University of Bristol Spelæological Society

The Gough's Cave System: Exploration since 1985 and a reappraisal of the geomorphology (UBSS Proceedings v.19(1))

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Farrant,A.R., 1991. The Gough's Cave System: Exploration since 1985 and a reappraisal of the geomorphology. UBSS Proceedings, 19(1) , pp 3-17 Download PDF.

Abstract: The recent explorations in Gough's cave are described including the discovery of the main river passage, the alternative dry route into Lloyd Hall and the passages at the top of the Fonts. The cave is a complex resurgence system, developed on several levels along a minor drag fold, whose axial trend is 120, parallel to the strike. Strong north/south jointing is well developed and has a strong influence on cave development. A modified scheme of evolution is presented, which is contrasted with that of previous authors who suggest that there was only one input to the system via the Boulder Chamber. Recent digging in the cave and the exploration of the River Cave show that this is not the case and at least three other inlets existed including Damocles Rift, Makin' Progress and the River Cave. Four major still-stands of the water table deduced from passage morphology are proposed, the highest at or above 105 m AOD in Great Oones Hole/Long Hole, one at 70-75 m (Damocles Rift/Sand Chamber level) another one at c. 45 m (Boulder Chamber/Western Creep level) and the present water table at 23 m AOD in the River Cave. These are related to the evolution of the cave system. The modern active conduit exhibits strong structural control, forming a series of deep phreatic loops parallel to the dip and a horizontal water table passage along the strike.

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