The focus of this field trip is to explore the applied science and best management practices of karst groundwater protection in oil and gas development areas. Participants will visit the Chosa Draw gypsum karst plain. This Permian age karst plain contains one of the highest densities of karst features in the United States with hundreds of caves and sinkholes. The field trip will visit several cave entrances, resurgences, and a producing oil well to see what special mitigations are required when development occurs in this area. Field trip participants may also choose to visit Parks Ranch Cave. This is the longest gypsum cave on federal lands in the US at 4.7 miles. There is a water element deeper into the cave for those who choose to get wet. If so be sure to bring a dry change of clothes.
The terrain is flat to rolling gypsum hills. Lunches will be provided. This will be an all day excursion and will involve approximately 3 miles of hiking. Cave temperatures are 69-71F (21-22C). Day time temperatures may vary from 65-85F (18-29C).