Coldwater Springs' EarthCache
In Iowa, United States
Size:  (not chosen)
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This EarthCache will bring you to the Coldwater State Preserve located near Bluffton Iowa.
According to the Book "Iowa Underground" by Greg Brick.
"...Coldwater Spring is the source of Coldwater Creek, a tributary of the Upper Iowa River. Over time, the spring has carved its way into the cliff, creating a picturesque, sun-dappled alcove festooned with linas and columbine. Water surges at 8,700 gallons per minute. This is the spot where, in the 1850's, George Puteney built Cold Spring Mill, a sawmill, when the surrounding land was first settled."
The spring is located in the Driftless Area of Iowa, a region characterized by karst topography, which involves disappearing streams, blind valleys, sinkholes, caves, cold springs, and cold streams, all of which are present here.
A spring is a point where groundwater flows out of the ground, and is thus where the aquifer surface meets the ground surface. Dependent upon the constancy of the water source, a spring may be ephemeral or perennial.
Water emanating from karst topography is another type of spring, often called a resurgence as much of the water may come from one or more sinkholes at a higher altitude. Karst springs generally are not subjected to as great a degree of ground filtering as spring water which may have continuously passed through soils or a porous aquifer.
A half a mile hike, as well as two short water crossings are required to reach ground zero for this Earthcache. At no time is it necessary to leave the trail. The area where the necessary measurements are to be taken are at the end of the trail. Please respect this area's unique ecosystem and Stay On The Trail!
To receive credit for this EarthCache, you will need to complete the following tasks:
1. At the posted coordinates, measure the water's pH. pH testing kits can be obtained at any pool supply store or pet store.
2. At the posted coordinates, measure the water's temperature. (there is a reason this place is called Coldwater Spring)
3. At the posted coordinates, approximate the height of the limestone cliff that the spring has carved its way into.
4. Is Coldwater Spring ephemeral or perennial?
(e-mail this information to me.)
5. When you log this Earthcache, if you would like, please upload a picture of yourself/team with your GPS clearly visible and the spring in the background.
I would like to thank John Pearson of the Iowa DNR for granting me permission to place this EarthCache here.
(No hints available.)
Last Updated: on 10/12/2014 10:13:13 AM Pacific Daylight Time (5:13 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum