Karst terrain in Hart County. January 25, 2002. 1:39 p.m. CST. 37° 13.81'N 85° 48.39'W. View is N.
County is in the middle of southern Kentucky's cave region. There are
maybe six large caves in the area, and many more small ones. The best
known is Mammoth Cave, a national park about 20 miles from where the photo
above was shot.
The humpbacked ridges in the photo represent karst topography (named for a cave region of central Europe). Groundwater seeping through cracks in the limestone bedrock has dissolved the limestone and the surface has gradually sunk. That's how the caves, and these ridges, were formed. The important features in the photo are the sinkholes between the ridges--that's where the action has taken place. You can see where water occasionally pools between the ridges.
This area of Kentucky has thousands of sinkholes. Unlike the ones in the photo, most are round, ranging in size from just a few feet across to several acres. From the air, the terrain looks like it is pockmarked with bomb craters, one right after another. To my eye, it's much prettier from the ground.
to more about this subject :
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1) This is the site for Hidden River Cave and the American Cave Museum. Hidden River Cave is underneath the downtown business district of Horse Cave, a town in Hart County.
2) This site has information about several of the "show caves" in the area.
3) Here is the official website of Mammoth Cave National Park.
Just west of Hardyville off US 31E.
|Posted January 30, 2002.|