This trip had three goals.
1) Download data from the data loggers.
2) Install a new data logger in UL2.
3) Create detailed cross-section sketches of the stream bed at the location of the three in-stream data loggers.
The last time the data loggers were downloaded was September 21, 2008. They can hold about six months of data, so January was as a good time for a trip. They could have gone to early March if this trip had not worked out.
Delineating the recharge and discharge areas of Carroll Cave , and examing aspects of hydrologic behavior and water quality
By Ben Miller
Carroll Cave , located in the Ozarks regions of Central Missouri , is a dendritic cave system with over 26.9 kilometers, 16.7 miles, of mapped passage. Aside from being the longest cave in the Ozarks the cave system is significant in many other aspects. Biologically, the cave is the site of a meta-population of the Southern Cavefish (Typhlicthys subterraneus), a large population of the Ozark Blind Cave Salamander (Eurycea spaeleus), and with future work may very well be one of the most biologically diverse cave west of the Mississippi River. Hydrologically the cave is significant with two distinct cave streams, Thunder River and Carroll River . Thunder River is the larger of the two cave streams while Carroll River is much smaller since beheading by Lower Thunder River . The discharge point of the Thunder River is Toronto Springs, a multi-outlet spring system approximately 6 kilometers north of the current siphon. This was determined through a dye trace in 1956 and the discharge outlets are unknown. Access to the cave system is through two entrances, the natural entrance where Carroll River discharges and an artificial entrance at the intersection of upper Carroll River passage and Thunder River . Access is controlled through the non-profit organization the Carroll Cave Conservancy.read more
Arriving at the campsite we (Ben Miller, Jake Skees, & Josh Brewer) met Shawn Williams who had camped at the Schoolhouse Tuesday night. After a quick shifting of gears from driving and travelling we headed up to the Backdoor Entrance to Carroll Cave and proceeded to ge ready for our Upper Thunder trip to change charcoal packets. We dressed light for this trip as we were going to be moving fast and Upper Thunder is pretty pleasant passage for caving. We got Jake and Josh set up for the rappel into the cave which is a 125 foot-drop into T-Junction. All were in the cave by about 1:30 p.m. and headed up river to the UL2 side passage which has a major stream we are monitoring. Jake and Josh got to check out the really nice formations at the entrance to this enormous side. After changing the charcoal packet we bopped up the UL2 just a little bit to see the cave pearls in the first big room. Then we headed back up main Upper Thunder passage past the Round Room to the UL5 side passage stream, changed that packet and one more in Thunder River. After all the work was done we took a nice break in the Bone Room and then headed back out of the cave. We exited the cave without incident getting out about 6:00 p.m. a little longer than our previous 3 hours that we did the trip in a few weeks ago but we had more sightseeing this time. read more