• Out now!!

    'Descent 290 is published this week and features eight extra pages. I'm not quite sure why I decided to give myself such additional work so early in my editorship, but my loss is your gain'.

    New Descent board here:

Search results

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    Thames Water and Severn Trent Water use dowsing to detect leaks

    Here is a snippet from an old borehole log on Mendip near Priddy Dale Farm [ST 52230 51260] (BGS borehole record [ST55SW13] see http://scans.bgs.ac.uk/sobi_scans/boreholes/388008/images/14834592.html Well at Dale Farm Priddy for ?? Commissioners. Dug by F G Clements Ltd, and later filled in...
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    Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas from the BCRA Council to all our members and fellow cavers, and best wishes for 2023, which will be our 50th Anniversary year!
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    Volunteers needed!

    The current BCRA Secretary has decided to stand down, so we are looking for someone to fill this important post and to contribute to the future of the Association as we enter our 50th year. The Secretary handles the day-to-day administration of the Association, and the communications with our...
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    Caving in Brazil??

    See https://www.ubss.org.uk/resources/proceedings/vol20/UBSS_Proc_20_3_187-200.pdf
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    Meanwhile near Lincoln

    Do we know where (other than near Lincoln)?
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    How long have caves been there in their current form ?

    Caves are often multiphase, having being formed over multiple glacial-interglacial cycles, so continue to develop through time. For example, GB has been actively forming for the past c. 1 million years, likewise, some of the older higher levels of Draenen are over 1.2 Ma, but the streamway is...
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    Caves in Peat?

    Peat pipes are relatvely common, and occur in most upland peat bogs, although few get large enough to crawl into (and thus can be defined as caves). Some are quite long, over 100 m. I remember seeing some in Connemara. Joseph Holden at Leeds Uni has done quite a bit of work on them...
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    Draenen & PDCMG

    Shame it's not on Zoom... and yes, from a geomorphological perspective, Draenen could have at least a dozen entrances, some via existing ungated caves. Do bats get a vote?!
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    Cussey Pot, Eyam

    The black is due to manganese and iron oxides being deposited. Acidic water draining the sandstone ridge between Great Hucklow and Eyam will contain lots of iron and manganese which gets deposited in the streamway as the pH of the water is reduced when it dissolves limestone. It is a strong...
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    SURVEX - colour by geology?

    It would be great to see a 3D model of the geology of Wookey Hole, as the geological structure and the unconformity has a big influence on cave development. Passages tend to be quasi-horizontal with vertical rifts in the conglomerate, but more classic looping passages in the limestones. The...
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    Calcite crystals & hypogene cave development - help needed!

    BCRA is currently working with Manchester University on a project investigating hypogene cave development and its potential role for geothermal energy. The aim is to examine the geochemistry of the large calcite crystals that occur within some of the phreatic vein cavities and hypogene caves. By...
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    Honorary Membership of BCRA for Dr David (Deej) Lowe

    BCRA Council has awarded Honorary Membership of the Association to Dr David J [Deej] Lowe. The award is in recognition of his outstanding service to the science of speleology and his service to BCRA. The former is evidenced by his many publications including contributions to papers on the...
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    BCRA funded dig under Pembroke Castle

    This work has been funded in part by the BCRA Cave Science and Technology Research Fund. If you have a project that you think could be helped by a small grant, then take a look at https://bcra.org.uk/researchfund/. The scope of the research fund is wide covering everything from archaeology to...
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    Armchair cave speculation

    Yes, there is a continous strip of limestone between Loxton, Banwell, Dolebury, Burrington and Lamb Leer, and indeed onto Frome, albeit locally concealed by Triassic rocks. It is possible that some of the caves in the Read's Cavern-Rods Pot area once flowed west towards Banwell, but which now...
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    Silly question about Leicestershire Slate

    The figure showing the glacial extents in https://clivebest.com/blog/?p=7089 has shows the ice extending to cover both the Mendip Hills and Salisbury Plain. The figure comes from this website: https://brian-mountainman.blogspot.com/2012/08/british-glacial-limits.html. It has been tweaked mainly...
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    Silly question about Leicestershire Slate

    Just to be very very clear, the Stonehenge bluestones are NOT glacial erratics. Having mapped much of Salisbury Plain, there is zero evidence for glacial activity that far south. There are no tills, glacial erratics or landforms suggestive of glacial activity anywhere on Salisbury Plain. The...
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    Young People and Science

    Also worth talking to the BCRA - we have some limited funding available via the the Cave Science and Technology Research Fund for research projects. See https://bcra.org.uk/researchfund/
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    Smart 1987 glaciokarst depressions paper

    PM sent, & sorted. Andy
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    Smart 1987 glaciokarst depressions paper

    Probably best to ask your library for an inter-library loan or pay for it direct. I doubt if Pete will have a digital copy, I don't, but I'll ask Daniel Ballesteros if he has one.
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    Chalk versus Marl

    A marl typically refers to a unconslidated or weakly cemented carbonate rich clay. The lowest part of the Chalk succession in the UK is quite clay-rich and used to be called the 'Chalk Marl'; it is now defined as the West Melbury Marly Chalk Formation. The overlying unit, the Zig Zag Chalk...