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Caves and Karst of the Providence Mountains Study Area

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Information about Caves and Karst of the Providence Mountains Study Area
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Published on February 18, 2014

Author: bernszukalski

Source: slideshare.net

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Caves and Karst of the Providence Mountains Study Area, Mojave National Preserve, California. Presented at the National Cave and Karst Management Symposium (NCKMS) 2011.
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Caves and Karst of the Providence Mountains Study Area Mojave National Preserve Building Upon Decades of Volunteer Contributions Bern Szukalski - Esri, Cave Research Foundation Tom Gilleland - MineGates, Inc. Ted Weasma - Mojave National Preserve National Cave and Karst Management Symposium October 3 – 7, 2011 Midway, Utah

The Big Story About Small Caves in the Mojave National Preserve Bern Szukalski - Esri, Cave Research Foundation Tom Gilleland - MineGates, Inc. Ted Weasma - Mojave National Preserve National Cave and Karst Management Symposium October 3 – 7, 2011 Midway, Utah

This is not the Mojave…

This is.

But it does rain and snow…

“When you’re stuck in 4-wheel drive, you’re really stuck.”

Mojave Desert & Mojave Desert Ecosystem A land of extremes and diversity • More than 80,000 square miles • Includes portions of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah • Elevation range: -280 to 14,505 feet • Wilderness, ranching, resource harvesting, major cities • National & State Parks, Preserves, scenic areas, landmarks

Mojave Desert Ecosystem

Mojave Desert

Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve (MOJA) • Established 1994 (California Desert Protection Act) • 2,500 square miles, 1.6 million acres (695,200 wilderness) • Elevation range: 880 feet to 7,929 feet • Third largest NPS unit in continental U.S. (DEVA, YELL)

Nearby Cave Areas Crystal / Kokoweef Pisgah Mitchell Caverns

Pisgah (BLM)

Mitchell Caverns 1,478 TSL – 84 TVE

Cave of the Winding Stairs 1,954 TSL – 311 TVE Photos: William R. Halliday Collection

Kokoweef Area 367 TSL Photos: William R. Halliday Collection

Kokoweef Cave

Kokoweef Cave

MOJA Caves • 197 caves, shelters, cave features • Most in Bird Spring fm. (Pennsylvanian – Permian) • Longest Cave = Warner’s Cave (335 feet) • Longest Lava Tube = Cima Cave (210 feet) • Most caves < 100 feet long Q. So what is the definition of a cave in the Mojave? A. Anything longer than the entrance is wide. Or… You know one when you see one.

MOJA Boundary

Wilderness Areas

Carbonate Rock

Cave Distribution Clark Mountains Providence Mountains

Mines (AML) Clark Mountains Providence Mountains

Many caves are remote Cars parked here!

Leads can be hard to reach

Caves are lost… 1960s

And with some determined searching… 1960s

Caves are found again… 2006

Formations are few… With a few exceptions… Coral Buddha Cave TSL 80 feet Sweet Surprise Cave TSL 103 feet

All cave maps are very large scale…

But it’s great fun.

Speleological History • Early miners • Jack Mitchell (1932) • So Cal Grotto (1940s) • Mojave Cave Survey (2001) • Laura Chlor (GIP) (2004) • CRF Expedition (2007) • Generations of cavers • Decades of ridgewalking & exploration

The Project Solicitation Number E8380100000

Contract Areas (PDF) Clark Mountains Bonanza King Canyon, Providence Mountains

Georeferenced Raster

Digitized Study Area

Digitized Study Area Study Areas Clark Mountains Bonanza King Canyon Providence Mountains

Clark Mountains Study Area

Bonanza King Canyon Study Area

The Modern & Historical Record • Existing MOJA and personal databases • Published & unpublished reports - Hardcastle (1975), Quick (1979) • Newsletter articles • Notes, email, phone calls…

Field Work – December 2010 to March 2011

Place Names

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Crawllute Cave Open Sky Cave Middle Holes Calcite Cave Calcite Attic Tear Duct Shelter 4 3 5 2 1 6

GIS Workflow ArcGIS Explorer GPS Maps ArcGIS Desktop Master DB Excel ArcGIS Online Apps

The Report (243 pages)

Before and After…

Preserving The Old With The New

Photo Location Plates

Report Sections

Database • 129 Caves & Features • Longest = Virginia Mine Cave (131 feet) - • Wishbone Cave (80 feet) Best bio discovery = Brackenridgia heroldi

Bonanaza King Canyon Database 2007

Bonanaza King Canyon Database 2011

In Summary – The Facts • Project successfully completed on-time • Updated maps, reports, photos, inventory • Many new caves & shelters were documented • Lost caves and leads were found and documented • Several special status cave-adapted species were identified • Historical record was preserved

Acknowledgements Project participants December 2010 – May 2011: Dr. Rolf Aalbu, Doug Billings, Ed Block, Kathy Block, Bruce Davis, Ray Hardcastle, Marc Heins, Pat Helton, Jason Knight, Tom Gilleland, Dr. G.O. Graening, Andy Gup, Bruce Lynn, Dell Quick, James Rice, Bruce Rogers, Jim Rolf, Dr. Bill Shear, Anthony Smith, Bern Szukalski, Dr. Rickard Toomey, Ted Weasma, Larry Zimmer, Zane Zimmer. Organizations: Mojave National Preserve, Mojave Cave Survey (MCS), various chapters of the National Speleological Society (NSS), Western Region NSS, Cave Research Foundation (CRF), Minegates Inc. And the volunteer efforts of generations of explorers and cavers that have invested their time, energy, and expertise to search for, map, and document caves and karst features throughout the Providence Mountains and Mojave National Preserve.

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