The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 47 Number 1: 1-11 - October 1985

A publication of the National Speleological Society

The Western Kentucky Speleological Survey-A Progress Review
M.D. Dyas


The western Kentucky karst region is part of the Interior Low Plateaus Province. It is developed on massive Ste. Geneviève and St. Louis limestones (Mississippian) and has a local relief of about 35 m. Caves beneath the Pennyrile sinkhole plain typically are large, meandering, tubular passages containing streams; the commonest passage cross-section is that of a phreatic tube several times wider than high, half-filled with silt and/or water. Caves in the geologically more complex uplands bordering the sinkhole plain on the north and west are relatively dry and are more often joint-controlled mazes.

Principle caves known in the region, today, are Indian Cave (Warren Co.) with 2.7 km surveyed, the Savage System (Logan Co.) with 4.3 km surveyed, Lovell Cave (Muhlenberg Co.) with 1 km surveyed, Glover's Cave (Christian Co.) with 3.2 km surveyed, Cool Spring Cave (Trigg Co.) with 5.3 km surveyed, Lisanby Cave (Caldwell Co.) with 11.3 km surveyed, Kinnin Cave (Crittenden Co.) with 1.4 km surveyed, and Moodys Cave (Livingston Co.) with 1.7 km surveyed.

Wet suits are virtually mandortory in caves of the sinkhole plain, and most caves there are likely to flood during rains. There are few speleothems, and there are few vertical drops greater than 5 m.

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