Mammoth Cave. by Martin M. When the park became a national park.
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by Martin M.
In 1926, Congress gave an approval to make Mammoth Cave a national park. This was authorized to protect the landscape, such as the caves, hilly country, and scenic river valleys in south central Kentucky. The park became an attraction as early as 1816 but the park was established officially in 1941 by Congress.
Mammoth Cave was an important part of the beginning of our country's tourism because it was one of our first big attractions. As a young country, we couldn't compete with the antiquities of Europe, but we did have the wonders of nature. Mammoth Cave, The Grand Canyon, and Giant Sequoia were big and beautiful!
Since North America was located closer to the equater 350 million years ago, a shallow warm-watered sea blanketed the southeastern U.S. A build-up of tiny creature's calcium carbonated shells went on for 70 million years. Seven hundred feet of limestone and shale followed, and to top it off, sixty feet of sandstone blanketed the layers under it. The sea level started dropping about 280 million years ago, exposing the limestone and sandstone. Tectonic forces lifting earth's crust caused cracks to form between the limestone and sandstone. Uplifts continued, causing rivers to form which created the sandstone-capped plateau over millions of years above the Green River(pictoral slide will show this) and the almost flat plains of limestone. Rain water, made acified by the carbon dioxide in the soil, seeped downward through the cracks in the limestone and started to dissolve and transform the solid rock into the pathways of Mammoth Cave as they are today. This process continues daily, forming new underground paths.
Limestone, dolomite, sandstone, and shale are all found in the park, but common field rocks are a beauty to some people. Selenite, mirabilite, epsomite, and gypsum are also found in the caves.
Mammoth cave can be quiet as you first walk in, but some 200 species live in the caves. Forty-two species have stumbled into the cave and have adapted to the dark.
The caves are changing all the time! The Green river cuts underground and is eroding away at the passageways, forming new ones every year. This is called Terminal Breakdown. The Historic entrance is an example of valley deepening and widening. The entrance has collapsed due to this deepening and widening.
cave shrimp bald eagle a bat
The technology used in Mammoth Cave is to help eliminate a plant called lampenflora. Lampenflora grows on artifically lit passageways disturbing the cave's eco-system by introducing a new source of energy into the food chain.
Scientists from Mammoth cave and are working with cave scientists from Slovenia to get rid of the lampenflora. Slovenia has a similar problem in their caves.
"Animal Feeding Operations." National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=7.
"Mammoth Cave Group." Sierraclub.
"Mammoth Cave (Historic Entrance)." Waymarking. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM3DJ_Mammoth_Cave_Historic_Entrance.
"Mammoth Cave National Park - Dwellers in Darkness." National park Information.
"Mammoth Cave National Park." HowStuffWorks. http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/mammoth-cave-national-park-ga.htm.
"METHODS OF GROWTH CONTROL." LAMPENFLORA ALGAE. http://www.caves.org/pub/journal/PDF/v71/cave-71-02-109.pdf.
"Rocks in Mammoth Cave." Thinkquest. http://library.thinkquest.org/TQ0311340/Karst%20Enviroment/Another%20sedimentary%20rock2.htm.