Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park is a U. S. national park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. Since the 1972 unification of Mammoth Cave with the system under Flint Ridge to the north. The park was established as a park on July 1,1941. It became a World Heritage Site on October 27,1981, the parks 52,830 acres are located primarily in Edmonson County, with small areas extending eastward into Hart County and Barren County. It is centered on the Green River, with a tributary, with 405 miles of surveyed passageways Mammoth Cave is by far the worlds longest known cave system, being over twice as long as the second-longest cave system, Mexicos Sac Actun underwater cave. Mammoth Cave developed in thick Mississippian-aged limestone strata capped by a layer of sandstone and it is known to include more than 390 miles of passageway, new discoveries and connections add several miles to this figure each year. Mammoth Cave National Park was established to preserve the cave system, the epikarstic zone concentrates local flows of runoff into high-elevation springs which emerge at the edges of ridges.
It is in underlying massive limestone layers that the human-explorable caves of the region have naturally developed. The limestone layers of the column beneath the Big Clifty, in increasing order of depth below the ridgetops, are the Girkin Formation. Genevieve Limestone, and the St. Louis Limestone, for example, the large Main Cave passage seen on the Historic Tour is located at the bottom of the Girkin and the top of the Ste. Each of the layers of limestone is divided further into named geological units and subunits. One area of research involves correlating the stratigraphy with the cave survey produced by explorers. This makes it possible to produce approximate three-dimensional maps of the contours of the layer boundaries without the necessity for test wells. The upper sandstone caprock is relatively hard for water to penetrate, the sandstone caprock layer has been dissolved and eroded at many locations within the park, such as the Frozen Niagara room. At one valley bottom in the region of the park.
Known as Cedar Sink, the features a small river entering one side. Mammoth Cave is home to the endangered Kentucky cave shrimp, a sightless albino shrimp, the National Park Service offers several cave tours to visitors. Some notable features of the cave, such as Grand Avenue, Frozen Niagara, two tours, lit only by visitor-carried paraffin lamps, are popular alternatives to the electric-lit routes
Cave of the Mounds
Cave of the Mounds, a natural limestone cave located near Blue Mounds, United States, is named for two nearby hills called the Blue Mounds. It is located in the slope of the east hill. The caves beauty comes from its many varieties of mineral formations called speleothems, the Chicago Academy of Sciences considers the Cave of the Mounds to be the significant cave of the upper Midwest because of its beauty, and it is promoted as the jewel box of major American caves. In 1987, the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service designated the cave as a National Natural Landmark, the limestone from which the cave was carved began forming approximately 488 million years ago, during the Ordovician Period. During this time, much of North America was covered with warm, over millions of years, calcium carbonate shells from tiny marine organisms accumulated on the sea floor, forming enormous quantities of limestone. The type of limestone in which the cave was formed is called galena dolomite because of its concentration of the lead ore galena.
The cave began forming about a million to a million and a half years ago, a large crack in the surface of the rock, called the caves lifeline, allowed rain water to seep into the stone. In the air, rain combines with carbon dioxide to form a weak carbonic acid, though this acid is not very strong, it is strong enough to dissolve away the limestone after it seeps in through the lifeline. Over time, large cavities were dissolved in the stone and as the water table dropped, the water drained out and this is a very gradual process, usually taking 50 to 150 years to form one cubic inch of material, and continues to this day. The area around the Blue Mounds, Dane County, was first settled in 1828 by Ebenezer Brigham and he had traveled to Wisconsin to join in the lead rush of the late 1820s. After arriving, he set up operations just north of where the cave lies today, ebenezers house became a trading post, an inn, a stagecoach stop, and the first post office in Dane County. Ebenezer Brigham became a colonel and helped build and command Fort Blue Mounds during the Blackhawk War and he died after a long life, not knowing that a beautiful cave existed beneath his Brigham Farm.
On August 4,1939, Cave of the Mounds was discovered accidentally when limestone quarry workers blasted a section of the quarry, work at the quarry immediately stopped and was never continued. Soon after, the cave was closed to prevent damage from curious souvenir seekers who removed pieces of stalactites and stalagmites to take home, there are still foot-sized holes in the flowstone left by these early explorers. The cave was reopened in May,1940, after lights, since then, the wooden walkways have been replaced with concrete ones to accommodate the many visitors. Theatrical lighting has installed to further highlight the colors. In 1987, the cave was designated a National Natural Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior, to be considered a NNL, a site must be one of the best examples of a natural regions characteristic biotic or geologic features. Cave of the Mounds is home to varieties of speleothems
Cherney Maribel Caves County Park
Cherney Maribel Caves County Park is a county park located near Maribel in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. The park occupies 75 acres along the West Twin River, Cherney Maribel Caves consists of seven caves along a rugged cliff line that runs parallel with the West Twin River. The Cherney Maribel Caves were formed primarily by solution prior to the last ice age, glaciers wore down the surface of the land and exposed a layer of rock called Niagara Dolomite, exposing crevices and sinkholes, allowing water to easily enter the caves. As the glaciers melted, the rushing water enlarged the existing caves, the rushing melt water carved the river valley. Since then, frost action has loosened rock from the cliff face, about 1892, the first of the caves were discovered on the property of Henry A. Alrich, and was soon purchased by Charles Steinbrecker, who, in 1900, built the nearby Maribel Caves Hotel. Over the next decades, tourists came to see the caves. In 1931, Adolph Cherney bought the property, including the nearby hotel, on November 5,1963, Cherney sold the cave property to Manitowoc County for $16,200, leading to it becoming the first Manitowoc County park.
Coopers Cave is located midway along the park bluff. The cave has a rectangular entrance and has a small crevice entrance. It is a square tube solutional cave that is quiet and dry, about nine feet below the entrance is a natural spring that flows year round into the West Twin River. Staircase Cave is a relatively inaccessible cave. Pancake Cave is difficult to reach because no trails lead to it, the cave is about eight feet deep and is shaped like a pancake. Tunnel Passage, discovered in 2005, is about 20 feet long, spring Cave is a small inaccessible cave located on adjacent private property. A natural spring flows from the cave was previously used by the nearby Maribel Caves Hotel. Maribel New Hope Cave is the largest cave in Manitowoc County and it was discovered on Sunday, February 5,1984. It is noted for its walking passageways, and is lighted by electric floodlights and it contains examples of stalactites, stalagmites and cave bacon. The cave is a show cave. It is open the 3rd Sunday of every month from May through October from 10 A. M. to 3 P.
M, the cave is still being excavated and explored further by members of the Wisconsin Speleological Society
Colossal Cave (Arizona)
Colossal Cave is a large cave system in southeastern Arizona, near the community of Vail, approximately 22 miles SE of Tucson. It contains about 3.5 miles of mapped passageways, and was discovered by Soloman Lick in 1879, temperatures inside average 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. The cave is an ancient karst cave, classified as dry by guides, the meaning of this is that its formations are completely dry, or dead, and do not grow. This is because the cave was formed by depositing limestone. It instead feeds the active nearby Arkenstone Cave that continues to grow formations, Colossal Cave was used from 900 to 1450 AD by the Hohokam and Apache Indians. The cave was rediscovered in 1879 by Solomon Lick, the owner of the nearby Mountain Springs Hotel and he was searching for stray cattle when he discovered the entrance to the cave. The cave was used as a guano source, and a tunnel,25 metres long, was built in 1905. The deposit was exhausted, and the tunnel was abandoned. Today the cave is a popular tourist destination as part of Colossal Cave Mountain Park, the park features two other caves, named Arkenstone and La Tetera, which are protected and are being studied by researchers
Crystal Grottoes is the only show cave in the U. S. state of Maryland. It is located on Maryland Route 34 between Boonsboro and Antietam National Battlefield, Crystal Grottoes was discovered in 1920 in the course of quarrying operations by a road construction crew trying to obtain gravel. A drill bit disappeared into a hole, and the crew realized they had found a cave, blasting produced the entrance which is still used, and in 4/2/1922 the cave was opened to the public. A mapping operation in 1968 revealed about a mile of passages, but only about one third of the cave is accessed during the tour. Crystal Grottoes is an example of a cave, formed in a karst environment within a synclinal occurrence of Tomstown Dolomite. The cave is essentially horizontal throughout its extent and the passages are typically high and narrow. A great deal of brown and red clay fills most of the cave to a considerable extent, sediment fills many of the undeveloped passages to within a foot or two of the ceiling, thereby making many crawlways.
No streams exist in the cave, although a lake or pool is maintained by drip water. Most of the rooms abound in speleothem formations, generally stalactites and they are typically white or buff, with one area tinted a light red, by iron oxides. The first room is 8 feet below the house and is oblate in shape, being 30 feet long,10 feet wide. At each end it is pinched out by mud flows and narrowing of the passage, the passages are continuously lined or covered by formations. Delicate draperys and columns predominate, the colors are generally pure white or buff with occasional deeper tints. The passages forming Fairyland are studded with stalactites and stalagmites of a light red hue. The Blanket Room is the largest room in the caverns at 30 feet and 20 feet wide, large sheets of stalactites and draperys hang in clusters from the ceiling, which is here 20 feet high. The passage leading to the lake is profuse with formations and in part is bridged by flat-lying travertine, the lake is a small pool fed by water dripping from the ceiling.
In wet seasons the water accumulates at a rate necessitating periodic bailing, the passages not open to the public are similar to those already described except they are constricted at many points. Orange-brown clay that covers the floor and lower walls of these passages is often overlain by calcareous formations, the commercial tour route covers approximately one third of the known cave. The Crystal Grottoes Caverns Official Website
Endless Caverns is a commercial show cave located three miles south of New Market, United States. The cave is a limestone solution cave, according to the tour operators, the cave was discovered by two boys in October 1879, while hunting rabbits on the property of Ruben Zirkle. The boys cornered a rabbit behind an outcropping of limestone rocks, after doing this they discovered a hole in the ground and ran back to the house to grab some ropes and candles. After going into the hole the boys found that there were many chambers, not long after the discovery, the Zirkles began doing candle lit tours through the cave. In 1919, the cave was bought by Colonel Brown who had the fully electrified for the August 1920 grand opening with a lighting design by Phinheas Stephens. In 1928 more electric work was done in collaboration with Samuel Hibben, Endless is home to colonies of bats, primarily little brown bats, that are visible on the tour route. The present mapped extent of Endless Caverns is 5.5 miles, making it the 20th longest cave in Virginia and its deepest measured point is 160 feet below the surface
Great Onyx Cave
Great Onyx Cave is a cave located in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, United States. The National Park Service offers a tour of the cave. Great Onyx Cave was discovered in 1915 by Edmund Turner, according to one story, Turner made a proposition to Flint Ridge landowner L. P. Edwards, knowing through his cave explorations that there was a cave under Edwards land. Turner continued to explore the cave while Edwards rushed to commercialize it, shortly thereafter, when Turner died, Edwards claimed that he discovered the cave. The owners of Great Onyx Cave refused to sell their land when the government was purchasing property for Mammoth Cave National Park during the 1930s. When the National Park was established in 1941, Great Onyx Cave remained a privately held island within the Parks borders, the cave was finally sold to the National Park Service and became a part of the National Park in January 1961. The Great Onyx Case was the subject of litigation that reached Kentuckys high courts in 1929, Edwards was successfully sued by a neighboring landowner who alleged that the cave ran underneath his property.
Invoking the ad coelem et ad inferos principle, the court ordered restitution of all derived from running tours on the plaintiffs property. In fact, passages in the Flint Ridge Cave System pass beneath surveyed passages in Great Onyx Cave and sand were piled against the walls of the cave to make trails when the cave was commercialized, possibly blocking off passages which might connect to Mammoth Cave. Legend has it that this was the revenge of Turner, who was never able to profit from his discovery of Great Onyx Cave, list of caves in the United States Media related to Great Onyx Cave at Wikimedia Commons
Jewel Cave National Monument
Jewel Cave National Monument contains Jewel Cave, currently the third longest cave in the world, with 181.89 miles of mapped passageways. It is located approximately 13 mi west of the town of Custer in South Dakotas Black Hills and it became a national monument in 1908. Frank and Albert Michaud, two prospectors, discovered the cave in 1900, when they felt cold air blowing out of a small hole in a canyon. It is unknown whether any previous inhabitants of the area were aware of the cave opening. After enlarging the cave entrance with dynamite, the Michauds found a cavern lined with calcite crystals, the brothers tried to capitalize on the discovery, widening the opening, building walkways inside, and opening it to tourists. Although their venture was unsuccessful, news of the discovery eventually reached Washington, president Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Jewel Cave a National Monument on February 7,1908. The area around the entrance to the cave was further developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
The National Park Service assumed management of the monument in 1933, as recently as 1959, less than 2 miles of passageway had been discovered. That year, however and Jan Conn, local climbers, began exploring. Much of the new discoveries lay outside the boundaries of the monument, the two agencies performed a land swap in 1965, establishing the present boundaries of the park, and enabling the development of a new part of the cave. The Park Service sunk a 300 feet elevator shaft to a remote cave area. The Scenic Tour was opened in 1972, most modern-day visitors tour that part of the cave. In August 2000, an 83,000 acres forest fire burned 90% of the monument, the visitor center and historic buildings were spared. By 1979, Herb and Jan Conn had discovered, although they largely retired from caving by the early 1980s, exploration has continued unabated. Because the areas being explored take many hours to reach, explorers now sometimes camp in the cave during expeditions of as long as four days, the cave is mapped by traditional survey techniques, using compass and today with lasers instead of tape measures.
Its 181.89 mi of mapped passageway make Jewel Cave the third longest cave in the world, after Mammoth Cave System in Kentucky and Sistema Sac Actun at the Yucatán Peninsula, at 198 mi. The discovered areas in the account for only about 3 to 5% of the estimated total air volume of the cave. The cave volume is estimated by measuring the amount of air that the cave exhales when the air pressure drops
Carter Caves State Resort Park
Carter Caves State Resort Park is located in Carter County, United States, along Tygarts Creek. It is formed by Carter Caves, and nearby Cascade Caves, on December 16,1981,146 acres of the park were designated as nature preserves. Bat Cave and Cascade Caverns State Nature Preserves were dedicated for the protection of the Indiana bat, mountain maple, the purchase of the caves and surrounding land was driven by Governor William Jason Fields, a native of Carter County. Carter Caves is a resort park that features a lodge, cottages, 18-hole putt-putt course, 9-hole golf course, full-service campground. It has various tours available year-round that displays and explains the wonders of the underground world. It has horse riding stables. It is well known for its splendor above and below ground, there are several different Cave Tours offered. Guided tours of Cascade Cave and X-Cave are available year-round, Cascade Cave is the name for three different caves in the same area and is together the largest cave in the park.
It features an underground room and an 30-foot underground waterfall. X Cave, named for the pattern of its passages, features some of the largest rock formations in the park. Saltpetre Cave was mined during the War of 1812 because saltpetre, historic activities are a major part of the Saltpetre Cave tour. Bat Cave is toured in the months, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and is considered a wild cave tour since the cave has not been improved for walking tours. The cave is unique in that it is a hibernaculum for the endangered Indiana Bat in the winter months, Laurel Cave is the most visited of the non-commercial caves in the park, and contains some of the most interesting passages. Laurel Cave is open to the public during business hours in the summer months only. All that is required is a permit available at the Welcome Center/Gift Shop, the permit gives you legal access to Laurel Cave, Horn Hollow Caves and the connected Rimstone Cave. Over thirty miles of hiking trails encounter seven natural bridges throughout the park, the Cascade Trail is a three-quarter mile trail passing through Box Canyon.
The Three Bridges Trail winds three and a quarter miles and includes the parks largest natural bridge, the Smokey Bridge and this trail passes by Fern Bridge and Raven Bridge as it meanders through the park. The half-mile Natural Bridge Trail passes beneath a natural bridge
Cave of the Winds (Colorado)
Cave of the Winds is a cave in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado. It is located just west of Colorado Springs on U. S. Highway 24, Tours of the complex of caves are given daily. By far the most famous section of the Cave of the Winds is the Silent Splendor room, discovered in 1884, the room contains numerous rare crystalline speleothems. Unfortunately, the room must be sealed off from the public in order to maintain its delicate environment. Silent Splendor is sealed from public view by an Environmental Gate, other lesser known attractions include a bottomless pit, often the scene of practical jokes by the guides, and a one of a kind region referred to as the rat. In the late 1980s a few new passages were opened inside the cavern, on May 8,1988, Mothers Day, a chamber called the Adventure Room was opened. Left in a natural state than most of the cave. In 1989, a new passage named Old Curiosity Shop was opened, billed as the most narrow passage in the Cave of the Winds, traversing it gains a look at the Colorado Rose, a beaded helectite, and Spider Web Valley, a collection of delicate helectites.
This passage was opened to make tour groups moving through Tall Mans Headache and it features a free-fall amusement ride called the Terror-Dactyl. The cave is a setting for a 2006 episode of the television series South Park. Media related to Cave of the Winds at Wikimedia Commons Official website Review of Cave of the Winds and Guided Tour Panoramas from the Cave of the Winds, up to 113.5 Megapixels
Cave Without a Name
The Cave Without a Name is a limestone solutional cave in the Texas Hill Country region of central Texas. It is a National Natural Landmark, the cave is located 50 miles from downtown San Antonio, and 11 miles northeast of Boerne off FM474 and Kreutzberg Road. It has been operated as a show cave and open for public tours since 1939. It is a member of the National Cave Association, the cave went largely unnoticed again until the 1920s during the era of Prohibition when a small moonshine distillery was installed in the uppermost cavern. It again fell into obscurity until three local farm children rediscovered the sinkhole in 1935 and these children are believed to be the first who actually entered the main chambers of the cave. After the rediscovery, Jim Horn, the owner of the property decided to open it as a commercial venture. The show cave received its name after its opening in 1939, as verified by a news paper article that hangs in the Caves gift shop. A young boy suggested that the cave was too beautiful to have a name, Cave Without a Name was declared a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in February 2009.
Built in 1939, the stairwell into the cave has 126 steps descending to approximately 90 feet below the surface, the cave maintains a constant temperature of 66 degrees all year round. Within the cave there are two main areas, the main set of chambers open to the public make up the show cave, extending just over a quarter of a mile. This part of the consists of 6 large, well-lit rooms full of speleothems including stalactites, helictites, columns. The second main area of the cave is a set of caverns linked to the underground extension of the Guadalupe River. During a 1975 expedition of the Cave Without A Name, cavers mapped out over 2.7 miles of caverns, the cave is currently being remapped by a team of researchers from Texas State University. Due to the natural acoustics created by 3 large solution domes on the ceiling of the large Queens Throne room. Some of the common types of concerts consist of vocals, native American flute music. In the winter months, the cave becomes home for between 5-10 dozen eastern pipistrelle bats, the seasonal inhabitants do not interfere with the tours as they only use the cave for hibernation.
Another resident of the cave is a rare blind Texas salamander known as the Kendall County salamander that may only be found in the Cave Without A Name and another area cave, some activities are at an additional fee. Even the geocachers have placed a box on the property of the Cave Without a Name, the gift shop has a large selection of rocks and fossils for sale, including numerous Amethyst cathedrals and more