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Juniper Gulf sump

Jon

Member
Does anyone know where the Juniper Gulf sump connects to?

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Pitlamp

Well-known member
The overflow to Ribblesdale has been hypothesised for some time. To my knowledge no-one's ever got any dye through. But anyone who has ever been inside the short cave at Austwick Beck Head will have realised just how immature the passage is and perhaps pondered on whether some of the water from the many magnificent Allotment potholes also goes somewhere else.

The regional dip is to the north east. The Sulber fault is in that direction from Juniper Gulf etc. It's understandable that the excess floodwater may then go along this fault, which passes relatively close to Blind Beck Cave. The latter suddenly produces a very significant flow in very wet conditions, consistent with it acting as an overflow for a major system.

All the above evidence is circumstantial of course - but you can see how it might easily be possible. An analogous situation occurs in the Peak Cavern system (Derbyshire). The normal flow in Speedwell Cavern drains to Russet Well and Slop Moll. In flood it overflows via Treasury Chamber (and other routes) so the excess water then comes out to daylight via Peak Cavern, a completely different underground route. Another example (nearer home in the Dales) is Sleets Gill, where normal flow drains to Moss Beck and floodwater overflows via the main cave entrance, which is a considerable distance away.  Underground "distributaries" are't particularly uncommon.
 
Possibly even more likely that Nick Pot and Hangman's Hole and Sulber Pot overflow in flood along the Sulber fault (they are on it). This is one reason why I dived the 'static' sump in Nick Pot hoping like all other contenders for an easy win. No such luck of course but wide open if you like diving in a total silt out. Needs a better diver than me!

Juniper Gulf was also on my list (much bigger sump pool and much easier kit up) but somebody else was rumoured to be diving there at the time so I went for Nick Pot instead. I even had the late, great Watty as sherpa support supreme but even his 'golden touch' failed that day.
 

CPC John

New member
These drainage systems that go through current day ?water sheds? (and there are a number in the Dales) must surely be due to basement topography?
The sooner we map the base limestone palaeo land surface the sooner we?ll find the master caves running along pre Carboniferous valleys.....
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
CPC John said:
These drainage systems that go through current day ?water sheds? (and there are a number in the Dales) must surely be due to basement topography?
The sooner we map the base limestone palaeo land surface the sooner we?ll find the master caves running along pre Carboniferous valleys.....

Yes, absolutely; the considerable relief of the topography of the pre-carboniferous basement is largely responsible for many of the underground flow routes and the positions of many of the resurgences in the Dales, especially on the western side.

Geological maps show the outcrop of the unconformity where there are inliers of Lower Palaeozoic rocks and, because of the typical NW / SE trend of the basement ridges & valleys, it's possible to get a pretty good idea of the likely positions of at least some of the as yet unexplored main conduits. This is less easy over in Wharfedale yet the basement is extremely close to surface north of Grassington (with Raistrick having written on the many basement clasts seen in walls etc - and certain notable modern day cavers having investigated these very thoroughly).

Whilst I'm on, does anyone have a decent photograph of Austwick Beck Head in full flood?
 

Fjell

Active member
Has any seismic ever been run in the Dales to map stuff? It?s by far the easiest way. Even a few lines would be interesting probably.
 

Prof. Warthog

New member
No - onshore seismic coverage is shown at
[https://ukogl.org.uk/ukogl-interactive-map/]
Coverage is mainly driven by resource prospection so is generally confined to basin areas


 

Andy Farrant

Active member
Running conventional seismic will be very expensive, so unlikely to happen, but passive seismic may be an option if someone has lots of time and some spare cash. It depends on the nature of the limestone-basement reflector and the depth. It works best if you have a high acoustic impedenec contrast at shallow depth, so you would need to test its suitability first. The kit is *relatively* cheap and could be hired for a few weeks. see https://www.bgs.ac.uk/geology-projects/geophysical-tomography/technologies/tromino/ for some applications.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
Forgot to say; some of the new passage has an Ordovician floor and a Carboniferous roof. So the cave is formed actually at the unconformity in parts.
 
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