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Mammoth Cave National Park: Home of the World’s Longest Cave - Article 3

(KAMBESES) Patricia, (BRUCKER) Roger W.

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Mammoth Cave National Park: Home of the World’s Longest Cave - Article 3

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  • ISBN : 978-2-867821-817-2
  • Nombre de pages : 16
  • Format : 21 x 29,7
  • Sortie Nationale : 2014/10
Mammoth Cave National Park (MCNP) is located in the south-central Kentucky karst; one of the most renowned karst landscapes in the world. MCNP is home to most of the Mammoth Cave System, which is currently the world’s longest cave. The cave system lies within a series of sandstone-capped limestone ridges that are joined by obscure connections that cross beneath valleys that separate the ridges. The Mammoth Cave System contains 675 km (404 mi) of surveyed passages, with the potential to connect to adjacent caves that would extend its length to more than 1000 km. The cave has become a worldwide focus of karst research, supported in part by a mapping program of the Cave Research Foundation. Long-term and ongoing research encompasses biospeleology, karst hydrology, karst geology and geomorphology, archaeology, cultural geography and regional history. Potential environmental threats include air and groundwater pollution, invasive species, river infrastructure, and white-nose syndrome, a fungus that has decimated bat populations in the eastern USA. Some cave passages extend beyond the limits of the national park and pose management challenges. Sections of the cave that extend outside the park are particularly vulnerable to environmental threats because they are not under Federal protection. The challenge for park managers is to balance protection and preservation with development and sustainable use of park resources. They accomplish this by scientifically informed decision-making, civic engagement, and public education and outreach.