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Groundwater characterization of the Madison aquifer near Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota

November 27, 2019

Jewel Cave National Monument in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota has more than 200 miles of mapped cave passages and several subterranean lakes that have been discovered since 2015. Jewel Cave is one of the world’s longest known caves and its natural beauty and unique natural cave features led U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt to designate the cave as a national monument in 1908. Jewel Cave was naturally formed in the regionally extensive Madison Limestone, which is characterized as a carbonate karst environment (containing caves and sinkholes) with extensive subterranean cave networks and losing streams at the land surface. Preserving and protecting the cave is an important element of the National Park Service mission, and understanding the hydrogeologic connection between the surface and the subsurface is essential for ensuring the preservation and protection of the cave for future generations. A component in preserving and protecting the park includes the improved understanding of groundwater flow and vulnerability of the subsurface, which allows scientists, park managers, the visiting public, and the surrounding communities to better manage, protect, and preserve the site and its unique natural features.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Groundwater characterization of the Madison aquifer near Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota
DOI 10.3133/fs20193072
Authors Joshua F. Valder, Janet M. Carter, Michael E. Wiles, Sierra M. Heimel
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 2019-3072
Index ID fs20193072
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Dakota Water Science Center