Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 27 Number 4:143-150 - October 1965

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Cutters and Pinnacles in Greene County, Missouri
L.D. Fellows


The Burlington Limestone (Mississippian) crops out in southwestern, central and northeastern Missouri, and has been extensively leached. Its less soluble constituents have accumulated, forming a layer of residuum of variable thickness. Precipitation infiltrated the residuum became weakly acidic, and moved laterally in the direction of slope of the bedrock surface. Patterns of water movement were etched into bedrock forming dendritic systems of cutters that "drain" into valleys, sinks, joints, and depressions in the bedrock surface that have no topographic expression. Cherty horizons were leached more slowly than non-cherty horizons. Chert beds and nodules became part of the residuum and were slowly draped over pinnacles. Engineering problems caused by cutters and pinnacles hinder urban development, highway construction and quarrying.

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