GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 121-4
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM-6:30 PM


KAMBESIS, Patricia, Center for Human-GeoEnvironmental Studies, Western Kentucky University, Department of Geography and Geology, Bowling Green, KY 42127

Geologists typically use surface rock exposures (outcrops) or remote sensing techniques such as aerial photography to document and record the surficial geological units of an area of interest. Well-log analysis is another remote sensing technique to map geological units that are not accessible at the ground surface. Mapping of “incrops” (rock exposures within cave passages) is an underutilized technique to document the geology of a karst area. Unlike well-log analysis, which is costly and requires specialized equipment, mapping geological incrops in caves is an accurate and efficient method of mapping a geological unit from the “inside”. This study used geological mapping of incrops, cave survey data, and digital elevation models (from LIDAR) to produce georeferenced 3-dimensional maps that show specific areas of the Roppel section of the Mammoth Cave System and its relationship to surface geology and the landscape in general. The cave passages within Roppel are extensive so offer a laterally continuous“incrop” of this section of Mammoth Cave System. Newly mapped geologic data were used to produce 3-dimensional profiles that illustrate the geology and the geography of the Roppel Section of the Mammoth Cave System. This extends geological data to areas outside of the National Park georeferenced cave.