Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 27 Number 1: 11-26 - January 1965

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Geology of Carroll Cave, Camden County, Missouri
James A. Helwig


Carroll Cave is a large and complex cave system in the northern slope of the Ozark Dome in central Missouri. The cave is in the upper part of the Gasconade dolomite of Ordovician (Canadian) age which locally dips gently to the east. The cave consists of two major drainage systems due to subterranean stream piracy. The submerged terminus of the Thunder River passage, which carries an average of 1,000,000 gallons per day, feeds Toronto Spring to the northeast. The local dip of 50 feet per mile to the east is apprarently the primary control of passage orientation, with joint systems playing a secondary role. Cave sediments are chiefly silt and gravel; minor amounts of clay are present. Both Pleistocene and Recent animal bones are present in cave fills. Gravel fills in the upstream portions of the cave are interpreted to correlate with a downstream facies of fine silts. It is postualated that the cave originated during the late-Pliocene uplift of the Ozarks and underwent major enlargement under dominately shallow phreatic, hydrostatic conditions.

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