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Encyclopedia > Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Location New Mexico, U.S.
Nearest city Carlsbad
Coordinates 32°10′31″N 104°26′38″W / 32.17528, -104.44389
Area 46,766.45 acres
  (46,427.26 federal)

189.26 km²
Established May 14, 1930
Visitors 407,367 (in 2006)
Governing body National Park Service
Carlsbad Caverns National Park*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

The forces of water decorated the cave in an almost endless array of spectacular limestone formations like this column and array of stalactites.
State Party United States of America
Type Natural
Criteria vii, viii
Reference 721
Region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1995  (19th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
† Region as classified by UNESCO.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park located in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico. Visitors can hike into the interior rooms on their own via the natural entrance, or take an elevator (the exit for everyone) directly down into the center of the public cave area. The World Conservation Union or International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... This article is about national parks. ... Image File history File links Red_pog. ... Image File history File links US_Locator_Blank. ... Official language(s) None Spoken language(s) English 68. ... For other uses of terms redirecting here, see US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation) Motto In God We Trust(since 1956) (From Many, One; Latin, traditional) Anthem The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City National language English (de facto)1 Demonym American... It has been suggested that Carlsbad North, New Mexico be merged into this article or section. ... May 14 is the 134th day of the year (135th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Picture of interior cave formations at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico taken in June 2003 by Eric Guinther and donated to Wikipedia project by the photographer. ... As of 2006, there are a total of 830 World Heritage Sites located in 138 State Parties. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... The parks of the United States National Park system are one type of protected area in the United States and are operated by the U.S. National Park Service. ... Guadalupe Mountains The Guadalupe Mountains are a mountain range located in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. ... Official language(s) None Spoken language(s) English 68. ...


Approximately two thirds of the park has also been set aside as a wilderness area, helping to ensure no future changes will be made to the habitat. Broadly, a wilderness area is a region where the land is left in a state where human modifications are minimal; that is, as a wilderness. ...


Peak visitation typically occurs on the weekends following Memorial Day and the 4th of July. The park entrance is located on US Highway 62/180 approximately 18 miles (29 km) southwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The park participates in the Junior Ranger Program.[1] This article is about the holiday in the United States. ... Fourth of July redirects here. ... It has been suggested that Carlsbad North, New Mexico be merged into this article or section. ...

Contents

Geology

For detail on the area's geology, see Delaware Basin. The Delaware Basin in West Texas and southern New Mexico is famous for holding large oil fields and for exposing a fossilized reef. ...


History

Jim White explored many of the rooms and gave them their names, including the Big Room, New Mexico Room, King's Palace, Queen's Chamber, Papoose Room, and Green Lake Room. He also named many of the cave's more prominent formations, such as the Totem Pole, Witch's Finger, Giant Dome, Bottomless Pit, Fairyland, Iceberg Rock, Temple of the Sun, and Rock of Ages.

The Witch's Finger in Carlsbad Caverns
The Witch's Finger in Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad, the town, and, thus, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, supposedly take their name from Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), Czech Republic, meaning literally, Charles' Baths, in German. The Witchs Finger, a stalagmite in the Carlsbad Caverns. ... The Witchs Finger, a stalagmite in the Carlsbad Caverns. ... Czech Republic Karlovy Vary Karlovy Vary 59. ... Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. ...


Named rooms

  • Balloon Ballroom - located in the ceiling above the main entrance corridor, this small room was first accessed by tying a rope to a bunch of balloons and floating them up into the passage.
  • Bat Cave - a large, unadorned rocky passage connected to the main entrance corridor that was mined for bat guano in the early 20th century. The majority of the cave's bat population lives in this portion of the cave.
  • Bell Cord Room - named for a long, narrow stalactite coming through a hole in the ceiling, resembling the rope coming through a church steeple to ring the bell. This room is located at the end of the Left Hand Tunnel.
Rock of Ages in the Big Room, photo by Ansel Adams, c.1941
Rock of Ages in the Big Room, photo by Ansel Adams, c.1941
On the tour route
On the tour route
Flowstone, a form of travertine
Flowstone, a form of travertine
Outside the entrance to the caverns.
Carlsbad Cavern amphitheater
Carlsbad Cavern amphitheater
  • Bifrost Room - discovered in 1982, it is located in the ceiling above Lake of the Clouds. Its name refers to a Norse myth about a world in the sky that was accessed from Earth by a rainbow. The room was given this name because of its location above the Lake of the Clouds and its colorful oxide-stained formations.
  • Big Room or The Hall of the Giants - the largest chamber in Carlsbad Caverns, with a floor space of 33,210 m² (357,469 sq ft).[2]
  • Chocolate High - a maze of small passages totaling nearly a mile in combined length, discovered in 1993 above a mud-filled pit in the New Mexico Room known as Chocolate Drop.
  • Green Lake Room - the uppermost of the "Scenic Rooms", it is named for a deep, malachite-colored pool in the corner of the room. In the 1940s, when the military was testing the feasibility of Carlsbad Cavern as an emergency fallout shelter, the Green Lake was used to look for ripples caused by a nuclear bomb test many miles away. None appeared.
  • Guadalupe Room - discovered by a park ranger in 1966, this is the second largest room in Carlsbad Caverns. It is known for its dense collection of "soda straw" stalactites.
  • Hall of the White Giant - a large chamber containing a large, white stalagmite. Rangers regularly lead special wild cave tours to this location.
  • King's Palace - the first of four chambers in a wing known as the "scenic rooms", it is named for a large castle-like formation in the center of the room. The Bashful Elephant formation can be found here.
  • Lake of the Clouds - the lowest known point in the cave. It is located in a side passage off the Left Hand Tunnel. It is named for its large lake containing globular, cloud-like rock formations that formed under water when the lake level was much higher.
  • Left Hand Tunnel - a long, straight passage marked by deep fissures in the floor. These fissures are not known to lead anywhere. The Left Hand Tunnel leads to the Lake of the Clouds and the Bell Cord Room.
  • Mystery Room - a small room located in Lower Cave.
  • New Mexico Room - located adjacent to the Queen's Chamber and accessed by means of a short slope.
  • New Section - a section of fissures east of the White Giant formation and parallelling the Bat Cave. New discoveries are still being made in this section.
  • Papoose Room - located between the King's Palace and Queen's Chamber.
  • Queen's Chamber - widely regarded as the most beautiful and scenic area of the cave. Jim White's lantern went out in this chamber while exploring and was in the dark for over a half hour.
  • Spirit World - Located in the ceiling of the Big Room, this area is filled with white stalagmites that resembled angels to the room's discoverers.
  • Talcum Passage - a room located in Lower Cave where the floor is coated with gypsum dust.
  • The Rookery - one of the larger rooms in Lower Cave. A large number of cave pearls are found in this area.
  • Underground Lunchroom - Located in the Big Room at the head of the Left Hand Tunnel. It contains a cafeteria that was built in the 1950s, and is where the elevators from the visitor center exit into the cave.

Water droplet coming out of the central canal of a stalactite A stalactite (Greek stalaktites, (Σταλακτίτης), from the word for drip and meaning that which drips) is a type of speleothem(secondary mineral) that hangs from the ceiling or wall of limestone caves. ... Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer, best known for his black-and-white photographs of the American West. ... Flowstone in Wind Cave, Hot Springs, South Dakota. ... Travertine Travertine terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park A carving in travertine Travertine is a sedimentary rock. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 702 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Yufei Yuan on December 28th, 2006. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 702 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Yufei Yuan on December 28th, 2006. ... File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... For other uses, see Malachite (disambiguation). ... The 1940s decade ran from 1940 to 1949. ... Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ... Water droplet coming out of the central canal of a stalactite A stalactite (Greek stalaktites, (Σταλακτίτης), from the word for drip and meaning that which drips) is a type of speleothem(secondary mineral) that hangs from the ceiling or wall of limestone caves. ... The Bashful elephant is the name given to a small stalagmite in the Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, that has grown a bulbous top with stalactites hanging off creating legs. Its shape gives the impression that it is facing away from somebody. ... For other uses, see Gypsum (disambiguation). ...

Recent exploration

In 1985 a very distinctive method of exploration was invented. In a dome area 255 ft (77.7 m) above the Big Room floor not far from the Bottomless Pit a stalagmite leaned out. Using a balsa wood loop with helium-filled balloons attached, the explorers--after several tries over several years--floated a light weight cord that snagged the target stalagmite. Once the light weight cord was in position up, over, and back to the ground, a climbing rope was pulled into position, and the explorers ascended into what they named The Spirit World.[3] A similar, smaller room was found in the main entrance corridor, and was named Balloon Ballroom in honor of this technique. Binomial name Ochroma lagopus Balsa (Ochroma lagopus, synonym ) is a large, fast-growing tree to 30 m tall, native from tropical South America north to southern Mexico. ... General Name, symbol, number helium, He, 2 Chemical series noble gases Group, period, block 18, 1, s Appearance colorless Standard atomic weight 4. ... For other uses, see Balloon (disambiguation). ...


In 1993, a series of small passages totaling nearly a mile in combined length was found in the ceiling of the New Mexico Room. Named "Chocolate High", it was the largest discovery in the cave since the Guadalupe Room was found in 1966. Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ...


Lechuguilla Cave, another cave in the park discovered in 1986, is the focus of much current cave exploration at the park. It has been mapped to a depth of 489 m, making it the deepest limestone cave in the U.S. The entrance is located in an old mining pit called Misery Hole in an obscure corner of the park. It is not accessible to the general public, and the exact location of Misery Hole is kept relatively hidden in an attempt to preserve the cave in its most undisturbed state. The Chandelier Ballroom in Lechuguilla Cave Lechuguilla Cave is, as of 2006, the sixth longest cave (120 mi, or 193 km) known to exist in the world, and the deepest in the continental United States (489 m, or 1604 ft), but it is most famous for its unusual geology, rare...


The Bottomless Pit was originally said to have no bottom. Stones were tossed into it, but no sound of the stones striking the bottom was heard. Later exploration revealed that the bottom was about 140 feet (40m) deep and covered with soft dirt. The stones made no sound when they struck the bottom because they were lodged in the soft soil.


Bats

Sixteen species of bats live in the park, including a large number of Mexican Free-tailed Bats. It is estimated that the population of Mexican Free-tailed Bats once numbered in the millions but has declined drastically in modern times. The cause of this decline is unknown but the pesticide DDT is often listed as a primary cause. Populations appear to be on the increase in recent years but are nowhere near the levels that were once historically present. “Chiroptera” redirects here. ... Binomial name (I. Geoffroy, 1824) The Mexican Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) is a medium sized bat. ... For other uses, see DDT (disambiguation). ...


Many techniques have been used to estimate the bat population in the cave. The various techniques used point to a current population peak of several hundred thousand when the young pups are flying in the fall.[4]


See also

Blanchard Springs Caverns is a cave system located in the Ozark National Forest in northern Arkansas. ... Mammoth Cave National Park is a U.S. National Park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. ... Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas and contains Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet (2,667 m) in elevation. ... The National Park System of the United States is the collection of physical properties owned or administered by the National Park Service. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Carlsbad Caverns National Park - Park Fun. National Park Service. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
  2. ^ Big Room Self-Guided Route. National Park Service (2005-08-15). Retrieved on 2007-05-29.
  3. ^ Cave History Update #8, December 15, 2003: 18th Anniversary of Spirit World Exploration at Caverns. National Park Service. Retrieved on 2007-05-31.
  4. ^ Carlsbad Caverns National Park: Counting the Bats. National Park Service. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.

The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the day of the year. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 149th day of the year (150th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 127th day of the year (128th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is a Cabinet department of the United States government that manages and conserves most federally owned land. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Official site: Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Climate data for Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • USGS 3D Photographic Geology Tour for Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Historical Dates in the history of Carlsbad Caverns National Park and SouthEast New Mexico
  • NPS geology fieldnotes website for Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...

 
 

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