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(This article is about the Ozark Plateau. Ozark is also the name of a place in Alabama; see Ozark, Alabama.)

Ozark or Ozark Plateau, an upland region, is actually a dissected plateau, about 50,000 square miles (129,500 sq km). It is chiefly in central and southern Missouri and north Arkansas, but is also partly in Oklahoma and Kansas, between the Arkansas and Missouri rivers. The Ozark Highland area is the only major highland region in the US west of the Appalachians until the Rocky Mountains.

The Ozark area also refer to a region of people with a distinct shared cultural, architectural, and dialectic belonging to the peoples that live on the platue. The people in this area have more in common with one another than with their surrounding states. One of the more peculiar attributes of this cultural and dialectic area is that the peoples have self named the local areas. People outside of the Ozarks typically do not refer to these self named locals; White River Hills along the Missouri-Arkansas border; the Shepherd of the Hills Country around Branson, Missouri, the Irish Wilderness located in south central Missouri; the Boston Mountains of Arkansas, the Cookson Hills in Oklahoma.

The Ozarks, which rise from the surrounding plains, are locally referred to as mountains. Composed of igneous rock overlain by limestone and dolomite, the ancient land form has been worn down by erosion. Summits (knobs) are found wherever there is a resistant rock outcrop; the Boston Mountains are the highest and most rugged section, with several peaks more than 2,000 ft (610 m) high. The Ozark Plateaus consists of three sections--the Springfield Plateau, the Salem Plateau, and the Boston Mountains. Topography is mostly gently rolling, except in the Boston Mountains, along the encampments separating the Springfield and Salem Plateaus, and the Saint Francious Range where it is rugged. Karst features such a springs, sinkholes, and caves are common in the Springfield Plateau and abundant in the Salem Plateau.

The Saint Francois Mountain Range rises above the Ozark plateau and is the geological cause of the highland dome. Concentric circles of elevation emanating from the range outward can be observed from outerspace. The Saint Francious Range is sometimes not considered part of the Ozarks because it has exposed ingenious rock and no Karst features, and was formed by volcanic activity rather than erosion.

The Ozarks are rich in lead and zinc, and fruit-growing areas are prevalent. Subsistence farming and household crafts are found in the more isolated regions. The Ozarks have several large lakes that were created by dams across the White and Black rivers; the dams generate electricity. The scenic Ozarks, with forests, streams, and mineral springs, are a popular tourist region, and the construction of summer homes there has grown.

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