Langcliffe Pot - Hydrology

Hydrology

The catchment area of Great Whernside, some 20 km2 in size, is a gathering ground for water entering the Langcliffe system, as well as the largest stream of the area which sinks into the ground at Mossdale Scar. Beneath Mossdale Scar, several entrances amongst a chaos of boulders unite close to the entrance to enter Mossdale Caverns, a 10 km long complex system of underground passage. The Mossdale sink takes an average flow of 100 litres/sec, and resurges at Black Keld. Langcliffe Pot, which also feeds the Black Keld rising, terminate some 180m above, and several kilometres distant from it, leaving many questions about its detailed hydrology beyond the present limit of exploration. Surface sinks above Gasson's Series, for example, do not enter the Langcliffe system itself, but are diverted into separate cave systems by the layers of impervious strata above the Hardraw Limestone. Langcliffe Pot demonstrates the scale and complexity of the integrated cave system which must exist below the flanks of Great Whernside, a future challenge for sporting cavers and speleologists.

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