Friday, July 13, 2012

The Lost World of Jordan Creek

Ranger E.C. begins her investigation of the Ruins
Since our last entry describing the general location of the underground portion of Jordan Creek, we have been able to identify the full 0.65 mile course of the underground portion of the river, running through the center of Springfield Missouri, from the intersection of Washington and Phelps on the east end to the intersection of Main and Water at the west end - a buried channel approximately 30 feet in width and 9 feet in depth from channel floor to ceiling. Tests show the water quality to be surprisingly good, and we have begun our investigation of its animal life within the reparian zone. In spite of our current drought conditions we have been able to find plentiful examples, including darters and crayfish of the types normally associated with clear springs.  We have also seen the remains of where some crayfish have been eaten, most likely by a raccoon.

As seen in this photo, the stream continues its flow out of the underground tunnel exit beneath Main Avenue and continues straight west past these remarkable ruins, all within a long, deep open canal recessed over 8 feet into the earth (ground level is near the tops of the pictured monoliths).  We are amazed that such a lush hidden world exists within an industrial area - proof that a creature such as the Urban Skunk Ape could easily exist and thrive among us without our ever noticing him!

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