By Adam Weaver and Karl Emanuel

The rediscovery and exploration of a forgotten mine under a city

A special introduction to the gypsum karst landscapes of the Black Hills of South Dakota. This presentation highlights a recent set of trips into a couple gypsum sinkholes that were discovered when a neighborhood in Black Hawk, SD, started to fall into some rapidly forming karstic collapses. The presentation details the work of the Paha Sapa Grotto to explore and then map the sinkholes and caverns in this neighborhood. It also delves into the recent work that has been done in the Black Hills to discover, catalogue, and explore more than 2,000 sinkholes in the region. This work, using lidar and old-fashioned field visits, is giving us a new understanding of the karst within the gypsum region of the Black Hills. It has also shown itself to be a great source of new cave discovery. This presentation is great for those who enjoy a bit of the absurd and have an interest in geospatial karst science in action!

1 Comment

  1. Hi Adam, I get the feeling that because you have an area with100s of sinkholes you may not have any long caves like Wind or Jewel, which if I recall correctly, don’t have much in the way of karst features on the surface. But I would love to be proved wrong! I’ve long wondered about the possibility of other Wind/Jewel class caves in other parts of the Black Hills, ever since I helped John Scheltens do some Wind Cave mapping in 1972. One can hope. Rick Banning

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