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EarthCache

Elgin Springs Earthcache

Hidden : 11/6/2009
In Louisiana, United States
Difficulty:
1.5 out of 5
Terrain:
2 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

 Congratulations GoldbugGirl for the FTF!

 This location is next to a very busy highway. Please park at parking coordinates located at the bottom of the cache page. This is a small parking area for folks to use to obtain water from the spring.


The term "Artesian Well" is named for the former province of Artois, France, where many such wells were drilled by Carthusian monks since 1126. This technique was also known much earlier in ancient Syria and Egypt. It is unknown whether the monks of Artois learned of this technique from outside sources or developed it independently on their own. Elgin Springs has been a popular place for local folks to come and get spring water.

Artesian wells sit atop recharging aquifers that can be very large in size, spanning many miles across. Rainwater that is not channeled as runoff (creeks, streams, rivers) slowly seeps through porous materials and through cracks in otherwise impervious material, moving downhill until its movement is blocked by a completely impervious strata, where it pools and saturates the surrounding porus strata. This happens underground in much the same way as surface runoff flows downhill until its movement is blocked and it pools to form ponds or lakes. This underground pooling of water is what we sometimes refer to as the "water table". Sometimes this underground water is not under pressure, and so must be hauled up by bucket at a well or pumped up to the surface for use. In a recharging aquifer such as this, the water table at the recharge zone is at a higher elevation than the head of the well. Also, saturated, porous strata such as limestone or sandstone may be trapped between layers of impermeable rocks and clay and slowly crushed. This constant pressure squeezes the water, so that when it finds an escape route (Artesian well) it defies gravity and flows up out of the ground without pumping.

 

The Elgin Springs artesian well is one of the rare open running springs in the Sparta Aquifer. The Sparta Aquifer covers a large portion of North Louisiana and is the main source of ground water for our area.

 

In fact in Louisiana, ground water is the primary source of drinking water for 61% of Louisiana residents. As many of the residents of our area know, the Sparta Aquifer is being stressed by the amount of water usage from the numerous cities, towns, businesses and the citizens. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, current use from the aquifer is 64 million gallons per day while break-even usage is 52 million gallons per day. And this is where the drinking water for 15 North Louisiana parishes comes from. A recent government survey points to at least 36 states that expect to experience local, regional or statewide water shortages by 2013. The answer to the problem that North Louisiana is experiencing with the loss of water in the Sparta aquifer as well as in those other 36 states is to utilize water more efficiently and practice better water conservation.

To take credit and log this find, you must do the following: 1. Take a photo of yourself with your GPSr, at the top of the stairs that lead down to the springs. Post the photo with your log. 2. Estimate the flow of the well in gallons per minute. Do this by filling a container of a known size, recording the time it took to fill the container, then calculating the flow in gallons per minute. There are some good flow rate calculators on the internet that will make the calculation a little easier. E-mail the flow to me via my contact link above. Do not post the answer to the online log.

Also, the area is prone to having some trash dropped by spring visitors, so please help with a little CITO effort. This is such a unique area to let any trash accumulate.

 

I have earned GSA's highest level:

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Gur jngre sybjvat sebz gur zrgny cvcr vf gur fcevat. Qb abg pbashfr gur CIP qenva cvcr gung vf n yvggyr uvture hc gur uvyy jvgu gur npghny fcevat. N tbbq sybj engr pnyphyngbe pna or sbhaq ng uggc://jjj.1728.pbz/sybj.ugz

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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Inventory

There are no Trackables in this cache.

 

Find...

62 Logged Visits

Found it 60     Write note 1     Publish Listing 1     

View Logbook | View the Image Gallery of 66 images

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Current Time:
Last Updated: on 8/22/2014 3:42:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time (10:42 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum