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The four largest spring systems in the mid-continent receive recharge through large interconnected voids in fractured and solution-weathered dolostones of the Ordovician and Cambrian systems. Cumulative thickness of the carbonate bedrock aquifer ranges up to 700 m in the Ozark region. Recharge from the surface occurs through weathered overburden, sinkholes, and losing streams and has been traced up to 60 km (straight-line horizontal distance) using fluorescent dyes. Mean discharge of the combined flow of these four spring systems is ~1400 cubic feet/second (ft3/s) or 40 m3/second (m3/s). All four spring systems will be visited while discussing the karst terrane that recharges them. Environmental and engineering challenges in the region will be discussed, such as wastewater treatment systems, solid waste disposal, and failed reservoirs. Hodgson Mill Spring represents a branch of the Rainbow/North Fork/Hodgson Mill System. While it receives base flow from the main system, it also receives local recharge that Rainbow and North Fork springs do not. A portion of the Mammoth Spring recharge system will be viewed at Grand Gulf State Park in Missouri, where a cave collapse has created cliffs and a natural bridge and exposed a small losing tributary that flows into a cave that has been traced to the spring. Mammoth Spring State Park in Arkansas offers a historical perspective of the development and use of large springs. Greer Spring in Missouri was used as a power source for grist, flour, and lumber mills, but has now largely returned to its predevelopment state and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Big Spring, featured in a former state park in Missouri, is now part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

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