The Texas Caver

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The Texas Caver
Series Title:
The Texas Caver
Texas Speleological Association
Texas Speleological Association
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Contents: A preliminary report on the geology of Powell's Cave, Menard Co., Texas -- A preliminary report on the biology of Powell's Cave, Texas -- The nearsighted professor -- Some observations of Punkin Cave -- News of the Grottoes -- Powell's Cave sketch map.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 7, no. 11 (1962)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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K26-04458 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4458 ( USFLDC Handle )
10617 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

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jc oN T E N T s J A Plli:LL !l 1 {Y REPOhT OF TIE O F t'O'IfEL L S c.:..VE, l i /Ar'ill CO. TEXAS A RELI 111 MY REPO T 0 I mm; B I O LOGY O F PO' t li':LL':J CAV2,, 'rc.;XAS------Tilli TC;D PH.J2'8SSOR SO' O BSSr(VATIOi S O F P UlK I N CAV E N E W S 01<, '.i'H8 1 27 1 2 8 12 8 1 29 1 3 1 PO\'f2,L L s cAve. H A P --Insert Th e r e been several reports lr1t cly of tres1)assin{S becaltse s o m e cavers 1 v e r e ei t h c r t o o unconcerned. t o ask per mifJS i.on f rOid the lo.nd01rner, or j ust so i ntent on visiting c ertain caves they did not h a v e the c ourtesy to stay mvay vlh e n the owne r tol d the w "nou For the unconcerned; h'e ( the law A.biding Si:Jelunke r s ) \vRnt t o s a y this, "To bre n k i.nto a person 1 s p r i VJ. t e property wi thou l: beill[j cau_3ht is one for you but i s qui.ta a d'fferent thi1g for e vc}r y one e lo;t!,," Y our unco ncern ; Till most cert'linly c use concern for the lA.ndovme r to cloac t he c ave up for g ood For the pe rsons Hho d o not have the "guts" to t tke no for an ,'1.fl.SITer, we on l y h ope justice will deal fairly w ith y ou if y o u a r c v e r caught" One day you m a y nkc u p to the fRet that there are no mor e cav e for you to breal<: into,. n o 1 .. ore gat e t o op n H ithout pe rmlsSlOn, and no mar e l t n l e tire marks to u.ak e You mny find out the h ard way that it i s m uch ea. i e r and muc h more e njoy. 'l b l e to d o your spelu.nkine the ri;_;ht and honest way I sincerely hope thn those \rho did the bre'1!:i. n g i n and are responsible for n c ave to be closed for good are no t NSS memb ers or members of any o t h e r org a nized C

THE TEXAS CAWR November. Vol. VII, No. 11 127 A P R E L I M I N A R Y R E P 0 R T 0 F T H E GEOLOGY 0 F POWELL'S C A V E, HENARD C 0., TEXAS by Ruben M. (Bud) Frank (Editor's note: On September 1 r 1962 the annual project of the Texas Speleologica l National Speleological Societyt was under,,.ay at Pml"ell 's in rftenard Texas. This project, called Project "48" because of the tir;Je element has been cited by many as T o S .A. s most successful9 pros p erou::, and enjoyable. 45 cavers from many places acros s the state and from one other ::tate, Pennsylvania, mapped over 19,000 feet of cave passage and mH.ze. The e::trlie r report of 189844.9 feet has been revised. Besides the mapping of the c ave hy as many as seven team s at one time, other areas of study were undertaken9 such as the geolog y a nd b iology. Both these reports, preliminary in scope, are set forth ir! this issue of the CAVER.) AJ:ea Stratigraphy The area around Powell's Cave, ei...,ht to ten miles vrest of the city of li enccr d Tex as, lies about 75 miles west o f the center of the Llano Uplist of cen tr l l T exas. It has a regional dip of about 1 to the west. This dip probably reflects the attitude at '"'hich the sedi ;nen t s vTere deposited rathe r than any sub seq uen t deformation. The area contains Lower Cretasediments of the Comanche Series. Unforttma tely, no published geologic work h8.s been done there, so i"G is impossible tc name the formation in '"'hich s C1.1re is formed since no formations have bee n rl<;)fine d Stratigraphy distinct stratigraphicunits .'ere noted in the cave at the same eleva tlon as the mai n level passa geway. Two litholop;i c ally similar limestones wer e separated by a consistent clay layer rang inG from six inches to one foot thick. It is evident that the relative softness and erodabili ty of tha clay was a decid factor i n the form ation of the main o f the cave. Invertebrate fossils were collec t2l 1 t various places i n the cave. Nost :) f t he fossils vrere collected from the C L':y unit and the uppe r limestone unit. n;l.., f.suna shovmd a marked similarity to th-t of t he \:/alnut Form ation, Fredericks-' 'Jl'G Grou p Outside of the cave, capping the surrounding hills, was an abundance of weathered chert, the remains of a preexistent formation. The chert was similar to that which occurs in the Comanche Peak and Edwards Formations. These for mat ionsy where they have been defined, generally lie directly above the W alnut. Vertebrate Paleontology A few vertebrate remains vTere collected from the floor of the f irst room surrounding the breakdmm c one at the entrance. In addttionv a p i t 29 inches deep vras dug in the f irst room and about 150 pounds of sediment was t aken from the top t w o stratig raphic zones (top eleven inches)g This sediment sample is p:cesently being processed in a manner described by Cridlebaug h (The Tex a s Caver, 1962) The sediment appears to cont ain very fe11 vertebrate remains, how and it is doubled that it will be possible to d raw any paleoclimatological conclusions from the remains tha t are present. Five distinct stratigraphic zones vTere noted in the cave sediment at the place vThere the pit was d u g" A sample w a s taken from each zone and x-ray diffraction analyses v r ill soon be made of these samples. The data thus obtained will not be as reliable as vertebrate fossi l s would b e i n interpreting the past climatology. However, they will still give some idea of the history of the cave. PROPER PRECAUTION IS A GOOD SAFETY TOOL.


12 8 November, V o l a VII No, 11 THE TEXAS CAVER Hydr ology (Pmrell' s Cave conto ) An analys i s of the 1-rater sam p l e oht aine d by Pete Lin dsley and creTN" 1vas made by the U o S o G eological 'If a t e r Di v s ion, an d i s as f ollows Si02 ------------15 ppm Fe ------------Oo llppm Ca --------------6 4 ppm 11g ---------------22 ppm Na ---------:..4 ppm K --------L5 ppm HCO., --------------2 85 ppm co ) --------------0 ppm so3 -------------10 ppm c14 -------------26 ppm F --------------O o 3 ppm N03 ----------------2 c 8 ppm An acc o m p anylng statement by A u C o Wins l o q Distric t Geolo g ist, reads in part! II o u o the 11fa ter S Of e ood Chem ical quality, except that it i s v ery h a r d The water is of that produced from the Edwards L irr:e s tone throug hout the Ed>.;arrls Plat e11u nd in the Balcones Fault Zone o 11 THE NEARSIGHTED PROFESSOR \I BUT N o T g__, T+JAT' s y 0 u IZ s 1._ r; [ p J N G p ; L L s 1 1 A P R E L I M I N A R Y REPORT 0 N THE BIOLOGY 0 F P 0 W E L L 9 S C A V E T E X A S b y James Reddell The animal p o p ulat i on o f Powell s Cave9 a s in a ny large may be divided into hro groups: surface form s inhabiting the cave because of accident or co n ve nience, and forms which have adapted to a cave environment and subsist from ito In Powell's Cav e the latter is much less important" Most of t he collection in the cave w a s in or near the stream passage and silver :ni ne sl:1afto Some animals were collected in the breakdo1-m areas nea r the entrance None were collected from the remote sections of the c ave o Collection on the regior project was made by although specimens taken by Pete Lindsley earlier are considered i n t h:i.a reporto Among surface forms of inverteb rates f ound in t he cave 'vere three fami lles of beetles 1 hTo genera of a c ave crickets, a nd crayfisho AJ.thoug h som e of the an imals are frequently f o und i.'1 cavess especially cave c rick ets and c r a y fish, none show any sign::: of s pecial ad aptation to a 0av e environment and a l::. are foun d on the surface as well as unciergroundv Identification s h ave to da t e be e n obtained only f o r the spiders and be e t leso The crayf ish vms a n immature female and therefore9 identifica tion could not be mad e o T he most interesting aspect of the b iology of P01le l:i 1 s Cave are the few cave-adapted a nimals f ound i n lt; o These includ e thy s nnura (silverfish)9 millipeds, and a species of Rhadine beetleo To date the thysanura have not be e n id but the mill:i.peds are found to be cambala caeca the most widely d i s tribu ted troglobitic milli ped in Tex as, T e most sigrnficant discovery in the r a ve is a probable nei

THE TEXAS CAVER Nove mber, Vol o VII, Noo 11 129 No attem t ,.,a s m a de t o systemat i c ally sturly t h e vertebrate life of t he cqve because o f the large n umber of peo ple prese t. Bats are knm m to inhabit p9.r t s of the c a v e a n d othe r vertebrates Joubtless visit the cave. Although not as biologically rich 9.S m a ny c aves, the discovery of a large , a ter pas s age in the c a ve opens up considerable potential for collection" The sealing of the entra nce h a s prob ably affected t 1 e vertebrate habitation of t he cave 'and, therefore, considerably dec r eased the food possibilities for small e r animals; but the open mine s haft has l e t eno u g h food enter the cave to main t ain small populations of surface forms9 'i s 1-r ell a s som e cave-adapted species. Acknm.;ledge 1 uents are made to Dro Hillis J o G ertsch of the American Museum o f Natural History 1vho identified the spiders; Dr. Horace R Burke of Tex a s A & M Colle ge vrho identified the surfa ce forms of beetles; Dr. Nell B u C ausey o f the University of Ark ansas 1<1ho identified the Hillipeds; and to Dr. Thomas C o Barr9 Jr. Hho identified the Rhndine Beetle. FAUNAL LIST Powell's Cave9 T exas. earth,vorm (not collected) thysanura milliped: cambala Loomis centipede phalangidae (not collected) spiders: cicurina nesticus pallidus Emerton cave cricket probably new) --pasimachus c alifornicus Chaud staphylinidae--1 species tenebrionidae--eleodes suturalis (Say) crayfish bats: inyot i s (?) SOME OBSERVATIONS MADE AT PUNKIN TEXAS Punkin C ave, a bat cave located on t h e Ed,-vards P latea u in Ed1mrds e vid ently gets its n a m e from the shap e of 1ts one l arge r o o m--that of a pumpkino Havin g hro en trances v one a large one, the other a small t he cave i s dry. shows that air circulates in t he cave, a t least at t imes1 on a large scal e Before discussing som e of the ob se r v ations made during v isits to the c ave, a description is f i rst in order. The cave is in lo,'v'er Cretaceous Lirue!"'.t one. The main entrance is a 22' by 44,5' hol e on the gentle slope of a r o cky ar1d in the roQ f of the c ave o The oth8 r entrance is a sho r t tunnel "e:mptyb.t; into the mai n room of the c a ve twenty e : t a b o ve a guano-dirt-talus hill. Thd:mK o f the overburden in the vicinity of the l arge entrance ranges from only three feet t o near t e n feet. The secon d entrance the one i n 1vhich a \ITOoden ladder been is located 67 feet from t he mai n entranc e in a northwesterly dir-ectiono The mai n room of the c a ve receives a lot of l i ght because of t he l a r g e e ntrance in its and the fact tha t t he color of the w alls r ang e for the mos t part from ligh t pink to grey, a n d reflection is good The room is quite l arge, m e asuring 170 fee t b y 260 feet and has an average ceiling height of 40 feet. The floor is composed mainly of eroded breakdown sections covered by a thi c k m ixture of deco mpos e d euano9 d irt, clay, and feathers a nd e xcreta of a number of Coa huilan Cave S11r allows o There is also an assortment of broken bird e ggs a n d brush, t rash a nd leaves that ha s either blo11m in or dropped from the large entrance. In the southern s ection of the mai n room are severa l holes that can be descended for a distance of approximately 100 f ee t to a lo11r-ceilinge d room fifteen to hrenty feet in d iamete r In this area


\ CI?E.ViCe P{)tfLL's CAVE, TEXAS UN/; MAP ( !VD r To .Sc.AL J I ToTAL 19,000 + (TO OIHC. ) 1// = A13our 75D I


130 November. Vol VII, No. 11 THE TEXAS CAVER the air becomes much more humid than in the main level ab o ve To the west of the main room lies the bat secti on, which is some 20 feet lower than the average floor level. The air is filled v l i th the smell of ammon ia from fresh g ur,no depositsp and is much warUler by c o ntrast than the 100-foot hole. hundr ed were noted in this section The r e i s an area to the right and back of t h e bat section tha t has been mined (?) a t infrequent intervals for fertilizer. If t h 3re are other areas beyond the bat checked out. they have not been The s hape of i t o to the the m a i n room and 100-foot hole see m s to indica t e that at a great d ista nce below the floor l i e R the original floor of the c ave. (See cover). The solu t ion ch aracte r istics of the a lUJo s t to the ceilin g do n o t account for the larg e amount of breakdown that is presentp unless p erhap s the cave could ha ve been subject to the follo1v i ng cond itio ns : refilled* with w ater withadditional smoothin g by soluti on; weathering of the walls and break dmm; or by parasitic activity The preceeding t

THE TEXAS CAVER November. Vol. VII, No. ll 131 N E ws A B I L E N E: A trip was made to Kincaid Cave (Z.lorrison Cave) in Crockett C o w1ty on November 17th. Jim Estes an d B ryant Lilly! with Harvey 1wrth from ACC met two San Angelo cavers Jon Vinson and Jack Smith in their tovm, and traveled to the cave v Six hours were spen t in the cave poking around through holes and in breakdmm. It was the fi.rst tim e any of the gro up had been t o the ca v e located just north of the Crockett V a l Verde County line. The cave is not very long, but contains some very inter esting coral formations9 a few helictites a n n othe r formations. The group added on a feN more feet to the cave vrhen Lilly found a short Y-shaped passage that slant e d dmm at a remarkable angle. A 75p oW1d boulder ha d to be removed in order t o get in. It had been intended to map th e c ave, but there was not enou g h time Ray Archibald9 a former ':T-:ts in Abilene recently. H.ay is no v 1 i n \ 'li ch i t a having been with Mobil0il Con;p::my in J!lidland. A regular grotto meeting was held on December 4th, with the sho1ving o f the D allas-Fort Worth Grotto safety series as the r win p roeram. A regular grotto trip on December 15th lias the main topic ofdis :ussion Grotto address; A L A f i 0: 2818 South 39th St. Abilene, Texas The open season on decor and cavers rn11.kes spelunking diffic u l t around here--so \ITe took on off to nus hmante for four d ays November 22-25 A hout 30 men made the tri p s o m e for the third or fourth tiwe, W e held a s;:..ectacular slide show for the on Tl1anksgiving evening, narrate d by ErvTin 'o'/esp, using his fine collection. Sr. Santo s Padre and others will he our guests at a dinner in the local cafe. Collaboraton of the grotto with vli tte Museum on an important dig right here in San Antonio resulted in lots of Indian bones, good archaic artifacts and too many pothunting visitors. Harvey Kohnitz, Grotto chairman, who reported his interesting discov-erie!'l to the museum will be v ery reluctant to have such publicity on any future excavattons. Dr. Bob Hausn;an, Cick White, .. L.T. Coles Nike Chickas a n d others made a tri p to Nueva Leon November 3 and 4 and unearthed some fine Pleistocene marrmoth bones and teethp extinct horse and camel teeth and nothing but faded pictoeraphs i n one very promis i ng c a ve shelter co m plex. A non-extinct desert r attler made our ground sleeping rather fitful. Sunday, November 119 a check was at Narvin Gass s Cave in west 6omal County. It a nice 40-foot ladder climb into a 25' by 50' room with a 1001 cra,.,lway soon pinching off the only lead out, and that is much more than we usually find in this l a nd of big stories a nd small caves. The temperature '\rent to 91 that day so our long hot summer really hun g on to the bitter end of the 162 cavi n g seasonu Grot t o address; Bonni e lvhi te 3106 Sagehill Dr San Antonio9 Texa s D A L L A S F 0 li T \ 0 R T H: The grotto made a tour of the Kodak Processing plant i n Dallas on November lo The tour was very intereRtine and Kodak tri ed t o show us thA.t it is not the processing tha t makes our p ictures look so dark, jus t our subjects A t our October meeting Dr. Boone of the Arlington State Geology Dept. gave a very int eresti n g d iscussion on the geology of Texa s I ncluded were area s nost likely to con t a i n l a r g e c a v e s and also a r e a s likely to co n tain no c aves. At the November meeting a t heard a talk by B o b Sla u ghter, a noted Dalla s paleontologist. Nr, Slau Ghte r t old u s of the importan ce o f bones found in caves and n l s o t ype s of c aves mos t to cont ain bon e s (Conti nued)


THE TEXAS CAVER 2818 South 39th Street Abilene, Texo'ls Official publication of the Speleological Association Nation

Contents: A
preliminary report on the geology of Powell's Cave, Menard Co.,
Texas --
A preliminary report on the biology of Powell's Cave,
Texas --
The nearsighted professor --
Some observations of Punkin Cave --
News of the Grottoes --
Powell's Cave sketch map.