Maquoketa Caves EarthCache
In Iowa, United States
Size:  (not chosen)
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***The cache can be done without going in any cave.
Located in Maquoketa Caves State park. There are many well marked trails but terrain can be more difficult depending how much of the park you want to visit.
Maquoketa Caves is probably Iowa's most unique state park. Its caves, limestone formations and rugged bluffs provide visitors a chance to "step back" thousands of years in geological time. Caves vary from the 1,100' Dancehall Cave with walkways and lighting system to Dugout Cave. The remaining caves are all different sizes and shapes. Some can be explored by walking while others can only be seen by crawling. In any case, a flashlight and old clothes and shoes are most helpful. Beautiful milk-white stalactites once hung from the ceilings and stalagmites rose from the floor.
Souvenir hunters have robbed the caves of this rare beauty, but many formations remain. Please do not touch any of the formations you see to preserve natures beauty for others.
ALSO PLEASE STAY ON THE WELL MAKED TRAILS.
Caves, limestone outcroppings and rugged bluffs provide for visitors to explore geological formations created thosands of years ago. Depending on what kind of a cave it is, it could have been formed by water erosion, chemical processes, or even by molten rock from a volcano. There are sea caves and other caves hollowed out by erosion from water pressure, and volcanic caves formed by empty lava tubes. And then there's the other way for caves to be made: acidic water trickling through cracks in rock will gradually dissolve limestone and similar rocks. Carbon dioxide from rotting plants in soil, and sulfuric acid from underground gases or acid rain, can combine with water to make an acidic solution that will dissolve limestone. Gradually, this acidic water will wear out underground hollows. When the water finds an outlet and drains away, it leaves a cave. A karst is an area of limestone in which erosion has caused caves, sinkholes, natural bridges, fissures, and underground streams in the landscape.
Interpretive Center: N 42° 07.197 W 090° 45.950 The former Sager's Museum building has been converted into an interpretive center. This new facility contains detailed information about the geology of cave formations, park history, and a background of the early "inhabitants" of the park. It also contains a "video tour" of the park, for those who are unable to withstand the rugged terrain that the park offers. This facility will be open on the weekends during the summer and by special arrangement with the park office. Please stop and read the informational kiosk very near thee parking area for the infromation you need.
Not all caves are formed by the same process. To log this cache answer the following questions:
1) Most of the caves in Maqukota State Park were formed by the underground flow of water slowly dissolving what type of rock?
2) What was the 'process' that formed most of these caves?
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Last Updated: on 7/28/2014 9:42:38 PM Pacific Daylight Time (4:42 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum