The main catchment for the River Bradford is the shale and sandstone upland to the east, but a small proportion of its flow emerges from active risings in its left banks. No known swallets feed these risings: the nearest swallets are the small ones at Duckett Wall and Astonhill, in the Derwent South Catchment. These could be associated with the Bradford risings, but no dye testing has not confirmed this.
Gratton Dale has a wet-weather rising, but for the most part the dale has no surface flow.
There has been some suggestion that the flow of the River Bradford has declined since the driving of the Hillcar Sough.
Speleologically, very little is known, and there is a very large blank area on the map containing no known caves. However a dip slope of limestone rises gently westwards from the river, and it is possible that an integrated underground drainage system lurks beneath it awaiting the lucky explorer. Determined digging in the vicinity of the risings, or at the Longshot Caves, may well bring some worthwhile discoveries.