.
Sedimentation resumed in the Ordovician with the deposition of the Gunter sandstone, the Gasconade dolomite and the prominent Roubidoux sandstone and dolomite. The sandstone of the Roubidoux forms prominent bluffs along the streams eroding into the southern part of the Salem Plateau. The Roubidoux and Gunter sandstones serve as significant aquifers when present in the subsurface. The source of the sands is considered to be the emerging Wisconsin Dome to the northeast. The Ozark region remained as a subsiding shallow carbonate shelf environment with a significant thickness of cherty dolomites as the Jefferson City, Cotter and Powell formations.
Portions of the Ozark Plateau, the Springfield plateau of southwest Missouri and northern Arkansas, are underlain by Mississippian cherty limestones locally referred to as Boone chert consisting of limestone and chert layers. These are eroded and form steep hills, valleys and bluffs.
The Boston Mountains are a high and deeply dissected plateau. The rocks of the region are essentially little disturbed, flat-lying sedimentary layers of Paleozoic age. The highest ridges and peaks are capped by Pennsylvanian sandstone such as the basal Atoka and the "Middle Bloyd". The deeply eroded valleys are cut into Mississippian limestone and below that layer Ordovician dolomite.
During the Pennsylvanian Period the Ozark Plateau was uplifted as a result of the Ouachita orogeny. During the late Paleozoic the deep ocean basin that existed in central and southern Arkansas was lifted when South America collided with North America creating the folded Ouachita Mountains and uplifting the Ozark plateau to the north.
Ecology and conservation
Formal conservation in the region began when the Ozark National Forest was created by proclamation of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 to preserve 917,944 acres (3,714.79 km2) across five Arkansas counties. Another 608,537 acres (2,462.66 km2) were added the following year. The initial forest included area as far south as Mount Magazine and as far east as Sylamore. In 1939, Congress established Mark Twain National Forest at nine sites in Missouri. Wildlife management areas were founded in the 1920s and 30s to restore populations to viable numbers. Land was also added to Ozark National Forest during this period, with over 544,000 acres (2,200 km2) in total additions. Some land was reclaimed by the government through the Resettlement Administration during the Great Depression. In 1976, Congress established Hercules-Glades Wilderness, the first of 13 designated wilderness areas in the Ozarks. In 1986, Congress established the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Oklahoma. Protected areas ensure the recovery of endangered and threatened species of animals and plants, including the Ozark big-eared bat, Indiana bat, eastern small-footed bat, southeastern bat, southeastern big-eared bat; longnose darter, Ozark cavefish, Ozark cave crayfish, Bowman's cave amphipod, Ozark cave amphipod, bat cave isopod; and Ozark chinquapin. It is a habitat of migratory birds and contains geological, archeological, historical, and paleontological resources.
Commercial farms and processing operations are known to raise levels of chemical and biological contaminants in Ozark streams, threatening water supplies, recreational use and endangered native species.
Lakes and streams
The United States Army Corps of Engineers lakes that were created by damming the White River beginning in 1911 with Lake Taneycomo have provided a large tourist, boating and fishing economy along the Missouri-Arkansas border. Six lakes were created by dams in the White River basin from 1911 through 1960. White River lakes include Lake Sequoyah, a small recreational fishing lake east of Fayetteville, Arkansas, formed in 1961; Sequoyah is the uppermost impoundment on the White River. Below Sequoyah (northeast of Fayetteville) is Beaver Lake, formed in 1960. The White River continues northeasterly into Table Rock Lake (1958) in Missouri, which feeds directly into Taneycomo, where the river zigzags southeasterly into Arkansas forming Bull Shoals Lake along the Arkansas-Missouri line. Completed in 1952, Bull Shoals is the furthest downstream lake on the White River proper. Lake Norfork was formed by damming the North Fork River, a tributary of the White River, in 1941.
The Lake of the Ozarks, Pomme de Terre Lake, and Truman Lake in the northern Ozarks were formed by impounding the Osage River and its tributary the Pomme de Terre River in 1931, 1961 and 1979 respectively. Grand Lake in northeast Oklahoma was created in 1940. Stockton Lake was formed by damming the Sac River near the city of Stockton, Missouri in 1969 and supplements the water supply of Springfield in nearby Greene County. Most of the dams were built for the dual purpose of flood control and hydropower generation.
The creation of the lakes significantly altered the Ozark landscape and impacted traditional Ozark culture through displacement. The streams provided water and power to communities, farms and mills concentrated in the valleys prior to impoundment. Many farm roads, river fords and railways were lost when the lakes came, disrupting rural travel and commerce. Baxter County, Arkansas alone saw nearly four-hundred people displaced to make way for the reservoir created by Norfork Dam. The town of Forsyth, Missouri was relocated in its entirety to a spot two miles (3 km) from its previous location. Prior to damming, the White and Osage River basins were similar to the current conditions of the Buffalo, Elk, Niangua, Gasconade, Big Piney, Current, Jacks Fork, Eleven Point and Meramec rivers.
The Buffalo National River was created by an Act of Congress in 1972 as the nation's first National River administered by the National Park Service. The designation came after over a decade of battling a proposed Army Corps dam in the media, legislature, and courts to keep the river free flowing. Today, the Buffalo sees approximately 800,000 visitors camping, canoeing, floating, hiking, and tubing annually. In Missouri, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, was established in 1964 along the Current and Jacks Fork rivers as the first US national park based on a river system. The Eleven Point River is included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System established in 1968. These river parks annually draw a combined 1.5 million recreational tourists to the least populated counties in Arkansas and Missouri.
Many other waterways and streams have their headwaters in the Boston Mountains such as the Mulberry River, the White River, War Eagle Creek, Little Mulberry Creek, Lee Creek, Big Piney Creek, and the Little Red River. To the south, the Arkansas River valley separates the Boston Mountains from the Ouachita Mountains.
Missouri Ozark rivers include the Gasconade, Big Piney and the Niangua River in the north central region. The Meramec River and its tributaries Huzzah Creek and Courtois Creek are found in the northeastern Ozarks. The Black and St. Francis Rivers mark the eastern crescent of the Ozarks. The James, Spring and North Fork Rivers are in south central Missouri. Forming the West central border of the Ozarks from Missouri through Kansas and into Oklahoma are Spring River and its tributary Center Creek. Grand Falls, Missouri's largest natural waterfall, a chert outcropping, includes bluffs and glades on Shoal Creek south of Joplin. All these river systems see heavy recreational use in season, including the Elk River in Southwest Missouri and its tributary Big Sugar Creek.
Ozark rivers and streams are typically clear water, with baseflows sustained by many seeps and springs and flow through forests along limestone and dolomite bluffs. Gravel bars are common along shallow banks, while deep holes are found along bluffs. Except during periods of heavy rain or snow melt – when water levels rise quite rapidly – their level of difficulty is suitable for most canoeing and tubing.
Fish hatcheries are common due to the abundance of springs and waterways. The Neosho National Fish Hatchery was built in 1888; it was the first Federal hatchery. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Missouri Department of Conservation and United States Fish and Wildlife Service operate numerous warm and cold water hatcheries and trout parks; private hatcheries such as Rockbridge are found throughout the region.
Traditional economic activity
The Ozarks contain ore deposits of lead, zinc, iron and barite. Many of these deposits have been depleted by historic mining activities, but much remains and is currently being mined in the Lead Belt of southeast Missouri. Historically the lead belt around the Saint Francois Mountains and the Tri-state district lead-zinc mining area around Joplin, Missouri, have been very important sources of metals. Mining practices common in the early 20th century left significant abandoned underground mine problems and heavy metal contamination in topsoil and groundwater in the Tri-state district.
Much of the area supports beef cattle ranching, and dairy farming is common across the area. Dairy farms are usually cooperative affairs, with small farms selling to a corporate wholesaler who packages product under a common brand for retail sales. Petroleum exploration and extraction also takes place in the Oklahoma portion of the Ozarks, as well as in the east half of the Boston Mountains in Arkansas. Logging of both softwood and hardwood timber species on both private land and in the National Forests has long been an important economic activity.
The majority of the Ozarks is forested; oak-hickory is the predominant type; Eastern Junipers are common, with stands of pine often seen in the southern range. Less than a quarter of the region has been cleared for pasture and cropland. Forests that were heavily logged during the early-to-mid-20th century have recovered; much of the remaining timber in the Ozarks is second-growth forest. However, deforestation of frontier forest contributed through erosion to increased gravel bars along Ozark waterways in logged areas; stream channels have become wider and shallower and deepwater fish habitat has been lost.
The numerous rivers and streams of the region saw hundreds of water powered timber and grist mills. Mills were important centers of culture and commerce; dispersed widely throughout the region, mills served local needs, often thriving within a few miles of another facility. Few Ozark mills relied on inefficient water wheels for power; most utilized a dam, millrace and water turbine.
During the New Deal, the Civilian Conservation Corps employed hundreds in the construction of nearly 400 fire lookouts throughout the Ozarks at 121 known sites in Arkansas and 257 in Missouri. Of those lookouts, about half remain, and many of them are in use by the Forest Service. A 2007 report by the National Trust for Historic Preservation deemed these fire lookouts and related structures as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
In the 1960s federal activity promoted modernization, especially through better transportation and tourism. The Ozarks Regional Commission sponsored numerous projects.
Current economic activities
Tourism is the growth industry of the Ozarks as evidenced by the growth of the Branson, Missouri, entertainment center celebrating the traditional Ozark culture. The rapidly growing Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area has also become a tourist hub, drawing nationwide attention for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Poultry farming and food processing are significant industries throughout the region. The Tyson Foods corporation and ConAgra Foods each operates several hundred poultry farms and processing plants throughout the Ozarks. Schreiber Foods has operations throughout southern Missouri. Stillwell foods has frozen vegetable and other food processing centers in eastern Oklahoma.
The trucking industry is important to the regional economy with national carriers based there including J. B. Hunt, ABF and Prime, Inc.. Springfield remains an operational hub for BNSF Railway. Logging and timber industries are also significant in the Ozark economy with operations ranging from small family run sawmills to large commercial concerns. Fortune 500 companies such as Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Arkansas, Leggett & Platt and O'Reilly Auto Parts are based in the Ozarks.
Ozark also refers to the distinctive culture, architecture, and dialect shared by the people who live on the plateau. Early settlers in Missouri were American pioneers who came West from the Southern Appalachians at the beginning of the 19th century, followed in the 1840s and 1850s by Irish and German immigrants. Much of the Ozark population is of English, Scots-Irish, and German descent, often including some Native American ancestry, and the Ozark families from which the regional culture derived tend to have lived in the area since the 19th century.
Early settlers relied on hunting, fishing, and trapping, as well as foraging to supplement their diets and incomes. Today hunting and fishing for recreation are common activities and an important part of the tourist industry. Foraging for mushrooms (especially morels) and for ginseng is common and financially supported by established buyers in the area. Other forages include poke, watercress, persimmons and pawpaw; wild berries such as blackberry, black raspberry, raspberry, red mulberry, black cherry, wild strawberry and dewberry; and wild nuts such as black walnut and even acorns. Edible native legumes, wild grasses and wildflowers are plentiful, and beekeeping is common.
Print and broadcast media have explored Ozark culture broadly. Books set in the Ozarks include Where the Red Fern Grows, The Shepherd of the Hills and As a Friend. The 1999 film Ride with the Devil, based on the book Woe to Live On, depicts warfare in Southwest Missouri during the Civil War. Winter's Bone, a novel by Daniel Woodrell (author of Woe to Live On) reflects on contemporary methamphetamine culture and its impact on families on the plateau. Released as a feature film in 2010, Winter's Bone received the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as other awards. Several early and influential country-music television and radio programs originated from Springfield in the 1950s and '60s, including ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee and The Slim Wilson Show on KYTV. The Clampett clan of The Beverly Hillbillies TV show provide a stereotypical depiction of Ozark people. Ozark musicians include Porter Wagoner and old-time fiddler Bob Holt.
Examples of commercial interpretations of traditional Ozark culture include the two major family theme parks in the region, Silver Dollar City and the now defunct Dogpatch U.S.A.; and the resort entertainment complex in Branson. Ozark Folkways in Winslow, Arkansas and Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Arkansas interpret regional culture through musical performance and exhibitions of pioneer skills and crafts.
Traditional Ozark culture includes stories and tunes passed orally between generations through community music parties and other informal gatherings. Many of these tunes and tales can be traced to having British origins and to German folklore. Moreover, historian Vance Randolph attributes the formation of much Ozark lore to individual families when "backwoods parents begin by telling outrageous whoppers to their children and end by half believing the wildest of these tales themselves." Randolph collected Ozark folklore and lyrics in volumes such as the national bestseller Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales (University of Illinois Press, 1976), Ozark Folksongs (University of Missouri Press, 1980), a four-volume anthology of regional songs and ballads collected in the 1920s and 1930s, and Ozark Magic and Folklore (Courier Dover Publications, 1964). Evidenced by Randolph's extensive field work, many Ozark anecdotes from the oral tradition are often bawdy, full of wild embellishments on everyday themes. In 1941-42, commissioned by Alan Lomax of the Archive of Folk Culture, Randolph returned to the Ozarks with a portable recording machine from the Library of Congress and captured over 800 songs, ballads and instrumentals. Selected from among these several hundred recordings, 35 tracks were released on Various Artists: Ozark Folksongs (Rounder Records) in 2001.
Square dances were an important social avenue throughout the Ozarks into the 20th century. Square dances sprang up wherever people concentrated around mills and timber camps, springs, fords, and in towns small and large. Geographically isolated communities saw their own local dance tunes and variations develop. Of all the traditional musicians in the Ozarks, the fiddler holds a distinct place in both the community and folklore. Community fiddlers revered for carrying local tunes; regionally, traveling fiddlers brought new tunes and entertainment, even while many viewed their arrival as a threat to morality. In 2007, Gordon McCann, a chronicler of Ozarks folklife and fiddle music for over four decades, donated a collection of audio recordings, fieldnotes and photographs to Missouri State University in Springfield. The collection includes more than 3,000 hours of fiddle music and interviews recorded at jam sessions, music parties, concerts and dances in the Ozarks. Selected audio recordings along with biographical sketches, photographs and tune histories were published in Drew Beisswenger and Gordon McCann's 2008 book/37 track CD set Mel Bay Presents Ozarks Fiddle Music: 308 Tunes Featuring 30 Legendary Fiddlers With Selections from 50 Other Great Ozarks Fiddlers.
From 1973 to 1983, the Bittersweet project, which began as an English class at Lebanon, Missouri High School, collected 476 taped and transcribed interviews, published 482 stories and took over 50,000 photographs documenting traditional Ozark culture.
Population influx since the 1950s, coupled with geographically lying in both the Midwest and Upper South, proximity to the Mississippi embayment, the Osage and Northern Plains, contributes to changing cultural values in the Ozarks. Theme parks and theatres seen to reflect regional values have little in common with traditional Ozark culture. Community tradition bearers remain active, in decreasing numbers, far afield of commercial offers.
Ozark religion, like that of Appalachia, was predominantly Baptist and Methodist during periods of early settlement; it tends to the conservative or individualistic, with Anglicans, Assemblies of God, Baptists including Southern Baptists, Church of Christ, Pentecostals, and other Protestant denominations present, as well as Catholics. Religious organizations headquartered in the Ozarks include the Assemblies of God and the Baptist Bible Fellowship International in Springfield. The 1960s and '70s saw back-to-the-land farms and communes established in rural counties. As well as Adrianism and Buddhism
- Stewart, George R. (1967). Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States, p. 137. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.
- Randolph, Vance. The Ozarks: An American Survival of Primitive Society. New York: The Vanguard Press, p. 14. 1931.
- Arnold, Morris S. Unequal Laws Unto a Savage Race: European Legal Traditions in Arkansas, 1686-1836. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville. 1985.
- Arnold, Morris S. Colonial Arkansas 1686-1804: A Social and Cultural History. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville. 1991.
- E. Joan Wilson Miller. The naming of the land in the Arkansas Ozarks: A study in culture processes. Abstract Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 59 (2), 240–251. 1969.
- Watkins, Conor. Ozarks geology: Clifty Creek Natural Area includes natural bridge, The Ozarks Chronicle, Rolla, Mo.
- Morrow, Lynn (1996). "Ozark/Ozarks: Establishing a Regional Term". White River Valley Historical Quarterly. 36 (2). Retrieved 8 September 2006.
- McMillen, Margot Ford. A to Z Missouri: The Dictionary of Missouri Place Names, Columbia, Missouri: Pebble Publishing, 1996. ISBN 0-9646625-4-X
- Rafferty, Milton D. The Ozarks: Land and Life, University of Arkansas Press, 2nd ed., 2001. ISBN 1-55728-714-7
- Rafferty, Milton.The Ozarks as a Region: A Geographer's Description, OzarksWatch, Vol. I, No. 4, Spring 1988.
- Jerry D. Vineyard and Gerald L. Feder. Springs of Missouri. Missouri Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Geological Survey. 1974 (revised 1982).
- Karst, Springs and Caves in Missouri, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
- House, Scott (14 May 2005). "Fact Sheet on 6000 Caves". The Missouri Speleological Survey, Inc. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2008.
- Ozark Aquifer Map, United States Geological Survey.
- Project Tour - A quick visit to the Ozarks Stream Geomorphology Project, United States Geological Survey.
- "HA 730-D Ozark Plateaus aquifer system text". usgs.gov. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- Spatial Interaction Webs in Ozark Glades! John Chase, Assistant Professor. Washington University in St. Louis. Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Ware, Stewart. Rock Outcrop Plant Communities (Glades) in the Ozarks: A Synthesis, Abstract. The Southwestern Naturalist, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Dec., 2002), pp. 585-597.
- Guccione, Margaret J. (January 7, 2008). "Boston Mountains". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- Foti, Thomas (August 26, 2011). "Ozark Mountains". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- "Ozark Plateaus". Arkansas Geological Survey. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- Purdue, A. H. (Nov–Dec 1901). "Physiography of the Boston Mountains, Arkansas". The Journal of Geology. 9 (8): 697. Bibcode:1901JG......9..694P. doi:10.1086/620967.
- Purdue, A. H. (Nov–Dec 1901). "Physiography of the Boston Mountains, Arkansas". The Journal of Geology. 9 (8): 698–700. Bibcode:1901JG......9..694P. doi:10.1086/620967.
- Denison, Rodger E., et al., Geology and Geochemistry of the Precambrian Rocks in the Central Interior Region of the United States, Geological Survey Professional Paper 1241-C, 1984
- A. G. Unklesbay, Jerry D. Vineyard. Missouri Geology — Three Billion Years of Volcanoes, Seas, Sediments, and Erosion, University of Missouri Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8262-0836-3
- "Ozark Plateaus". Retrieved 2016-05-19.
- United States Forest Service (1981). For the Trees: An Illustrated History of the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests 1908–1978.
- "Endangered Species Guidesheet". Missouri Department of Conservation. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010.
- "Research Project: Poultry Manure Management To Reduce Non-Point Source Phosphorus Pollution". United States Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service.
- Haggard, B. E.; Moore, P. A., Jr; Chaubey, I.; Stanley, E. H. (September 2003). "Nitrogen and Phosphorus Concentrations and Export from an Ozark Plateau Catchment in the United States". Biosystems Engineering. 86 (1): 75–85. doi:10.1016/S1537-5110(03)00100-4.
- "Missouri Water Quality Report: 2006" (PDF). Missouri Department of Natural Resources: Water Protection Program. 1 April 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
- Spellman, Derek (16 July 2009). "Tribe urges swimmers to stay clear of Lost Creek, Spring River for now". The Joplin Globe.
- Boss, Stephen K., Heil-Chapdelaine, Vanessa M. Mapping Landscape Change: An Historic and Bathymetric Study of Lake Sequoyah, Washington County, Arkansas
- Watkins, Conor. The Meramec Basin Project: A Look Back 25 Years Later. Ozark Mountain Experience. Article 69 & 70 Combined. 2006.
- Mountain Home (Baxter County): The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture.
- Campbell, Rex R. Campbell, Mary. Hughes, Colleen. A Revolution in the Heartland: Changes in Rural Culture, Family and Communities, 1900–2000. University of Missouri: Department of Rural Sociology. Columbia, Missouri. 2004.
- Area and Economic Overview: Southwest Missouri Overall Economic Development Program[dead link]. Southwest Missouri Council of Governments White Paper.
- E. Joan Wilson Miller. Abstract The Ozark Culture Region as Revealed by Traditional Materials. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Volume 58 Issue 1, Pages 51-77. 3 January 1967.
- Suzie, Rogers (April 14, 2010). "Buffalo National River". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- "Ozark National Scenic Riverways". Nps.gov. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- "Eleven Point River". National Wild & Scenic Rivers. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
- "Arkansas Lake Map, River Map and Water Resources". geology.com. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- MS Panfil, RB Jacobson. Hydraulic Modeling of In-channel Habitats in the Ozark Highlands of Missouri: Assessment of Physical Habitat Sensitivity to Environmental Change. USGS-Biological Resources Division.
-  Missouri Fish Hatcheries and Trout Parks Archived 27 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Fish Hatcheries in Arkansas". Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism. 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- "Rockbridge". Watersheds.org. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Lasmanis, Raymond. Tri-State and Viburnum Trend Districts, Rocks & Minerals, 1 November 1997. Archived 12 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- GeoKansas: Lead and Zinc Mining, Kansas Geological Survey. Updated 5 May 2005.
- Primary Distinguishing Characteristics of Level III Ecoregions of the Continental United States, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Revised April 2000.
- Index to the old mills of Missouri. Hosted by rootsweb, this incomplete list includes almost 250 old mills in Missouri alone.
- Barry County, MO Mills (Rootsweb)
- Suggs, George E., Jr. Water Mills of the Missouri Ozarks. University of Oklahoma Press: Norman, Oklahoma. 1990
- "Arkansas". Firelookout.org. Archived from the original on 20 November 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- "Missouri". Firelookout.org. Archived from the original on 20 November 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- National Trust Names Historic Structures in Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest One of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places[dead link] 14 June 2007
- J. Blake Perkins, "Growing the Hills: The Ozarks Regional Commission and the Politics of Economic Development in the Mid-American Highlands, 1960s–1970s," Missouri Historical Review, 107 (April 2013), 144–67.
- Snyder, Robert E. Shepherd of the Hills Country: Tourism Transforms the Ozarks, 1880s-1930s. The Journal of American Culture, Volume 27 Issue 1, Pages 117-119.
- Clark, Jayne (June 28, 2013). "Wal-Mart's hometown: 'Mayberry' goes Manhattan". USA Today. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- Andy Ostmeyer. Original Ozarks: Evidence of settlement before 1830 hard to find. Joplin Globe. 21 June 2009. According to the National Register of Historic Places, the Rice-Upshaw House, ca.1826, "is one of the two oldest remaining standing buildings in Arkansas, and a rare surviving example of a building from Arkansas' territorial period"; Wolf House, ca. 1825, overlooks the junction of the Norfork and White rivers; the Craighead-Henry House, ca. 1816, is "one of the oldest known structures in the interior [Missouri] Ozarks."
- Randolph, Vance. Ozark Magic and Folklore. 367 pages. Courier Dover Publications, 1964.
- Phillips, Jan. Wild Edibles of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, 2nd edition (1998). Cover, Introduction, Acknowledgments and Preface; Chapters; Color Plates.
- The Naturalist. High Plains Films. Doug Hawes-Davis, Director. 32 minutes, Color/B&W, 2001.
- Gander, Forrest. As a Friend. New York City: New Directions Publishing Corporation. 2008.
- Woodrell, Daniel. Woe to Live On. Henry Holt, 1987.
- Ward L. Schrantz. Jasper County, Missouri in the Civil War. 1923.
- Woodrell, Daniel. Winter's Bone. Little, Brown and Company, 2006
- Henigan, Julie. Play Me Something Quick and Devilish: Bob Holt - Old-Time Square Dance Fiddler, Musical Traditions, Article MT021, June 1998.
- Aunt Shelle Stormoe. How to Spot a Genuine Ozark Hillbilly. 23 October 2008. Archived 4 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
- Smith, Vic. Review of Ozark Folksongs, Musical Traditions, January 2001.
- Randolph, Vance. "University of Illinois Press Catalog Entry on ''Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales''". Press.uillinois.edu. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Florer, Faith L. Book Review. Pissing in the snow and other Ozark folktales.[dead link] Whole Earth Review. Summer, 1987. "Because of their--ahem--subject matter, the tales contained in this volume could not be published with Randolph's four great collections of Ozark material published in the 1950s, and have until recently been circulating only in manuscript and on elusive microfilm."
- "Rounder Records Catalog Entry". Rounder.com. 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
- Karen Mulrenin, Rita Saeger and Terry Brandt. Old-Time Ozark Square Dancing. Bittersweet, Volume II, No. 1, Fall 1974.
- Foreman, Diana. Fiddlin' Around. Bittersweet, Volume V, No. 2, Winter 1977.
- Edited and photography by Allen Gage. Old-Time Fiddling: A Traditional Folk Art With Four Ozark Musicians, Bittersweet, Volume IX, No. 3, Spring 1982.
- Gordon McCann pledges collection to Missouri State University: Four decades of material will be housed in Meyer Library. Missouri State University Press Release. 26 September 2007. Archived 13 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Bittersweet". Thelibrary.springfield.missouri.org. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Jam Sessions in Southwest Missouri. Missouri State University Libraries.
- Bob Holt: Fiddler from the Missouri Ozarks. Local Legacies project of the Library of Congress.
- "The Association of Religion Data Archives | Maps & Reports". Thearda.com. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
- "The Association of Religion Data Archives | Maps & Reports". Thearda.com. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
- Beisswenger, Drew & Gordon McCann (2008) Mel Bay Presents Ozarks Fiddle Music: 308 Tunes Featuring 30 Legendary Fiddlers With Selections from 50 Other Great Ozarks Fiddlers, 217 p., page includes the CD's 37 track titles, ISBN 0-7866-7730-9 .
- Rafferty, Milton D. The Ozarks: Land and Life (2nd ed. University of Arkansas Press, 2001), comprehensive coverage of geography, history, culture, and society
- Randolph, Vance. The Ozarks: An American Survival of Primitive Society (1931.
- Rossiter, Phyllis. A Living History of the Ozarks (Gretna, La.: Pelican, 1992), a massive guidebook
- Gilmore, Robert Karl. Ozark Baptizings, Hangings, and Other Diversions: Theatrical Folkways of Rural Missouri, 1885-1910 (University of Oklahoma Press, 1984)
- Morrow, Lynn, and James Keefe, eds. White River Chronicles (University of Arkansas Press, 1994), based on the Turnbo Collection
- McNeil, W. K. Ozark Country (1995), on folklore online
- Randolph, Vance. Ozark Folksongs (4 vol. University of Missouri Press, 1980)
- A reminiscent history of the Ozark region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties (1894) full text
- Morrow, Lynn, and Linda Myers-Phinney. Shepherd of the Hills Country: Tourism Transforms the Ozarks, 1880s-1930s (University of Arkansas Press, 1343
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ozark Mountains.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ozarks.|
- Conor Watkins' Ozark Mountain Experience
- "Ozark Mountain Forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
- Ozark National Scenic Riverways
- Smith, Scott M. "Ozark Aquifer". Introduction to Hydrogeology. Emporia State University.
- Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge
- Underground Ozarks
- Ozark Mountains, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, The Central Arkansas Library System.
- The Intimate Wild: Ozark Highlands Trail, National Geographic, 10/2008.
- "Closest to Everlastin'": Ozark Agricultural Biodiversity and Subsistence Traditions, 9/2010.
- Abbott, B. Nick; Marston, Richard A. (2009). "Ozark Plateau". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society.