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Elk Lick Falls, the Kentucky River Fault, and the Evolution of the Kentucky River Gorge: A Geologist’s Perspective
November 9, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm$15.00
Program Leader: Ralph Ewers, Ph.D, Emeritus Professor, Eastern Kentucky University
The remarkable topography at Floracliff and Elk Lick Falls is the result of a series of geological events beginning some 400 million years ago with the epicontinental seas of the Ordovician Age. More recently the Kentucky River fault zone, the continental glaciers of the Pleistocene Ice Age, and the evolution of the Ohio River all have had their effects on Floracliff scenery. We will explore the remnants of the seas that covered the area and the rich marine fauna that lived then as well as the evidence for distant volcanoes during that time. With a visit to the falls and to the Kentucky River Gorge we will explore the reasons for their existence. Along the way we will see the effects of the Kentucky River Fault, estimate its immense vertical displacement and see evidence for the river’s former existence as a meandering stream over 300 feet above its present position.
This program will feature sites within Floracliff as well as sites along nearby roads in Fayette and Madison Counties.
Hiking Level: Moderate to Difficult, due to uneven terrain and distance
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Image: Kentucky Geological Survey
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