Deep Lakes in Stream Caves

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Deep Lakes in Stream Caves

Postby Scott McCrea » Jan 28, 2008 8:34 am

This might be a better question for the hard pushing sump divers but, generally speaking, what can be expected at the bottom of a 25+ foot deep lake that drops below an otherwise flat, level stream passage cave?

In other words, I'm caving along in a cave with over a mile of generally flat, stream passage. All of a sudden the bottom drops out and plunges 25+ feet in a deep lake. I've seen it several times and always wondered what is down there. Is this a good place to look for more passage or do they usually peter out? Any ideas what causes this?
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Re: Deep Lakes in Stream Caves

Postby ian mckenzie » Jan 28, 2008 12:23 pm

I would think that you could expect the same as you would, in your region, from coming across a dry pit. No reason, in my mind, why a fossil (dry) cave would be much different from one that's been reinvaded by a stream. If the water in the pit demonstrates a current, then you might glean the same info as if it was dry and draughting - more passage at the bottom, but not necessarily unblocked.
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Re: Deep Lakes in Stream Caves

Postby Lost » Jan 28, 2008 4:04 pm

Sounds like a job for some cave divers. I know a few. :scuba:
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Re: Deep Lakes in Stream Caves

Postby cavemanjonny » Feb 5, 2008 10:16 pm

How thick is the limestone in the area? If you're lucky, maybe your lake drilled its way through the entire thing. That might give you a maximum possible depth, taking into account how steeply the bed dips.

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Re: Deep Lakes in Stream Caves

Postby Teresa » Feb 7, 2008 9:12 am

If you are interested in a very readable masters thesis on deep lake/reservoir development, try:

Volume XXVI, Number 3-4. Origin and Development of Cave Spring, Shannon County, Missouri.
July-December 1986 by Jerry D. Vineyard. Vineyard is an much honored NSS member, now retired, who served as Missouri deputy state geologist. The thesis is older than it's 1986 publication date would suggest, but the work is still valid.

The Cave Spring -Devils Well system is one of the most studied in the state and links a karst window chamber 160 x 100 x 400 ft to a 140 ft deep spring. Devils Well is on NPS and is closed; Cave Spring can be paddled into by any visitor with a canoe, but diving is restricted to research permit only by the private landowner.
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