Carroll Cave Survey Trip Report

Date: 1/3/2004

Area Mapped: UL2

Team: Bob Lerch, Rita Worden, Dan Isbell

Team Leader: Bob Lerch

Time In: 11:30a       Time Out: 2:30a       Duration: 15 hours

We were anxious to build on our momentum from last month by hitting UL2 with a three-team approach (see reports from Spike and Ben Miller).  After, getting everyone down the hole safely, we headed quickly to the Conference Room (i.e. beyond Convention Hall) and re-grouped. Spike’s team would take the small canyon passage to the west/southwest.  I was mapping from the Conference Hall, which leads to a massive series of downward-sloping ledges to the stream level again.  Ben’s team would head further up stream and map stream level, and my team would tie-in to Ben. After that, my team would map the upper level above Ben’s team, and tie-in a good-sized loop (~600’). Got all that?

Incredibly, things worked pretty much according to plan and we netted a total of about 1250’ for the trip – our biggest footage to date for a UL2 trip. Spike’s W/SW passage quickly headed south and then east, looping back to the stream passage. This will create a huge loop from the Conference Hall when we tie it in (see the line plot below; southern most area). We still have some leads to the west and southwest, and another to the east, as well as continuing upstream to the south. The stream (main) passage in this area is very similar to the early parts of the stream, before Convention Hall.  The passage consists of very tortuous stream passage with huge meanders and upper level ledges that must be mapped separately.  Most floor ledge sediments are sand over clay, with occasional bat bones – typical for this passage. The stream sediments are mainly chert, sand, and clay, with deeper clay deposits in pools or slow moving water.  The west trending leads do head toward UL3 – so maybe a connection. The two passages are 1000’ apart, on a straight line. So, in reality, we are still a good way from UL3 because no passage is straight in UL2.

Biology Info:

We counted 6 cave fish in the UL2 stream. Four were at the “cavefish pool” where we always see them (near UL2-17). I saw two more in a pooled area near UL2-74 – the furthest upstream we have seen.