Abstract - The Theory and Formation and Description of Wind Cave

Ultieg, John R. 1955. The Theory and Formation and Description of Wind Cave. Geological Engineering Department, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (for partial fulfillment of a Bachelor of Science Degree). 45 p.


Wind Cave, located on the southern flank of the Black Hills uplift, is the largest known cave in the area. Its many galleries and passages are controlled by two sets of intersecting vertical joints.

The striking ornamental feature of the cave is the boxwork which projects from walls and ceilings of the passages. Frostwork and popcorn are also present, but are of lesser extent.

The cave has been excavated by solutions, as evidenced by the irregular outlines of the galleries and the undulating floors of the passages.

The authors were concerned primarily with mapping and describing an unmapped portion of the cave, herein designated as traverse #X1-21. Many of the features encountered in this passage were identical to those found elsewhere in the traveled area of Wind Cave and they have been related to the already identified structures in the development of this thesis.

The geologic history of the Black Hills is briefly reviewed, along with the stratigraphic sequence, in order to present a picture of the cave's evolution through geologic time.

The colorful history of the cave's cultural history is also summarized.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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