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Mitchell Caverns, California
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These pages are about Mitchell Caverns, Providence Mountains State Recreation Area, in the Mojave National Preserve, southeast California.

Of special interest, to me, was the fact that the cave was closed for five months for repairs after a hefty earthquake in 1999.

There are many web sites that have this earthquake, the 16 October 1999 Hector Mine quake, magnitude 7.1, with 46 miles of ground breakage. The first one at left is a general site that has some of the best plain-language text and clearest illustrations I have seen on the subject.
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The Providence Mountains are rhyolite rock masses reaching to just over 7,000 feet. Mitchell Caverns sit in the limestones through which the rhyolite magma rose, on the eastern flank of the mountain range, at 4,300 feet elevation. Rhyolite is a volcanic rock that comes from magma rising but not erupting. Limestones are typically formed on the bottoms of shallow seas, these are about 250-million years old.
Several web sites have this cave as part of their content. Three of these can be reached through the cave 1, 2 and 3 buttons above.



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