Well where do I start? Its been an eventful day. Not surprisingly there were no cave discoveries but my friend and I feel certain that we have a much better understanding of the area that we set out to explore. Its potential for some really sizable tunnels has been confirmed in our minds.
We hiked to the marsh through a strange “hummocky terrain” of graying limestone boulders and shallow craters and depressions. This pocked landscape is indicative of the collapsing terrain beneath; a karst environment that lies hidden for the most part under Ontario’s thick blanket of glacial till.
An earthen berm holds the marsh back from a low hill that rises from the valley. There in front, the water that passes over the barrier sinks in innumerable points along the hillside.
In this picture my friend and I have noticed a sizable stream that diminishes to rotting leaves over 100 meters. I can hear the water gurgling from beneath my feet and resolve to see what manner of underground conduit it is traveling in. Where the stream finally vanishes we push a few boulders aside and are quite surprised by what we see.
A well known hydrologist had visited the area several decades ago and had ascertained that the water that left this swamp was flowing in a westerly direction, reemerging five kilometers away and a meager 17 meters lower down. As the water was flowing in this direction, he considered that it was moving in the separations between the various rock strata (bedding planes) and because of the limited gradient he surmised that the tunnels were possibly low and wide and permanently submersed.
As both my friend and I are amateur explorers we were very pleased to have access to this most excellent research. It is the normal custom to use a biodegradable organic dye to follow the route of underground water flow. It appears that this is probably how the river’s reemergence was traced.