An Atlas of Tasmanian Karst: Volumes 1-2, K Kiernan

Tags: Rolan Eberhard, Tasmania, Carbonate rock, Kevin Kiernan, Environmental systems, Tasmanian Forest Research Council, Inc., karst landforms, Carbonate rock outcrops, mapping processes, systems, conservation status, perspective, Mole Creek karst, desirability, Hydrogeological map of the Mole Creek karst, Arthur Clarke, Cape Sorell, Gunns Plains, Mountain Cave, Arthur River sheet, Nelson River, Stefan Eberhard, Andy Spate, Eberhard, Southeast Cape, karst systems
Content: an atlas of Volume 1
by Kevin Kiernan 1995
Tasmanian Forest Research Council, Inc.
Research Report No. 10 ISBN 0 724635505
CONTENTS
.
VOLUME ONE
Acknowledgments
4
Summary
5
PART A KARST SYSTEMS: A TASMANIAN CONTEXT
1 The nature of karst systems
9
A velY special place and a very special challenge
9
Scope of this report
9
The classification of karst environments
16
The karst systems level
19
The karst landform and landform assemblage level
25
The landform contents level
34
Human use and aesthetic values of karst
42
2 An introduction to Tasmanian kal"st systems
45
Lithological systems
45
Structural systems
54
Climatic systems
57
Solvent systems
61
Denudation systems
66
Topographic systems
67
Exposure style systems
69
Time
70
Environmental systems as determinants of Tasmanian karst geodiversity
71
PARTB AN ATLAS OF TASMANIAN KARST AREAS
Introduction and keys
74
3 North-West Tasmania
Introduction
85
Carbonate rock outcrops
97
Concluding remarks
186
4 Western Tasmania
188
Introduction
188
Carbonate rock outcrops
190
Concluding remarks
255
VOLUME TWO
5 South-West Tasmania
Introduction
5
Carbonate rock outcrops
20
Concluding remarks
105
6 South-East Tasmania
Introduction
107
Carbonate rock outcrops
121
Concluding remarks
177
7 North-East Tasmania
Introduction
178
Carbonate rock outcrops
190
Concluding remarks
240
8 Bass Strait Islands
Introduction
241
Carbonate rock outcrops
246
Concluding remarks
280
PARTC DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
9 The management of Tasmania's karst estate
The need for a Systems Approach
282
Towards karstcare
283
Some management issues in Tasmania's karsts
285
Forekarsting
296
Inventory and management of individual karst areas
297
Landforms as heritage
305
Conclusions
312
Appendix 1 Attributes of Tasmanian karst areas.
314
Bibliography
327
LIST OF FIGURES
VOLUME 1
1.1 Vanishing Falls, a major streams ink in southwest Tasmania
8
1.2 Sharlands Organ, Kubla Khan Cave, Mole Creek karst
8
1.3 Sinkhole degradation of farmland, Mole Creek karst
10
1.4 Corroded upper surface of limestone, Railton karst
11
1.5 Some processes that may cause accelerated ground-surface collapse
11
1.6 Lake Timk, Mt Anne-Upper Weld River karst
13
1.7 Contrast between apparent and actual drainage basins, Mole Creek karst
14
1.8 Variation of catchments with discharge, Croesus area, Mole Creek karst
15
1.9 Exposure of thin residual soils by tree-fall, Precipitous Bluff karst
17
1.10 Some surface karst landforms in Tasmania
26
1.11 Some underground karst landforms in Tasmania
31
1.12 The contents of some surface karst landforms in Tasmania
35
1.13 The contents of some Tasmanian karst caves
39
1.14 Some human use and aesthetic values of Tasmanian karst areas
42
2.1 Some Tasmanian carbonate rocks
47
2.2 Sections through the Gordon Group rocks
49
2.3 Distribution of sediments on the Tasmanian shelf
53
2.4 Contrasts in rock structure and their influence on cave morphology
55
2.5 Medium scale complex enclosed depressions
58
2.6 Incipient cirque formed in dolomite, Mt Anne-Upper Weld River karst
59
2.7 Extent of past glaciation in the Mt Anne area
60
2.8 Variations in karren formed by meteoric waters
62
2.9 Variations in coastal karren
65
2.10 Some medium-scale and large-scale landforms in coastal karsts
68
Bl Regions within Tasmania
82
B2 Key to Tasmap 1;100,000 sheets
83
B3 Key to Karst Atlas map sheets
84
3.1 Hunter (Welcome) sheet
89
3.2 Nelson Bay (Sandy Cape) sheet
90
3.3 Arthur River sheet
91
3.4 Circular Head sheet
92
3.5 Inglis (Hellyer) sheet
93
3.6 Sophia sheet
94
2
3.7 Mersey sheet 3.8 Forth sheet 3.9 Closed depression on the floor of Dismal Swamp 3.10 Map of Gunns Plains tourist cave 3.11 Hydrogeological map of the Mole Creek karst 3.12 Map of the Croesus Cave, Mole Creek 3.13 Section through the Eugenana Beds 4.1 Arthur River sheet 4.2 Pieman sheet 4.3 Sophia sheet 4.4 Franklin sheet 4.5 Cape Sorell sheet 4.6 Map of Snowy Mountain Cave, Mt Cripps 4.7 Map of The Sanctuary, Blackwater Creek 4.8 Meander cut-off cave, Nelson River 4.9 Map of Railway Cave (Hamoik cave), Juke-Darwin VOLUME 2 5.1 Cape Sorell sheet 5.2 Spero sheet 5.3 Franklin sheet 5.4 Olga sheet 5.5 Port Davey sheet 5.6 Old River sheet 5.7 Wedge sheet 5.8 Nive sheet 5.9 Tyenna sheet 5.10 Huon sheet 5.11 South Cape (and Southeast Cape) sheet 6.1 Nive sheet 6.2 Tyenna sheet 6.3 Wedge sheet 6.4 Huon sheet 6.5 South Cape (and Southeast Cape) sheet 6.6 D'Entrecasteaux sheet 6.7 Derwent sheet 6.8 Lake Sorell sheet 6.9 Little Swanport 6.10 Nugent (Prosser) sheet 7.1 Mersey sheet 7.2 Meander sheet 7.3 Tamar sheet 7.4 Pipers sheet 7.5 South Esk sheet 7.6 Lake Sorell 7.7 Cape Portland sheet 7.8 St Pauls sheet 7.9 Break 0 Day sheet 7.10 Freycinet sheet 8.1 King Island sheet 8.2 Flinders Island sheet 9.1 Cave reserve boundary design 9.2 water quality data variation according to sampling interval 9.3 Road collapse in the Junee-Florentine karst 9.4 Some impacts of limestone quarrying on karst caves 9.5 Cave reserve boundary design, Gunns Plains and Marble Hill karsts 9.6 Karren shattered by fire 9.7 Planning reserve facilities 9.8 Sensitivity zones, Junee-Florentine karst 9.9 Changes to Mt Field National Park boundary, 1950 9.10 Map of polygonal karst at Mole Creek 3
95 96 117 162 (inside back cover) (inside back cover) 184 189A 189B 189C 189D 189E 200 202 246 248 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 244 245 284 287 288 290 291 292 294 302 304 309
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many people have contributed to these pages in one way or another. I must express my special gratitude to Rolan Eberhard not only for his formal contributions but for being such an excellent colleague on matters karstic. I am also grateful to those cavers and geomorphologists who have made contributions, mostly through formal consultancy arrangements: namely Matt Herne, Stefan Eberhard, Dane Henriksen, Arthur Clarke, Phil Jackson, Northern Caverneers Inc. and the Savage River Caving Club. I must also thank those who have shared with me the knowledge gained by themselves or by their organisations over the years, including Rhys Jones, Stuart Nicholas, Andrew McNeil, Albert Goede and Bevis Dutton. Julie Styles did a great job compiling the maps from my unruly collection of papers at a time when completion of this report was starting to seem to me like an impossible task. For similarly life-saving assistance later in the production process I am grateful to Claudia Russmann. Tim Scott produced the original working set of maps for the Karst Atlas in the late 1980s. My sincere thanks are also extended to Beth Bilton for her tireless efforts typing the area entries, and to David Hinley for preparing the report for publication. The assistance of Bryan Campbell, formerly of the Australian Nuclear science and technology Organisation (ANSTO) at Lucas Heights, NSW, and of Peter Duerden, also of ANSTO, has been greatly appreCiated. Stein-Erik Lauritzen, University of Bergen, assisted with radiometric dating of speleothems. lowe much to Mick Brown, Bert Witte and Sheryl Wolfe of Forestry Tasmania, while encouragement from Andy Warner of North Forests has also been appreCiated. Constructive comments on earlier drafts of this report have been provided by Chris Sharples, Andy Warner, Rolan Eberhard, Andy Spate, Mick Brown, Ian Houshold and Elery Hamilton-Smith. However, the responsibility for interpretations, and for the errors or omissions that remain is my own. Financial support for this documentation of Tasmania's karst estate was provided primarily by the Tasmanian Forest Research Council Inc. This has also facilitated work reported in several additional papers already published (Kiernan 1993c, Kiernan et at. 1991, 1993a, 1993b, Kiernan and Eberhard 1993, Eberhard et at. 1991) and assisted in preparation of some unpublished karst area inventory reports prepared on contract as part of the Atlas exercise. Part of what is contained in this report has its roots in observations made long before the Tasmanian Karst Atlas was ever conceived. Moreover, I would not have been likely to have persisted in matters karstic or to have embarked on a project such as this but for the earlier stimulus given by people like David Elliott, John McCormack, Greg Middleton and Steve Harris; but for the enthusiasm of that great character Sugra Morley who first led me underground; but for the encouragement and constant support of the late Joe Jennings; and but for many great caver and scientist companions with whom I have shared a memorable quarter century underground. That so many tribespeople, farmers, scientists, engineers and land management officials have shared with me some of their dilemmas, their triumphs, their insights and their awe has been a privilege of immense value in its own right and has contributed greatly to developing the perspectives evident in these pages. The greatest inspiration of all has, of course, been those landscapes that have drawn us all together: karstlands from glaciated mountain environments to tropical coastlines, from deserts to rainforests both tropical and temperate, from empty wildlands to some of the most densely populated and impacted terrain, from broad karst plains covered by paddy fields to the stunning vertical rockscapes that are towerkarst. These remarkable landscapes deserve to be regarded with humility and respect: some of Tasmania's karst heritage stands tall among them. 4
SUMMARY Part A Karst Systems: A Tasmanian Context Tasmania's karst areas offer a variety of economic, scientific, educational and recreational resources, and, carefully managed, can continue to do so. The essential characteristics of karst stem from the fact that particular types of rock, commonly limestone or dolomite, have the capacity to be dissolved by natural waters, allowing seepage water and streams to be diverted underground. In the most fully expressed karst, integrated cave systems form the focus of underground drainage networks that are highly efficient. Karst areas offer a variety of heritage values but also pose a range of geomorphic hazards that include soils that are sometimes vulnerable to erosion or sudden collapse, and vulnerable aqUifers. Streams in underground solution channels often flow in directions that cannot be predicted from the surface topography. These streams have the capacity to rapidly transfer localised impacts to the wider karst system and, hence, the aqUifers are easily polluted. This can have important implications both for the protection of nature conservation values and for sustainable land management. The need to safeguard hydrological regimes and the soil and vegetation systems that condition water quantity and chemistry must be taken fully into account in developing and implementing management strategies if important heritage values are to be safeguarded and society's exposure to most of the geomorphic hazards that exist in many karst areas is to be minimised. The three-dimensional world beneath our feet is not a separate world. Rather, it is an extension of the surface world, and one highly integrated with the surface world. Karst environments result from a complex interplay between climatic, topographic, hydrologic, biologic and temporal factors and trends. Hence, a systems approach provides the most adequate means of seeking to come to terms both with the karst environment and with the requirements for determining appropriate uses and sustainable management of karst environments. The focus of this study is upon the maintenance of geodiversity in karst environments. A karst area classification system has been developed to facilitate the identification of sites of geoconservation Significance. This involves analysis at four levels: the Karst Systems level, or the mix of basic environmental controls that condition the evolution of any karst; the Karst Landform and Landform Communities level, or the individual species and communities of landforms that exist in any area; the Landform Contents level, which includes the various geological, biological and other phenomena found in caves and sinkholes; and Human Use and Aesthetics. The environmental systems that form the broad parameters within which Tasmania's karst has evolved are addressed in Chapter 2. These systems have largely controlled the nature of the landforms and landform communities that have developed, and the variations within them. In a sense, the system determinants can reasonably be utilised in a manner similar to that in which bio-regions are used to identify the broad environmental contexts from which representative examples of species and comrpunities appropriate for conservation can be identified and selected. The principal difference is that while the karst environmental systems provide the framework from within which examples should be selected, the karst system controls are seldom spatially exclusive; rather, they overlap and interact with one another. Herein lies the origin of Tasmania's karst geodiversity, and the challenge to developing a comprehensive yet workable geoconservation strategy for karst phenomena. Part B An Atlas of Tasmanian Karst Areas Chapters 3 to 8 provide a brief overview of the 300 carbonate rock areas recorded in, respectively, the north-west, west, south-west, south-east, and north-east of Tasmania, and on some Bass Strait islands. Each area and its catchment has been depicted on maps at 1:100,000 scale that have been photo-reduced for presentation here but are available at the original scale for digitising to Geographical information systems, or for other purposes. The broad systems context of each area is tabulated and a very brief summary of any known karst phenomena is appended. A brief introduction to each chapter provides a regional setting. Part C Discussion and Conclusions Chapter 9 provides a brief synthesis of management issues that arise in Tasmania's karst, including the vulnerability of soil and groundwater systems, accelerated sinkhole collapse affecting agricultural land and sometimes roads, refuse dumping in sinkholes, the risk of agricultural chemicals entering groundwater systems, the need for improved streamside management, issues related to limestone quarrying and forestry activities, and the management of caves used for recreational caving and commercial tourism. The inadequacy of managing arbitrarily-defined land parcels that have been superimposed on a highly 5
interactive and systemic environment, is discussed: there is a need for a trans-tenure perspective on management of such systems. The desirability of developing community-based karstcare programs is addressed, together with the need to upgrade the system of formal reservation to protect some phenomena of major geoheritage significance. Initial steps towards the development of predictive modelling as an aid to strategic planning are discussed, together with approaches to the management of individual karst areas including the desirability of karst inventory and sensitivity mapping processes. General principles in geoheritage conservation are discussed and a preliminary list of karst landform species recorded to date from Tasmania's karsts is appended. The assessment of conservation status at the systems, landform assemblage, and individual landform species levels are addressed, using examples. 6

K Kiernan

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Title: An Atlas of Tasmanian Karst
Author: K Kiernan
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