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Wichita River

A cache by SpeedyMomzales Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 04/07/2009
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size: other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Cache is in a city park along paved paths, overlooking the Wichita River.

The posted coordinates will take you to a plaque in Lucy Park in Wichita Falls, TX. Winding thru the park is the Wichita River. The plaque has some interesting information about this area but there is so much more to observe if you know a little about the geology behind river formation!

If you take the paved trail to your left a very short distance you will come to a railed platform from which you can look up and down a stretch of the Wichita River. To the left you will see that the river flow turns from slightly south-west to the east and continues in that direction. Moving water is a dynamic force that changes the area through which it moves and some of these changes can be seen from this point.

Because rivers flow downhill, regardless of direction, their paths are often winding, involving all directions of the compass. When a river curves as part of its path, the banks on either side of the curve will change in different ways. These changes occur because of the difference in the speed of the moving water as it rounds the curve.

The water that passes around the outer edge of the curve will be moving measurably faster than the water at the inner part of the curve. (Think of two cars moving on a circular piece of road and staying side-by-side the entire way – the outer car must travel faster to stay beside the car closer to the center. It’s the same for the river water flowing around a curve.) Because the water at the outer curve is moving faster it will erode the bank faster and at a steeper angle, and any sediments in the water will be carried along. This bank is said to be “undercut.”

The water at the inner part of the curve is moving more slowly. Because it is moving slowly, some of the sediments it is carrying will have a chance to be deposited along the bank, forming a bank that is less steep. As rainwater runs down this long slope, it helps to erode the bank even further and carries more material to the edge of the river. As time goes by, a sloping, sandy beach of sediment forms in this inner curve, called a point bar.

As you stand on the platform overlooking the Wichita River, the bank directly below is the outer edge of the curve. The far side of the river from this point is the inner edge of the curve. Look at the differece in the slope of the river banks of the two sides. You will need this observation to answer question #1.

The Wichita River name is thought to have been derived from a local Native American word meaning “waist deep.” The Wee-Chi-Tah sculpture is located farther downriver from this spot, near the site of the original waterfall that gave the city of Wichita Falls its name.

To claim this find you must email the answers to three questions:

1. As you stand on the railed platform, which bank, the nearer or the farther, is steeper?

2. Who crossed the Wichita River near this spot?

3. When did they cross?

It is interesting to note that when you find the answers to the questions, the spot on which you are standing was under 15 feet of water during the 2007 flood.

For more information on local flora and fauna, visit the nearby River Bend Nature Center. (visit link)

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