Cave /Karst Systems
The geologic characteristics of the battlefield add to the complexity of natural resources management. Underlying the forests and fields is a bed of limestone, making up what is known as “karst topography”. Karst features are formed when slightly acidic groundwater dissolves the soft stone, carving out spaces and cavities below the surface. This in turn creates not only springs and sinkholes, but also caves. Since these sensitive resources are directly linked to the area's groundwater, it is imperative that they be protected.
In response to management needs, the locations of known karst resources have been documented using a GPS receiver. Additionally, National Park Service water specialists have composed a scoping report that summarizes possible water management issues within the park. With this collection of information, future projects regarding karst systems can be implemented.
Did You Know?
Henry Kyd Douglas, the youngest staff officer for Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was a native of the Sharpsburg area. His family home was just 4 miles west of the Battlefield. His uniform and personal library are part of the Battlefield collection.