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"Long ago, a group of nine Prehistoric Native American explorers approached a cave in Tennessee with river cane torches in hand, and waded into the small stream that emerges from it's mouth. With only the light from their torches, they crossed into the caves dark zone passages, eventually making their way down a side passage approximately two hours journey from the cave's entrance. They explored this passage to its end before turning around and exiting by the route from which they came, leaving footprints and torch material in the cave mud. These footprints remained, undisturbed for over 4,500 years.

This cave had been known and explored in the modern era, but thought to end after only 600 meters. In 1976, cavers \surveyors from the National Speleological Society (NSS) found additional miles of passage and came upon the prehistoric remnants  \ footprints of these prehistoric explorers. They immediately notified archaeologists who proceeded to assemble a team who were able to investigate the prehistoric exploration of this cave with a focus on the passage that became known as "Aborigine Avenue"."

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"An expedition of Czech speleologists and geologists has uncovered a unique giant underground "cathedral" and passages in the Shaanxi province in southern China these days, which is one of their greatest finds in modern history, daily Pravo reported on Monday.

"The biggest success of the expedition is the find of the more than six-kilometre long Tianxingyan Cave. After getting over the difficult sections, they succeeded in finding a three-kilometre long river passage and a giant underground hall that is 150-metre-long and 200-metre-wide," expedition participant Zdenek Motycka, chairman of the Czech Speleological Society (CSS), told Pravo."

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Grotte- og gruvenyheter / New cave discovered in Demänovská Valley Slovakia
« Nyeste innlegg av Rolf 07.04.2018 22:47 »
"There are about 300 caves in Demänovská Valley and most of them are connected in a 40 kilometre long Demänovský cave system. A new addition to the known system is the recently discovered cave Chladivý dych (Cool Breath).

“I noticed a small hole the size of a human head under a rock. Warm air was coming out from the hole and nearby moss had drops of water, which meant that I was near wet cave air,” said Pavol Herich, the head of the Speleology club, as cited by the TASR newswire.

He measured the temperature the next day and together with an expedition group started to dig.

They found a 600 metre long cave. Even though there are about 80 similar caves in Slovakia, this one is unique, according to Pavol Herich, because its climate."


Grotte- og gruvenyheter / Ready to explore a cave?
« Nyeste innlegg av Rolf 04.04.2018 09:38 »
"Missouri is honeycombed with more than 7,300 documented caves — nationally second only to Tennessee — that are deep and long enough to warrant exploration. Explorers find more every year. And who knows how many private land owners are secretly sitting on caves in order to avoid traffic, trespassing and liability, experts say."


"“We don’t want people doing caves that are very sensitive.”

The damage can range from marring sensitive geology to spreading a disease that could wipe out the state’s bat population. In addition, he said, working through a group heads off spreading a bad reputation of cave explorers among landowners. In fact, most of the state’s caves are on private land."


Annet om grotter / Receives NSF Grant to Explore Prehistoric Fire Activity
« Nyeste innlegg av Rolf 29.03.2018 16:30 »
"Cornell College's Rhawn Denniston Receives NSF Grant to Explore Prehistoric Fire Activity

The National Science Foundation has awarded Cornell College Professor of Geology Rhawn Denniston a grant in the amount of $51,645 to examine how prehistoric fire activity may be recorded by stalagmites.

Since 2007, Denniston has studied prehistoric Australian monsoon rains and hurricane activity by measuring chemical compounds and mud layers in stalagmites from caves across the Australian tropics.

The chemistry of the stalagmites preserves past climate variability so that each layer maps out a timeline of past climatic change. Small amounts of uranium incorporated into the stalagmites serve as a stopwatch, recording the time since that layer was formed.

“Many of the chemical signals of past climate are derived from the rain and the soil. The cave we are studying is close to the surface with very little rock or soil above it,” Denniston said. “Thus, as water drips into the cave, the stalagmites record even short-term changes in climate. And whenever there’s a fire, we think the chemical compounds go right into the cave and thus the stalagmites.”"

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"Although underground dinosaur tracksites inside anthropic cavities such as mines or tunnels are well-known throughout the world, footprints inside natural karstic caves remain extremely rare. The Malaval Cave (Lozère, southern France) is well-known by speleologists for the abundance and the exceptional quality of acicular and helictite aragonite speleothems. Recent palaeontological prospecting inside this cave allowed the discovery of tridactyl dinosaur tracks. Here, a detailed study of theropod footprints was for the first time conducted inside a natural karstic cave, using photogrammetric imaging technique. Tracks from the Malaval Cave are located inside the “Super-Blanches” galleries. More than 26 footprints were identified. They are Hettangian in age (Lower Jurassic) and preserved as both in situ convex hyporeliefs and ex situ concave epireliefs. Tree morphotypes are distinguished, (i) “Dilophosauripus- Kayentapus” morphotype, (ii) “Eubrontes” morphotype, and (iii) “Grallatorid” morphotype."

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Grotte- og gruvenyheter / World’s longest sandstone cave found in India
« Nyeste innlegg av Rolf 28.03.2018 20:48 »
"The world’s longest sandstone cave at 24,583 metres in length has been discovered in Meghalaya, India's northeastern state known for its complex cave systems hidden under its undulating hills, The Hindustan Times reports.
Called Krem Puri, the cave was discovered in 2016, but its actual length was found during an expedition by the Meghalaya Adventurers’ Association (MAA) to measure and map it between February 5 and March 1 this year, said Brian Daly Kharpran, a founding member of the organisation."


Annet om grotter / Unexpected cavern encountered in France
« Nyeste innlegg av Narve 23.03.2018 16:51 »
Unexpected cavern encountered in France
22 Mar 2018
Robbins News Release

A rebuilt Robbins 3.5m diameter main beam TBM has encountered and successfully passed through an unexpected cavern during its drive on the Galerie des Janots water tunnel project in La Ciotat, France. The machine, launched in 2017 by contractor Eiffage Civil Engineering, was 1km into the drive when the cavern, studded with stalactites and stalagmites and measuring 8,000m3 was discovered to the left of the planned route.

“We hit the corner of the cavern and had to erect a 4m high wall for the grippers of the TBM to react against as it progressed across the void,” explained Marc Dhiersat, Project Director of Galerie des Janots for Eiffage. A small door allowed access into the cavity, which formed naturally at a point 60m below the surface. The TBM was able to successfully navigate out of the cavern in eight strokes and without significant downtime to the operation.

“It is certainly unusual to come across a cavern of this size, although the geology of karstic and volcanic formations has the potential for underground cavities,” said Detlef Jordan, Robbins Sales Manager Europe. Karst cavities were a known risk during the bore, but the cavern was not shown in vertical borehole reports conducted from the surface along the alignment.

The TBM has a further 1.8km to excavate before the 2.8km tunnel is complete. As it is possible to encounter further caverns, the machine is fitted with a geotechnical BEAM (bore-tunneling electrical ahead monitoring) system to predict ground conditions using focused electricity induced polarization.

Early in the drive, the TBM and its crews encountered difficult ground conditions consisting of limestone with powdery clays which required resin-anchored bolts and steel arch rings as ground support, topped with a 10-15cm thick layer of shotcrete. After five months of managing through poor ground conditions, Eiffage is optimistic that conditions will improve and the tunnel will be complete in the next four to five months.

Galerie des Janots is one of 14 projects being carried out to save water and protect resources by the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolis, the water agency Rhône Mediterranean Corsica, and the State Government. The Janots tunnel will replace old deteriorating pipelines located in a railway tunnel which currently contribute to an estimated water loss of 132 million gallons of potable water/year.

The completed tunnel will pass under Le Parc National des Calanques, with cover between 15m and 180m and will increase water carrying capacity. “The current pipes transport 330 litres/sec, which is not enough during the summer period. It is hoped to increase capacity to 440 litres/sec,” said Dhiersat.
Kartlegging / 3D scan of a cave network in spain
« Nyeste innlegg av Rolf 17.03.2018 10:04 »
"For some time, scientists have known that the Moon and Mars have some fascinating similarities to Earth. In addition to being similar in composition, there is ample evidence that both bodies had active geological pasts. This includes stable lava tubes which are very similar to those that exist here on Earth. And in the future, these tubes could be an ideal location for outposts and colonies.

However, before we can begin choosing where to settle, these locations need to be mapped out to determining which would be suitable for human habitation. Luckily, a team of speleologists (cave specialists), geologists and ESA astronauts recently created the largest 3D image of a lava tube ever created. As part of the ESA’s PANGAEA program, this technology could one day help scientists map out cave systems on the Moon and Mars.

The lava tube in question was the La Cueva de Los Verdes, a famous tourist destination in Lanzarote, Spain. In addition to ESA astronaut Matthias Mauer, the team consisted of Tommaso Santagata (a speleologist from the University of Padova and the co-founder of the Virtual Geographic Agency), Umberto Del Vecchio and Marta Lazzaroni – a geologists and a masters student from the University of Padova, respectively."

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