Mammoth Cave National Park Research Papers
Mammoth Cave National Park research papers can look at the history of the cave, the region or the geography of Mammoth Cave National Park. Have Paper Masters custom write your project on one of the United States' most beautiful national parks.
Mammoth Cave National Park is located in south central Kentucky near Park City. It lies in a hilly, forested area of parts of three counties: Barren, Edmonson and Hart. It covers an area slightly over 50,000 acres and has the most diverse cave ecosystem in the world.
Mammoth Cave, which is the longest system of caves ever recorded in the world, is located in Mammoth Cave National Park. It consists of a series of underground passages and chambers formed when subterranean limestone is washed away.
- The type of landscape in Mammoth Cave National Park is karst topography
- Mammoth Cave is sometimes referred to as the Sinkhole Plain
- There are five recorded levels in the caves
- The levels of the cave form a total length of over 340 miles
- It is estimated that there are as many as 600 miles of passages that still have not been discovered or mapped.
The caves are host to many limestone formations, including stalactites, stalagmites and columns, as well as lakes and rivers. The Echo River lies approximately 360 ft under the surface. It travels through the lowest level of the cave and empties into the Green River. In 1972, it was discovered that another underground stream, called Hanson's Lost River, connects Mammoth Cave to the cave system in Flint Ridge.
The geological processes that formed Mammoth Cave began hundreds of millions of years ago and is still taking place. When the caves began to form over 360 million years ago, Kentucky was about 10 degrees south of the equator and covered with warm water that housed tiny organisms whose shells were formed of calcium carbonate. When the creatures died, the accumulation of their shells, along with the calcium carbonate from the water, built up over millions of years, until it was several hundred feet thick. Another river system then deposited fifty feet of sandstone on top. About 280 million years ago, as the sea level began to fall, the limestone and sandstone were exposed. When the earth’s crust then slowly rose it created cracks in the layers of limestone and sandstone. As the rivers that we have today began to develop, there came to stand a sandstone topped plateau above the Green River while a low limestone plain extended to the southeast.
As acid rain water seeped through the cracks in the limestone, it dissolved a network of microcaverns. As the land continued to rise, the water in the microcaverns drained into the river through the limestone that was under the plateau. Over time, the paths that the water followed through the limestone converged into larger flows and the microcaverns grew. This was the beginning of the formation of the caves.
The water table dropped to the same level as the Green River as it cut a deeper channel, and new drains developed at levels lower than the older ones, emptying older passages. This process still continues today.