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Cave Research Associates Tumbling Creek Cave Foundation

Publication Date

December 1967




Cave Research meeting Bransom, Missouri - August 28-30, 1967. The Fourth Cave Research Meeting was held at Rock Lane Lodge, near Branson, Missouri. Technical papers and discussions were held during the first two days under the chairmanship of Thomas Aley. On the third day, Mr. Aley conducted a tour of Tumbling Creek Cave, near Protem, Missouri, presently under development as the Ozard Underground Laboratory. The abstracts of all papers presented at the meeting follow: ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS: Moles of the Samwel cave fossil deposits: additions to the pleistocene fauna of Samwel Cave, California II/ Sylvia F. Graham, American Museum of Natural History and Queensborough Community College. Three maxillae and nine mandibles from Samwel Cave Wisconsin deposits are compared with three recent species of Scapanus. Molar tooth morphology indicates that the fossil series is Scapanus latimanus, with enough unique characters to merit a new fossil subspecies. Extensive comparisons with recent northern and southern subspecies of S. latimanusdemonstrate a cline in size, the fossil subspecies approximating the size of the recent northern subspecies. Also demonstrated is the impossibility of discriminating the sexes on the basis of the molar teeth and jaws. The recent species of Scapnusshow their greatest differentiation from each other in geographic areas where their ranges come together, not far from the fossil deposits. The S. latimanusfrom Samwel Cave while not ancestral to the recent species, shows some intermediate characters and may not distant from the primitive stock. Research in the Flint Ridge Cave system of Mammoth Cave National Park/ Thomas L. Poulson, Cave Research Foundation and Yale University Preservation of undisturbed ecosystems for basic research and as a basis for evaluating manipulations of the environment should be one important function of National Parks and Monuments. In this paper I review a framework for research in parks and discuss some of the specific work by the Cave Research Foundation in Mammoth Cave National Park. Fossil trunk channels from the sinkholes and sinking streams east of the Park are preserved because the Mammoth Cave Plateau is overlain by the Big Clifty sandstone. These trunk channels are integrated vertically by the vertical shaft systems formed at the lateral edges of the caprock, where water from a perched limestone aquifer moves downward. Because of this situation, the cave systems are extensive and contain a great variety of habitats and microclimates. This offers unique opportunities for some types of geological and biological research. This research is conducted mainly in the Flint Ridge system, because it is the largest and least disturbed of the three cave-bearing ridges. W. B. White and others have traced the paleohydrology of the caves by scallop patterns in fossil trunk channels and have studied a number of sulfate minerals in the different micro-climates. Work on the paleosediments of the cave is planned. Biological research in the caves has concentrated on the unique opportunities for study of niche and community structure. There has been a long history of competitive interaction and little or not genetic isolation; differences between local communities can be ascribed to the effects of other parameters that are thought to influence community structure; namely, habitat complexity and food supply. Terrestrial and aquatic communities are compared because microhabitats and food have different time and spatial distributions, and these distributions are simpler than those of epigean habitats. The basic data come from visual timed and areal census in combination with trapping. The success of both biological and geographical research depends on continued upgrading of the cartography program. Karst springs in the Tapeats Ampitheater, Grand Canyon/ Peter Huntoon, Cave Research Associates. Three large karst springs with yields ranging from 10cfs to over 50cfs (0.3-1.4m 2/sec) discharge from the Cambrian Mauv limestone into the Tapeats Ampitheater of western Grand Canyon, Arizona. The source for this water is the Kaibab Plateau lying immediately northeast and 4,000 feet (1200m) in elevation above the springs. Precipitation infiltrates the permeable Permian limestone at the surface of the plateau and moves toward the west-southwest above and within semi-permeable clastic sediments in response to a hydrologic gradient imposed on the system by the low west-southwest regional dip of the strata. When the water reaches the western margin of the Kaibab Plateau, it transects the Crazy Jug fault, a large north-south fault zone that has enhanced vertical permeability. The fault allows the water to circulate downward through semipermeable strata to the lowest limestone unit in the section and conducts the water southward toward the canyon wall. Within a few miles of Tapcats Ampitheater, the water is pirated from the Crazy Jug fault zone by solution tubes developed along joints and minor faults. These tubes carry the water southwestward to karst springs. Drip-pockets and related karst cavities in gypsum/ James F. Quinlan and A. Richard Smith, Department of Geology, University of TexasThe Kirschberg Evaporite, a horizon of gypsum within the Lower Cretaceous Edwards Limestone of south-central Texas, was formerly present throughout a several thousand square kilometer area, and had a maximum local thickness of at least 11 m. Most of the gypsum has been dissolved away from beneath the overlying limestone by interstratal karstification ( unterirdische Verkarstung) so that it now occupies a few tens of square kilometers. In the Fredericksburg Gypsum Co. quarry, 13km north of Fredericksburg, the gypsum is 0 to 5m thick and contains many caves, vertical shafts, drip-packers, and two types of solution breccias. Small lenses of dolomite occur in the gypsum. Within and immediately adjacent to the drip pockets such dolomite has been locally de-dolomitized to calcite by sulfate-bearing waters. Drip-pockets (small vertical shafts that are typically 2 to 10cm wide and 20 to 200cm deep) are tubular cavities that are "drilled" by dissolving water dripping from a point source. They generally develop independently of jointing, and are enlarged laterally by water that trickles as a film along the walls. Drip-pockets may coalesce to form vertical shafts that are typically 1.5m wide and 3m deep and caves as large as 20m long, 6m wide, and 4m high. Such drilling and coalescence also separates the bedrock into isolated and semi-isolated columns and blocks that can rightly be considered as cores. Some of the vertical shafts are completely filled by a solution breccia of core blocks that have collapsed and subsided to various degrees. Most of the drip-pockets are a series of offset tubes open at the bottom or side, but some have hemispherical bottoms covered with a partially-cemented aggregate of cornflake-like pieces of calcite and dolomite freed from the gypsum as insoluble residue, and pieces of fragile calcite films and blebs that have locally coated the walls of the drip-pockets. The ponded water in the bottoms tends to enlarge the pockets laterally, and the relative scarcity of reprecipitated gypsum in these bottoms indicates that most of the water leaves the pockets by slow percolation through the gypsum bedrock rather than by evaporation. Reprecipitated gypsum (gypsite) has been found at the base of the gypsum beds and on the ceiling and walls of some of the caves. Drip-pockets also occur in gypsum fills on the floor of Carlsbad Caverns and several other New Mexico caves, in a gypsum karst of Mexico, and in limestone undergoing interstratal karstification in Wales. Hydrology of a karst watershed in the Missouri Ozarks/ Thomas Aley, Cave Research Associates Hurricane Creek, a topographic basin of 302km 2, is located triburary to the Eleven Point River in the southern Missouri Ozarks. The watershed has been extensively instrumented by the U. S. Forest Service as a study area for the evaluation of techniques for increasing and prolonging the duration of spring flow. A discussion of the characteristics of surface and underground water flow on the watershed, the nature of subsurface water transport through deep residuum and alluvium overlying cavernous dolomite, and the general effects of vegetation on the subsurface water regime are presented. Hydrographs of McCormack Spring and Falling Spring illustrate significant differences in the nature of the catchment areas. Falling Spring illustrates the subsurface water regime typical of an area with very shallow soils and sparce tree growth. McCormack Spring typifies an area of deeper soils which are heavily vegetated with forest stands of mixed hardwoods and pine. Daily water balances are compared with the continuous hydrographs obtained from these springs. Zonation of the Santa Cruz cave fauna parietal complex/ Richard E. Graham, Rutgers University and Cave Research Associates Animals that rest on open surfaces in the caves of Santa Cruz County, California (the Parietal Biocoenose) were counted in a census and mapped. Their comparative abundance and zonation (12 species) between different caves and light zones were computed and analyzed. This terrestrial fauna is Twilight-limited, since the Dark Zones flood each winter. Faunal turnover, indices of relative frequency, and individual and species density along the light gradient are discussed with reference to the concept of the Parietal Biocoenose. Preliminary report on the geology of some large springs in the Missouri Ozarks/ Jerry D. Vineyard, Missouri Geological Survey and Water Resources A decade of intermittent research on large springs in the Missouri Ozarks, emphasizing speleological and underwater methods, has shown that the springs are supplied by sub-water-table conduits (water-filled caves) at depth ranging from 35 to 73 meters below water tables. Some parts of the spring-supply systems are air-filled and enterable, either through surface openings or by preliminary transit of water-filled intervals using Scuba gear. Detailed investigations of Cave Spring in Shannon County have provided a model for spring systems in massive, flat-lying, cavernous dolomite in the Ozarks. Cave Spring rises from water-filled conduits 44m below the Current River. The conduits link the spring orifice to a series of large surge chambers that produce drawdown in the water table similar to that produced in a pumping well, thus providing a continuous supply of water for the spring orifice. Other springs investigated include Blue Spring, Shannon County: 73+m deep; Meramec Spring, Phelps County: 35m deep, with a large, tubular feeder conduit; Toronto Spring, Camden County: traceable for 5 to 6.5km in an air-filled cavern, and 5 to 8 km by fluoresein dye; Welch Spring, Shannon County: considered to be in transition from spring to cave; and The Gulf, Wayne County: a large underground lake more than 61m deep, with anomalous water temperature, feeding a nearby large spring. Effects of solution rate gradient on cave structures/ Arthur L. Lange, Cave Research Associates The principles of cave geometry and extended to cases wherein the solution rate of cave water contacting a soluble wall is not a constant, but instead varies along the wall. Two specific gradients are analyzed: the constant and exponential gradients. In the former, the solution rate decreases linearly with depth, with the result that a plane vertical wall rotates inward with progressive solution but remains planar, as though moving on a hinge at depth. The exponential gradient produces a wall whose cross-section is a log-sine curve. Computer plots are used to demonstrate the changing geometry. The significance of these two gradients in nature is discussed and a method of solving the general case of an arbitrary two-dimensional solution gradient is outlined. OTHER CONTENT Ozark Underground Laboratory The The Ozark Underground Laboratory is located approximately 52 miles (84km) SSW of Springfield, Missouri, in the Ozark Highlands. Tumbling Creek Cave, having a known passage extent of over 3km, lies almost entirely beneath the 0.51km 2tract comprising the Laborarory. The cave exhibits a number of environments, including: a) 700m of perennial stream passage, b) 100m of intermittent stream passage,. c) 1300m of relatively dry upper passages, d) several hundred meters of passages in which speleothems are being deposited, e) an equivalent passage length in which speleothems are undergoing extensive re-solution, f) two major collapse chambers, g) two small vertical shafts having perennial water flow and h) a summer roosting site for approximately 100,000 Gray Bats ( Myotis grisescens). The cave is easily entered via a recently constructed shaft. About 400m of trail have been built within; by Summer 1968 nearly 1 km will have been constructed. Electricity, piped water from the cave stream, and work space are available underground. A storage building has been completed on the surface, and other structures, including a small surface laboratory, are planned. A portion of the cave will ultimately be opened to the interested public for guided tours. Displays and explanations of the work in progress and its importance will be the highlights of the visitor route. Charges will be made for the use of space and facilities at the Laboratory. Research workers desiring additional information are invited to contact the Laboratory via: Thomas Aley, Ozark Underground Laboratory, Business Office: Box 61, Winona, Missouri 65588, USA. A NEW CAVE JOURNAL: Volume 1, Number 1 of the Boletin de la Sociedad Venezolana de Espeleologiahas been received recently. The journal is well printed and contains many excellent maps and drawings. Articles in this issue treat cave geology, archeology, meteorology, and zoology, in addition to cave descriptions and reviews. Information may be obtained by writing the Society at Apartado No. 6621, Caracas, Venezuela. No subscription rate is given in our copy. Cave Notes(vols. 1-8) and Caves and Karst: Research in Speleology(vols. 9-15) were published by Cave Research Associates from 1959-1973. In 1975, the Tumbling Creek Cave Foundation compiled complete sets of the journals in three volumes. The Foundation sells hardbound copies of the material to support its activities. Open Access - Permission by Publisher Vol. 9, no. 6 (1967) See Extended description for more information.

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Newsletter; serial



Caves and karst: Research in speleology Cave notes



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