2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference


Chariton River Rocks
Douglas R. Elliott
Dr. George L. Shinn, Faculty Mentor

Rocky stretches are rare along the sediment-choked rivers of northern Missouri; they provide critical habitat for diverse animals that do not live elsewhere in the rivers. We have investigated the geological origins of a rocky stretch of the Chariton River located SW of Kirksville, MO. Boulders at this site consist of limestone that matches the physical characteristics of a limestone shelf projecting from the adjacent bank of the river. We hypothesize that the limestone shelf previously extended across the path of the river, that the shelf was undercut by erosion of softer underlying shale, and that the existing rocky cascade within the river consists of the fragmented remains of the original broader shelf. Widely spaced rocky riffles along the Chariton appear to be the result of down-cutting erosion: successively lower strata of Pennsylvanian Period limestone are exposed and undercut at successively more down-stream locations along the river.

Keywords: Chariton River, geology, limestone, riffles, Pennsylvanian Period, Mulky Formation, shale


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 60-58
Location: OP Lobby and Atrium
Time: 4:15

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