Dames Cave Hike in the Citrus Tract
February 16, 2008 ,,Outings Leader: Gail Parsons

The Dames Cave area is located in the Citrus Tract portion of the Withlacoochee State Forest in Citrus County, Florida and are found on a western portion of the Brooksville Ridge physiographic region. This landscape is dominated by karst landforms including uvalas, dolines, solution valleys, and caves.

Karst is a special type of landscape that is formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks, including limestone and dolomite. Karst regions contain aquifers that are capable of providing large supplies of water. More than 25 percent of the world's population either lives on or obtains its water from karst aquifers. In the United States, 20 percent of the land surface is karst and 40 percent of the groundwater used for drinking comes from karst aquifers. Natural features of the landscape such as caves and springs are typical of karst regions. Karst landscapes are often spectacularly scenic areas. Examples include the sinkhole plains and caves of central Kentucky, the large crystal-clear springs of Florida, and the complex, beautifully decorated caves of New Mexico.

The Dames Caves are interesting scientifically because they tell us a great deal about the geologic history of the Brooksville Ridge and the more recent human impact on the area. Geologically, the caves are among the oldest in Florida. For more information, see the Karst Studies in West Central Florida.

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