The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 39 Number 3: 67-72 - July 1977

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Relationship Between the Hydrology of Blowing Cave and Cowpasture River
Phillip C. Lucas


Blowing Cave is situated on the east bank of a water gap of the Cowpasture River, in Bath County, Virginia. An accurate vertical survey of the cave established that the lower part of cave (which contains a small stream) is 12.9 ft below normal pool elevation for the Cowpature River at the cave entrance. The direction of stream flow in the cave is to the northeast, opposite the flow of the river. Dye tracers tests showed that water from the cave resurges at Nimrod Hall Springs, 3.5 mi downstram from Blowing Cave. Discharge measurements of the Cowpasture RIver one mile below Blowing Cave indicated a loss of 36 cfs under low flow conditions. This water was also traced to Nimrod Hall Springs. Due to the position of confining sandstone and shale units, which surround the narrow band of Helderberg limstone in which the cave is developed, it appears that the Cowpature River is underdrained by solution conduits and that the riverbed itself is leaking and does not represent base level for this area.

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