Burgess Falls Earthcache EarthCache
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Burgess Falls State Natural Area, located in Middle
Tennessee, lies on the eastern edge of Tennessee's Highland Rim
adjacent to the Cumberland Plateau and is noted for its natural
Park hours are 8:30 am to 30 minutes before dark so plan
your visit accordingly.
A waterfall is usually a geological formation resulting from water,
often in the form of a stream, flowing over an erosion-resistant
rock formation that forms a sudden break in elevation or
Some waterfalls form in mountain environments where the erosive
water force is high and stream courses may be subject to sudden and
catastrophic change. In such cases, the waterfall may not be the
end product of many years of water action over a region, but rather
the result of relatively sudden geological processes such as
landslides, faults or volcanic action.
Typically, a river flows over a large step in the rocks which may
have been formed by a fault line. Over a period of years, the edges
of this shelf will gradually break away and the waterfall will
steadily retreat upstream, creating a gorge of recession. Often,
the rock stratum just below the more resistant shelf will be of a
softer type, meaning undercutting, due to splashback, will occur
here to form a shallow cave-like formation known as a rock shelter
or plunge pool under and behind the waterfall. Eventually, the
outcropping, more resistant cap rock will collapse under pressure
to add blocks of rock to the base of the waterfall. These blocks of
rock are then broken down into smaller boulders by attrition as
they collide with each other, and they also erode the base of the
waterfall by abrasion, creating a deep plunge pool.
Streams become wider and more shallow just above waterfalls due to
flowing over the rock shelf, and there is usually a deep pool just
below the waterfall because of the kinetic energy of the water
hitting the bottom.
Waterfalls can occur along the edge of glacial trough, whereby a
stream or river flowing into a glacier continues to flow into a
valley after the glacier has receded or melted. The large
waterfalls in Yosemite Valley are examples of this phenomenon. The
rivers are flowing from hanging valleys.
Types of Waterfalls...
Block: Water descends from a relatively wide stream or river.
Cascade: Water descends a series of rock steps.
Cataract: A large waterfall.
Fan: Water spreads horizontally as it descends while remaining in
contact with bedrock.
Horsetail: Descending water maintains some contact with
Plunge: Water descends vertically, losing contact with the bedrock
Punchbowl: Water descends in a constricted form, then spreads out
in a wider pool.
Segmented: Distinctly separate flows of water form as it
Tiered: Water drops in a series of distinct steps or falls.
Multi-Step: A series of waterfalls one after another of roughly the
same size each with its own sunken plunge pool.
To log this earthcache you must post a unique picture of
the falls and Email me the answers to the following
1)Approximately how high are the falls?
2) Approximately how wide are the Falls?
3)How wide is the plunge pool?
4)Give me your best guess in your own words as to how this
waterfall was formed.
Any Logs without the required picture of the
waterfall posted with your log or without the emailed answers will
be deleted without notice, I will not beg people to follow
directions to log my cache. Please do not post answers to your
online log. Picture must show the earth feature which is the
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