Page:History of Southeast Missouri 1912 Volume 1.djvu/14

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viii
INTRODUCTION

cois, and Little rivers; west and north of the line is the Ozark plateau. In the alluvial bottoms are the counties of Scott, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, and Dunklin together with parts of Cape Girardeau, Stoddard, Butler, and Ripley. In the Ozark uplift are Washington, Jefferson, Iron, Madison, Ste. Genevieve, Perry, Carter, Wayne, Bollinger, Reynolds and St. Francois counties and the remaining parts of Cape Girardeau, Stoddard, Butler, and Ripley. The

Capaha Bluffs.png

Capaha Bluffs, Rock Levee Drive, Cape Girardeau

former section includes about 3,800 square miles, the latter about 8,200 square miles.

The latter of these two sections, which has more than twice the area of the former, is a high land region being a part of an elevated plateau extending through Missouri and Arkansas and sending off ridges into other states. This plateau has been variously designated as the Ozark mountains, the Ozark upland, the Ozark uplift, and the Ozark plateau. Of late years there has been a tendency to restrict the term Ozark mountains to a part of the plateau in southern Missouri and Arkansas and to apply different names to other parts. In this discussion the term Ozark plateau is most frequently used as being the most appropriate name by which to designate such an elevated region as that we are here considering.

This plateau extends from the Mississippi river at St. Louis to the southwest and reaches into Arkansas, its eastern and southern boundary in Missouri is marked bv a distinct escarpment or line of elevated, often precipitous bluffs. From St. Louis to Cape Girardeau, this escarpment is found on or near the bank of the Mississippi river, but south of Cape Girardeau the escarpment turns to the southwest and leaves the river. This elevated plateau or plain resembles in its general outline, an elevated dome; by some it has been compared to an upturned canoe, its central axis stretching from the northeast to the southwest. The plain is about five hundred miles in length and two hundred miles in