Clark Creek Geology lesson
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The Acadiana Geocachers has just hosted an event at this great location to complete all of the challenging Geocaches in this park and I felt this great place needs an Earth cache also.
The first thing I want to say is before attempting this cache make sure you are prepared both physically and mentally. It is a DEMANDING hike, bring you plenty of water as the water in the creeks is not potable. There is a $3.00 per car day use fee that must be paid at the trail head via an honor box. Make sure you take the stub from the envelope and place it on the dash or hang from the rear view mirror of you car because they do come around from time to time and check the vehicles and write tickets for people that fail to pay.
Clark Creek Natural Area is a state park in the U.S. state of Mississippi. It is located off Mississippi Highway 24 west of Woodville.
The Clark Creek Natural Area is set in southwestern Mississippi. It is more than 700 acres (2.8 km2) in size with approximately 50 waterfalls, some with up to 30-foot (9.1 m) falls.
The park is open for public use year round, but is limited to pedestrian traffic. No motorized vehicles are allowed. Hunting is strictly prohibited. Public restrooms can be found at the parking area. No potable water is available on site and no camping is permitted on the grounds.
Clark Creek Natural Area is used for outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching, geocaching, or just enjoying being outdoors.
The Nature Area has a mix of hardwood and pine forest with large beech and magnolia trees. The park includes the world record Mexican Plum and Bigleaf Snowbell and the state of Mississippi record Hophombeam. Several uncommon trees that can be seen are Southern Sugar Maple, Serviceberry, umbrella tree, pyramid magnolia, Chinquapin oak and witch-hazel. The federally endangered Carolina magnolia vine and many others are well marked.
The park includes migratory birds, poisonous snakes, a rare land snail, white-tail deer, the Southern red belly dace (a state endangered fish), fox, squirrel as well as the black bear.
The park has both primitive and improved trails. The improved trails have been paved with pea gravel and include steep wooden stairs. Clark Creek's steeply sloping bluffs increase the difficulty of hiking. The length of the primitive trail is approximately 2.6 miles (4.2 km) and usually takes 3-5 hours to complete. The improved trails are approximately 1.75 miles (2.82 km) long and usually take around 2 hours to complete.
The park was established by the Mississippi Wildlife Heritage Committee, the Nature Conservancy, Wilkinson County, David Bramlette, International Paper Company and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
Eight geocaches are located in this park.
Geological History of the Clark Creek Area
The geological units encountered in the Clark Creek are assigned to three named stratigraphic intervals; the Peoria loess, the Upland Complex (also known as the Citronelle formation), and the Fleming Formation. They can be seen in order of increasing age as one descends from the parking area to the creek bottom.
The top most formation consists of the Peoria loess formation. Radiocarbon dates from the Peoria Loess established that these materials were deposited in the Holocene Epoch, about 22,000 to 20,000 years before the present.. The lack of fossils and no straitification of layers suggests that the deposit was placed by wind instead of water. A high amount of carbonate exists in this formation.
Underlying the loess is the Citronelle Formation. The sediments of the Citronelle Formation are probably older than 100,000 years, but the scarcity of fossils makes their age difficult to assess reliably. They are generally considered to be Pleistocene or Late Pliocene in age and thus may be as much as 2,000,000 years old. It consists basically of sands and fine gravel deposited by streams crossing a gently sloping coastal plain (similar to that of present day southern Louisiana).
Below the Citronelle Formation lies the Fleming Formation. The Fleming Formation is assigned to the Pliocene and Miocene Epochs of the Tertiary Period, 5 to 10 million years ago. This formation contains iron oxide nodules that were formed when the sand was being converted to soil. These iron oxide nodules account for the deep red spots that can be seen throughout the formation. Upon exposure to the environment the formation dries out and becomes hard and ledgy. This along with a cementing action forms a siltstone ledge that forms the waterfalls in the area. Pascagoula clay of the Miocene Era underlies the Fleming Formation. This clay has been exposed in a few places along the creeks bottom.
The Peoria Loess appears in the parking lot and on the tops of some hills. It is unusally tan in color and lacks bedding. The silt-sized particles were deposited by the wind.
How to claim the cache?
1. Take and elevation reading with you GPS at the cache location from on top of the out crop at the
base of the stairs. Next take a elevation reading at N 31° 04.300 W 091° 31.422 and Figured
out the difference in elevation from the two.
2. What is the blueish colors clay that you see in the near by creek bed and which era is it from?
3. What is the red spots in the near by creek bed?
You don't have to take a picture of you at this awesome creation but it would be cool to see your face after locating this place.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum