Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM
PROGRESS REPORT ON THE DIGITAL KARST MAP OF MISSISSIPPI
The purpose of the Digital Karst Map of Mississippi is to distinguish between the karst and pseudokarst features throughout the state, create an inventory and survey of all caves and karst features, and produce a GIS-based digital karst map. The National Cave and Karst Research Institute in cooperation with the National Parks Service has funded the project. The State of Mississippi is not known for its karst features, yet there are three distinct regions of limestone outcrops. 1) Paleozoic (Mississippian) Fort Payne Formation limestone that outcrops in the northeast corner of the state in Tishomingo County. 2) Mesozoic and Cenozoic carbonate units, primarily the Ripley Formation of the Wilcox Group that, outcrop diagonally through the center of the state from north to southeast, through Benton, Tippah, Union, Calhoun, and Winston Counties. 3) Cenozoic limestone, Marianna Formation of the Vicksburg Group, that trends from east to west through the center of the state, through Wayne, Jones, Jasper, Smith, Rankin, and Warren Counties. There are a total of forty-four caves known within the state based on the "Caves of Mississippi" (Knight, et al., 1974). The caves listed are not always differentiated between karst or pseudokarst features. Ten counties fall within the three limestone regions, containing a total of thirty caves. There are eight counties that are not within the carbonate outcrop regions, containing fourteen caves. To date eight caves have been mapped to modern standards. Five of these caves are in limestone: two in the Fort Payne Formation, two in the Vicksburg Group in the Marianna Formation, and one in the Wilcox Group in the Ripley Formation. There are currently three mapped caves that do not fall in the limestone regions noted above. One cave is located in the Quaternary Loess soil, one cave is located in Wilcox group but in a clay deposit, and the third is in the Vicksburg Group in a sandstone deposit.