Southeastern Section - 68th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 30-12
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


WILLIAMS, Abigail, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd, Bowling Green, KY 42101 and KAMBESIS, Patricia N., Center for Human Geoenvironmental Studies, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd, Department of Geography & Geology, Bowling Green, KY 42127

Cave Valley Cave, located in the Eastern Great basin in Nevada, is situated within a north-trending valley that is surrounded by Egan and Schell Creek mountain ranges. An active cave spring 500 meters southeast of the Cave Valley Cave entrance flows all year round. The purpose of this study was to establish the relationship between the cave and cave spring, and to determine if they are/were fed by basin fill vs. carbonate rock aquifers. This project used standard field survey methods to geologically map the cave and the cave spring. Both entrances and other related karst features were georeferenced to identify the geospatial relationship of the features. Sediment samples from the cave and cave spring were collected and analyzed to determine composition and point of origination of the sediments. When possible, basic geochemical parameters were measured in the cave and at the cave spring including temperature, specific conductance, pH and general water chemistry. This information will allow calculation of the saturation index of the active cave spring to determine if the waters are saturated vs. unsaturated with respect to carbonate (is the water still dissolving limestone?). The geologic features, rocks types, sediment composition and the shape of a cave provided evidence on how the cave formed in terms of geologic influence and hydrogeology and will determine the relationship of the cave to the spring. These data, in concert, provide a better understanding of the local hydrogeology of the eastern Great Basin. Better insights into arid-basin hydrology will provide important data for water resource management.