Published on February 18, 2014
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…
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 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
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
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.
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
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
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
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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