Music City Rocks – Geology in the Past, Present, and Future
How geology has shaped our history, provides present day resources, and prepares us for tomorrow’s challenges.
Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system in the world, with over 405 miles mapped as of 2015. Located only 1 ½ hours from Nashville in western Kentucky, the cave system has five levels developed in soluble Upper Mississippian limestone formations, and extends to a depth of approximately 400 feet below the karst landscape, which is capped by resistant, non soluble Upper Mississippian sandstone. The field trip will present and discuss the primary elements for developing the classic karst topography and cave system, including the lithology, structure, and climate.
Field trip stops include an overview of the karst topography from a promontory located near Park City, Kentucky. A visit to Crumps Cave Research and & Educational Preserve, an active research and monitoring facility located near Smiths Grove, Kentucky and managed by the Hoffman Environmental Research Institute of Western Kentucky University, will be toured. The private research cave is used to study epikarstic processes, atmospheric/weather conditions, water chemistry parameters, cave microclimate, bat activity, and the impact of agricultural activities on the quality of karst groundwater. Visitors will also take the popular “Domes and Dripstones” tour led by the National Park Service, and given the opportunity to view the fine museum exhibits at the Visitor’s Center.
On the return trip to Nashville, the group will tour the National Corvette Museum located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The museum showcases the Chevrolet Corvette, its various production models and history, and its prominence in American motorsports racing and touring. The Museum Skydome was the site of a collapse sinkhole on February 12, 2014 that destroyed or damaged eight rare Corvettes. Although the 20-foot deep sinkhole has been filled-in and most of the vehicles restored, a special exhibit showing closed circuit camera footage documents the disaster as it unfolded in the pre-dawn hours.