Author Topic: Great Whernside resurgences.  (Read 2610 times)

Offline richardg

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Great Whernside resurgences.
« on: April 20, 2017, 10:51:50 pm »
Elsewhere this week on the Ukcaving forum under another topic Grahams, Pitlamp and Langcliffe were discussing resurgences  along the River Wharfe that may drain the so far unexplored mighty cave systems of Great Whernside

We are investigating where the river tumbles over the dramatic Litton Falls, through a series of impressive deep limestone pothole type plunge pools near the town of Grassington.

A question..... to anyone's  knowledge have there been previously recorded investigations by cave divers at this location?

Enigmatically these potholes are situated at about the same level and just a short distance upriver from the major Litton Mill (Brow Well) Resurgence.
Richard.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 11:42:48 pm »
Elsewhere this week on the Ukcaving forum under another topic Grahams, Pitlamp and Langcliffe were discussing resurgences  along the River Wharfe that may drain the so far unexplored mighty cave systems of Great Whernside

We are investigating where the river tumbles over the dramatic Litton Falls, through a series of impressive deep limestone pothole type plunge pools near the town of Grassington.

A question..... to anyone's  knowledge have there been previously recorded investigations by cave divers at this location?

Enigmatically these potholes are situated at about the same level and just a short distance upriver from the major Litton Mill (Brow Well) Resurgence.
Richard.

I can't help you with your question, I'm afraid, but it is perhaps worth noting that both features are associated with the North Craven Fault, as is Thruskill Well in Hebden.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 08:37:12 am »
I'm pretty sure there have never been any dive logs published by the CDG on that area of the Wharfe (over the 71 years of the Group's) existence. However, I know a certain person who might be able to provide at least some information on possibilities (or otherwise) here. Will PM you.

Offline grahams

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 08:51:36 am »
I'm intending to investigate water temperatures along the Wharfe from Loop Scar to Conistone in the hope of finding any hidden resurgences in the river bed. I'm waiting for a lengthy period of either hot or freezing weather which will maximise the temperature differential between the cave water and the river water. It might be a waste of time but will be a pleasant walk if nothing else.
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Offline Topimo

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 08:21:20 pm »
I'm intending to investigate water temperatures along the Wharfe from Loop Scar to Conistone in the hope of finding any hidden resurgences in the river bed. I'm waiting for a lengthy period of either hot or freezing weather which will maximise the temperature differential between the cave water and the river water. It might be a waste of time but will be a pleasant walk if nothing else.

Sounds interesting, how/where are you going to position the data loggers?

Or just sticking your hand in?

Offline cfmwh

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 08:30:50 pm »
Drone equipped with infra-red?

Offline grahams

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2017, 08:31:52 am »
I'm going to stick my hand in. I'll be using an old fashioned mercury thermometer and also have an infra-red model but am not sure whether the latter will be effective - it's something that I'll try within the next few days.

Brow Well be used as a reference for underground water temperature (as it's known that the water source is several Km away) and a point in the river just upstream of Burnsall used as a reference for surface water temperature. There's no need for data loggers at this stage as a snapshot should suffice for this type of measurement.

Measuring water temperature is a tried and tested method which of course lead to the discovery of the Cigalere.
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Offline langcliffe

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2017, 09:29:46 am »
I'm going to stick my hand in. I'll be using an old fashioned mercury thermometer and also have an infra-red model but am not sure whether the latter will be effective - it's something that I'll try within the next few days.

Brow Well be used as a reference for underground water temperature (as it's known that the water source is several Km away) and a point in the river just upstream of Burnsall used as a reference for surface water temperature. There's no need for data loggers at this stage as a snapshot should suffice for this type of measurement.

That sounds like an interesting exercise, if one is just checking for bank-side resurgences rather than river-bed resurgences. One problem with detecting river-bed resurgences is that the dilution effect means that any temperature difference will be difficult to detect by the time one can get to where it is possible to stick a hand in the main flow. There are a lot of bank-side shallows in this section of the Wharfe where the temperature is mainly influenced by the air temperature.

I would be interested in your opinion on a bank-side outlet in the meadow above Loup Scar. It is always flowing, but its temperature seems to be the same as that of the river, so I suspect that it is just a bit of flow diverted through a section of the bank. Mind you, that's on the south side, so probably not relevant.

I don't actually know of any resurgences on the north side of the river between Brow Well and Burnsall apart from the small autogenic-fed spring that is captured for the Lythe House water supply, and I suspect that is due to the complexity of the geology. Although the river follows the Main Scar limestone between Lythe House and Loup Scar, where it flows through the Reef Limestones, the North Craven Fault, which splits into as many as five branches in that area, means that it is a separated inlier. If you're interested, the following is a map of the geology of the area that a friend  compiled (the BGS haven't produced anything for 130 years or so!).

http://braemoor.co.uk/temp/GrassingtonGeologyMap_1.pdf
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 09:48:57 am by langcliffe »

Offline mch

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 09:50:40 am »
That's a useful piece of work langcliffe, thanks for sharing it.

Offline grahams

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 06:38:28 pm »
Thanks for the map Langcliffe - very useful.

I take your point regarding dilution effects. The plan is to target the measurements on interesting bits of river e.g. Loup Scar, Litton Falls etc. I'm intending to have a good look at these locations and don't mind getting wet. Conditions such as those we had in 1976, when river temperatures soared, would be ideal, but even in a 'normal' summer the temperature of the Wharfe is often several degrees above cave water during dry periods.

Incidentally, back in '76, the Wharfe's flow at Ghaistrill's Strid virtually ceased but the resurgence just to the south (sorry, I've forgotten it's name) continued to flow. In very wet weather the flow at the resurgence doesn't appear to increase much. It's therefore possible that the water is derived from the Wharfe in a similar manner to the Loup Scar resurgence.

Question is - am I repeating work that you've already carried out?
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Offline langcliffe

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2017, 07:04:37 pm »
Incidentally, back in '76, the Wharfe's flow at Ghaistrill's Strid virtually ceased but the resurgence just to the south (sorry, I've forgotten it's name) continued to flow. In very wet weather the flow at the resurgence doesn't appear to increase much. It's therefore possible that the water is derived from the Wharfe in a similar manner to the Loup Scar resurgence.

The water coming out of that spring is a pretty consistent temperature. The last time I checked it (last year, I think), the river was very warm but the spring water was very cool.

Quote
Question is - am I repeating work that you've already carried out?

Not really - it's just that I know this section of the river reasonably well (I walk it most days), and I am familiar with all the obvious resurgences. I have dived in Loup Scar and I would be surprised if there is anything there (especially in view of the geology). I have peered into the potholes at Linton Falls in low water conditions and didn't spot anything of obvious significance, but that doesn't mean much. Being slap bang on the NCF,  it's probably the most likely place to find anything unknown.

Offline cfmwh

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2017, 07:36:49 pm »
Not sure if you are aware of this mobile phone add on unit:

http://www.flir.com/flirone/ios-android/

Haven't tried it myself, but maybe someone on UKC has and can comment on any trials under the conditions you are looking at. You could use it on a selfie stick to gain any necessary height......cheaper than a drone!

Offline braveduck

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2017, 09:53:00 pm »
It has always struck me ,that there should be a rising in /near the Wharf below Grass Wood ,
but that may be to far up than you were thinking about.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2017, 10:55:20 pm »
It has always struck me ,that there should be a rising in /near the Wharf below Grass Wood ,but that may be to far up than you were thinking about.

I think that there may be a small one at SD 98161 65222

Offline grahams

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2017, 10:51:22 am »
Thanks for all your help and suggestions. All I need now is a heatwave. I'll post the results later this year.
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Offline Pie Muncher

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2017, 11:07:54 pm »
Something similar, temperature readings down the Wharfe, was undertaken by WRPC members some years back. Worth contacting them. Also something around the confluence of the Skirfare and Wharfe, underwater arch reported.
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2017, 07:13:50 am »
Something similar, temperature readings down the Wharfe, was undertaken by WRPC members some years back. Worth contacting them. Also something around the confluence of the Skirfare and Wharfe, underwater arch reported.

In case it helps, some time in the late 1970s we dived that big pool where the Wharfe & Skirfare meet (Amerdale Dub) without finding any passage leading off underwater. But isn't this is a bit further up-dale from the main area of interest by the OP?

I'd agree that it's well worth liaising with the WR folk; they've done a great deal of quality hydrological work in Wharfedale over the years.

Offline grahams

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2017, 10:18:21 am »
Many years ago I remember a map of the area which showed four resurgences - Black Keld, Davy Keld, Ghaistrill's and Brow Well. Black Keld appears to 'account for' the Langcliffe/Mossdale water whilst Brow Well (along with mine levels in the Hebden Valley) accounts for the waters of the Yarnbury area. Davy Keld is but a trickle and the Ghaistrill's resurgence is small in the context of the enormous and very spectacular chunk of limestone of Grass Wood and beyond. Maybe I'm looking at this in a very simplistic manner but it seems to me that we have a huge lump of limestone that lacks known resurgences.

The only other water that I know of is the small stream that has no obvious resurgence in the Dib Scar valley. The mini-Malham Cove of Dib Scar looks 'cavey' but would be a long term project for which permission probably would be difficult to obtain.

The existence of White Keld is, as they say, a perfect example of the saying that 'caves are where you find 'em'' and points to the possibility that there is much more to find.

For this exercise, Loup Scar is a good place to start as it's easy to get a reference temperature for the river water (and a very pleasant walk) and it's not far to the main area of interest is to the north of Grassington.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding WRPC Pie Muncher. I'll see what I can find out.

The OS map shows a whole bunch of springs around How Beck a mile north of Conistone. Has anyone investigated these?
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Offline langcliffe

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2017, 10:42:38 am »
Many years ago I remember a map of the area which showed four resurgences - Black Keld, Davy Keld, Ghaistrill's and Brow Well. Black Keld appears to 'account for' the Langcliffe/Mossdale water whilst Brow Well (along with mine levels in the Hebden Valley) accounts for the waters of the Yarnbury area.

There is also the sizeable Thruskell Well in Hebden (SE 02875 62828). As far as I know the source of the water has not been traced, although I suspect that it may originate from Copper Gill.

Quote
The only other water that I know of is the small stream that has no obvious resurgence in the Dib Scar valley. The mini-Malham Cove of Dib Scar looks 'cavey' but would be a long term project for which permission probably would be difficult to obtain.

There is a dig in an old phreatic passage just below where the path from Conistone crosses the thalweg, a few metres above the cove. There is a spring marked on the map just below the wood.

Quote
For this exercise, Loup Scar is a good place to start as it's easy to get a reference temperature for the river water (and a very pleasant walk) and it's not far to the main area of interest is to the north of Grassington.

Incidentally, having checked this morning, the resurgence I mentioned just upstream of Loup Scar on the west bank is about 70 metres from the path gate.

Offline grahams

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2017, 05:06:01 pm »
Thanks Langcliffe. I'll take a look at those locations.
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Offline adam

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2017, 07:12:15 pm »
Talking of water temperature and infrared drone flights, I recently met someone who is planning to do just that on a 2 km stretch of the Upper Ribble this summer. The aim is to look at the size and dynamics of cool water plumes produced by groundwater inputs which are useful refuges for fish during hot weather. I imagine that the resurgences in Ribblesdale are fairly well known so its unlikely to throw up any surprises but I'm looking forward to seeing the results nonetheless. If/when this technology becomes affordable, it could be a very efficient way of resurgence hunting.

Offline Alex

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2017, 01:38:14 pm »
Would it not be best to do this either in the dead of winter or the height of summer when the water temperature difference is most noticable?
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Offline alastairgott

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2017, 02:03:10 pm »
I'm guessing Big changes will be noticeable at any time of year, "fine tuning" may be best left for Winter/summer?

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2017, 02:04:39 pm »
Would it not be best to do this either in the dead of winter or the height of summer when the water temperature difference is most noticable?

I think that was grahams's idea:

Thanks for all your help and suggestions. All I need now is a heatwave. I'll post the results later this year.

Offline grahams

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Re: Great Whernside resurgences.
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2017, 06:26:05 pm »
Talking of water temperature and infrared drone flights, I recently met someone who is planning to do just that on a 2 km stretch of the Upper Ribble this summer. The aim is to look at the size and dynamics of cool water plumes produced by groundwater inputs which are useful refuges for fish during hot weather. I imagine that the resurgences in Ribblesdale are fairly well known so its unlikely to throw up any surprises but I'm looking forward to seeing the results nonetheless. If/when this technology becomes affordable, it could be a very efficient way of resurgence hunting.

Thermal imaging cameras can be bought for about £200 upwards. There's no doubt that using one of these, particularly with a drone, would be a great idea but I value my marriage (and my nuts) so wellies and a thermometer will have to do.

If you could post a link, I'd like to see the results when the come available.
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