2017/10/23

KTAG - Cave Density Map


Caves of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia (KTAG)
This is a map showing the density and distribution of caves in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia (KTAG). The strong line of density extending north-east from the intersection of Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia shows the western escarpment of the Cumberland Plateau where Mississippian aged limestones outcrop and are exposed to weathering processes.

At the southern end of the Cumberland Plateau it becomes more heavily dissected, with islands of Plateau present amidst the Highland Rim. Along the margins of these islands caves can be exposed, which explains the dispersion at the southern extent of the Plateau.

Central and Western Kentucky show a secondary area of cave density; a ring of Mississippian aged carbonates has been exposed from the weathering of the Cincinnati Arch. Mammoth Cave resides in the densest part of this region.

This map was created using data from the following sources:

  • Alabama Cave Survey (ACS)
  • Georgia Speleological Society (GSS)
  • Kentucky Speleological Society (KSS)
  • Tennessee Cave Survey (TCS)

ArcMap 10.3 by ESRI was used to create the map. Workflow follows.

· For Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia

  • Tabular data joins in Access, output to Excel table
  • Format Excel tables by converted DMS to DD
  • Reference E1 (only one entrance per cave; the first documented entrance) points
  • Spatially join points to county feature class and display count as label
  • Kernel Density

· For Kentucky

  • Summarize county table and tabular join to county feature class and display count as label
  • Summarize 7.5' quadrangle table and tabular join to 7.5' quadrangle feature class
  • Feature to point (create centroid) of quadrangle feature class; preserve count attribute
  • Kernel density with new quad centroid feature class with count as Z attribute



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