Tag Archives: Virginia Natural Heritage Program

Many are in the Dark about Importance of Caves to Water Quality

As the state’s only karst protection specialist, Orndorff’s territory is a long swath of land that makes a graceful arc along the Shenandoah Valley in western Virginia. Here, the movement of ancient plates on the Earth’s surface pushed, stacked, folded and rose to become the Appalachian Mountains.

Below the surface, pockets of space formed caves, and a subterranean network began storing, moving and releasing water to the world above. Over time, water dissolved the limestone and dolomite bedrock, creating larger tunnels and caverns, etching its movement in stone that today has been dry for thousands if not millions of years.

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