So my first field trip this semester was last week to a place called Cedar Sink, Kentucky. This was part of a lab out in the field for my geomorphology class. Geomorphology in general is the study of landforms - including classifying them, what processes form them, and sometimes the interactions between them and humans (how geomorphology can affect us, as well as how we affect the landscape).
Cedar Sink is located in south central Kentucky, inside the Mammoth Cave National Park, which is also the location of the largest known cave in the world, Mammoth Cave. Cedar Sink is aptly named because it is a collapse structure – also called sink holes or sinks. That is because this region is karst terrain, where the landscape is influenced by the dissolution of rock (essentially dissolves). When the rock is dissolved it can result in the formation of caves, as well as a variety of other features including sinkholes which are depressions in the ground formed by the removal of soil or rock.
However, we weren’t there to study the sinkholes, but rather the hill slopes. The main point of our lab was to do sketches or profiles of the hill slopes. We also tried to determine what processes created them, as well as any that are resulting in the removal of the material on the hill slopes. These kinds of processes are important to understand, as they affect other processes such as groundwater movement, and can have an impact on human activity as in the case of land slides and rock falls.
Another side of the area that leads into a cave. As you can see from the ice cicles it was very cold that day!