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AGS / Education / Geology Resources / Physiographic Regions / Ozark Plateaus


The Ozark Plateaus Region is a thoroughly dissected area with steep valley walls and narrow floors.  This region is divided into three broad plateau surfaces based on elevation and age of surface rocks.  Click here to learn about the geology of the Ozark Plateaus Region.

Linkable map of ozark plateau surfaces

Salem Plateau

The Salem Plateau contains the oldest rock at the surface - Ordovician dolostones, sandstones and limestones. This is also the lowest plateau surface with some of the highest elevations reaching between 800 and 1400 feet above sea level.

dolostone with interbedded shale in the Powell Foramtion

Dolostone with interbedded shale in the Powell Formation



dolostone in the Cotter Formation at Cotter, AR

Dolostone in the Cotter Formation at Cotter, AR



Springfield Plateau

The Springfield Plateau contains mostly Mississippian age limestone and chert from the Boone Formation at the surface. This plateau is intermediate in elevation with some of its highest elevations reaching 1800 feet above sea level. The plateau surface consists mostly of gently rolling hills or an undulating topography, however in some places the Boone Formation forms steep hillsides separated by ravine-like drainages.

Boone Formation forming buttresses along Bear Creek in Searcy County

Boone Formation forming buttresses along Bear Creek in Searcy County.



Picture of the springfield Plateau near Marshall Arkansas

The Springfield Plateau (foreground) near Marshall, Arkansas.



Boston Mountains Plateau

The Boston Mts. Plateau contains the youngest rock at the surface - Early Pennsylvanian sandstones and shales with minor limestones. This is also the highest plateau surface with some of the highest elevations reaching 2200-2500 feet above sea level.

Picture of Bloyd Formation near Phillips Ford.

Bloyd Formation near Phillips Ford



Picture of "middle Bloyd sandstone" at Buzzards Roost

"middle Bloyd sandstone" at Buzzards Roost.



Learn about the geology of the Ozark Plateaus forward arrow


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Arkansas Geological Survey
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