Paper No. 96-25
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
LITHOLOGIC CONTROL OF DOGWOOD CAVE MORPHOLOGY IN WESTERN KENTUCKY, USA
The goal of this project was to determine if lithology controlled the formation of Dogwood Cave, located in Hart County, Kentucky. Rock samples were taken from several locations within the cave, including in the active waterfall passage. Fifteen rock samples were analyzed using petrographic thin sections. In addition, the stratigraphic section within Dogwood Cave was measured, and a geologic cross section with passage morphology was created. Petrographic analyses showed several facies of limestone below a green shale, shaly limestone, and sandstone cap. The presence of the shale in the stratigraphic section of the Dogwood Cave area acts as an aquiclude. A waterfall pit dome developed in areas where this shale is breached, and Dogwood Cave’s morphology likely represents a migration and undercutting of one or more pit domes. This is supported by “slump” blocks in several locations in Dogwood Cave where the intact stratigraphy can be observed as pit domes undercut cave walls.