The world’s longest known cave system just set a new record after investigators spent hours mapping an additional eight miles (13 km) of the Mammoth Cave National Park walkway in Kentucky. ..
According to the National Park Service (NPS), the mammoth cable corridor is now 420 miles (676 km) long. This is the distance between New York City and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Mapping the cave system was a major task performed by volunteers from the Kentucky-based non-profit organization Cave Research Foundation (CRF) and other locals, including those from the Central Kentucky Karst Union.
“Many cave trips are long and painstaking, including mountaineering, vertical exposure, squeezing, crawling, water and mud,” says Karen Wilmes, CRF’s Eastern Operations Manager. Said in NPS statement Released on September 11th. “After the trip, the cartographer transforms the data collected during the cave trip into a map. Other volunteers provide surface support. This is a top-notch effort for world-class caves and we are proud of it. I’m thinking. It’s a part of it. “
This is not the first time the Mammoth Cave system has “grown”. Registered in the register in 1969, a total of 65 miles (105 km) of passages were recorded. Then, during a 14-hour survey in September 1972, CRF cave explorers discovered a connection between the Mammoth Cave and Flintridge systems, bringing the total known distance of Mammoth Cave to 144 miles (232 km). Did.
Since then, additional CRF investigations have added mileage, including the discovery of connections between the Mammoth Cave system and smaller caves such as the Proctor Cave, Roppel Cave, and Morrison Cave, according to an NPS statement.
“There’s really no end to the discoveries at Mammoth Cave!” Mammoth Cave National Park officials Post on Facebook page of the park..
The Mammoth Cave system is a huge maze formed by limestone erosion, a phenomenon scientifically known as karst terrain, also found in other soluble rocks such as marble and gypsum. Karst terrain is where water from rain and rivers from the surface penetrate underground through cracks, crevices and holes, move underground and slowly melt soft underground rock into caves and other geological features. Occurs when shaping into. According to a U.S. Interior Ministry blog post And that NPS..
Over 2 million people visit the cave system each year. The cave system is home to 130 species of wildlife, including 14 species of cave organisms, as well as animals that live only in caves, such as the invisible southern cave fish (Typhlichthys subterraneus).
Mammoth Cave National Park is recognized as one of 13 natural locations in the United States. world Heritage According to the United Nations, the cave is praised for “a huge room, vertical shafts, stalagmites, stalactites, beautifully shaped plaster flowers, long passages with delicate plaster needles”. [and] Rare Mirabilite Flowers … No other cave system in the world offers such a wide variety of sulphate minerals. “(This is List of other natural world heritage sites In the United States)
Meanwhile, the world’s longest underwater cave system is located in Quintana Roo, Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula. In 2018, researchers in the Great Maya Aquifer connected two previously known underwater cave systems to form a larger Sack Actun system, now 215 miles (347 km) long. Announced that there is. Live science previously reported..
Originally published in Live Science.
Explorers add 8 miles to the longest known cave system in the world
Source link Explorers add 8 miles to the longest known cave system in the world