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Mammoth Cave National Park

MammothCaveNational Park is a special national park because it holds the longest cave system in the world that extends to over 390 miles (Watson, 1981). It has other remarkable natural features ranging from large and extensive network passages and extremely huge horizontal passages. It has numerous quantities of shafts linking up with the horizontal passages. The park’s containing a broad network of cave routes is one of the most spectacular natural features in the world. The national park provides one of the most favorite tourist attraction points in the world due to mild climate and a suitable camping site. Some of the major geological phenomena in the park include the vast cave system and karst drainage system (Watson, 1981).

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The Cave System

MammothCaveNational Park has limestone rock reserves that are more than 300 million years. The Green River is thought to have passed along the reserves that contain additional elements including sandstone which is about 100 years old. The course of the river has been wearing the deposits for the last 10 to 20 million years, leading to formation of tributaries. The water coupled with erosion processes has led to wearing of the bedrock, resulting to dropping of the water table. This process has created numerous cave passages, because the passages previously containing water has dried-up as a result of lowering of the water table. The extensive cave network owes its existence to these processes (William & Elizabeth, 2009).

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Karst Drainage System

The same processes that contributed to the formation of the extensive cave network of the MammothCaveNational Park led to formation of the unique karst drainage system of the park. The geological processes include erosion processes and the flow of the waters of the Green River along limestone deposits. The system contains all the characteristics of a karst drainage system including a large recharge region, a compound system of underground outlets and springs that eject water from the recharge region. Surface water gathers in the various sinkholes, flows parallel to the ground along the Green River, and emerges at certain points as springs (William & Elizabeth, 2009). The impermeable cap-rock has contributed to the conservation of the broad system of outlets and other special underground features. Most of the cave passages are decorated with superb forms of plant life such as gypsum flowers and needles. The caves are also distinctive in that they contain other rare minerals such as sulfates.

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Rich Flora and Fauna

The MammothNational Park is also unique in that it contains a rich blend of flora and fauna. The cave system of the park has a wide variety of plants and animals, more than any other cave network system in the globe. Constantine Rafinesque, an environmentalist from France, confirmed the existence of unique bats and salamanders in the cave in 1825 (William & Elizabeth, 2009). The first species of eyeless cavefish were also discovered in the caves in 1842. Several other species of plants and animals have been discovered in the park since then. The existence of animals in this park is also unique, because biologists have discovered the co-existence of two species of eyeless cavefish. The Amblyopsis spelaea and Typhilicthys subterraneous are two species of such fish and have never been proved to co-exist anywhere else in the planet (William & Elizabeth, 2009).

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The MammothCaveNational Park is one of the spectacular tourists’ sites that one will never regret visiting. The park is rich in vast number of natural features that will probably be hard or impossible to find anywhere else on the globe (William & Elizabeth, 2009). The broad network of caves keeps the visitors busy all through their touring period and rarely do tourists exhaust all what the park has to offer.  

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