Science & Research

Science and Research at Mammoth Cave National Park

Scientific research has been going on at what is now Mammoth Cave National Park for over 200 years. Early scientific studies focused on cave minerals (especially nitrates that made saltpetre) and on the archaeology associated with the cave. Later, people started studying the interesting cave adapted creatures that occur in the caves of the area. Hundreds of papers have been published about scientific discoveries at Mammoth Cave. Since 1842, at least 59 species of animals, plants, and microbes have been described from the park. Research at Mammoth Cave has led to significant discoveries in geology, hydrology, speleology, archaeology, biology, and microbiology.

Today, many people are doing research on a wide variety of topics. Some of these include the follows:

  • Unusual minerals in Great Onyx Cave
  • Geobiology and Nitrogen cycling in Mammoth Cave
  • Influence of trail use on karst water quality
  • Nineteenth century signatures and artwork on cave walls.
  • Prehistoric use of Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Geochemistry of the Great Onyx karst basin
  • Cave cricket population trends
  • Harmful algal blooms and lamp flora at Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Geology of Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Role of dolomite in influencing cave development
  • Mississippian sharks of the Ste. Genevieve Limestone

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Last updated: March 31, 2023

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 7
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259-0007


270 758-2180

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