• Overground/underground - a caving archaeology project in the Yorkshire Dales

    1st June 2-4pm at Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes.

    Click here for more

Another New Caving Area

Peter Burgess

New member
I recently contributed the following to our society newsletter:

Now that the European Space Agency has so spectacularly landed its Huygens lander on the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, the question that I have asked myself is whether there might be caves on Titan.

We are told that the surface has all the signs of an active geology, with active flow features such as rivers, either active or recently active. There was the suggestion that precipitation may have been detected during the lander's descent.

Our planet, with its combination of aqueous rain, and rivers, and a rocky geology with soluble limestone, has, of course, led to the creation of caves throughout the world. On Titan, we are told, the rain is likely to be liquid ethane and propane, and the solid geology may be formed of water-ice, and solid heavier hydrocarbons such as butane.

What would determine whether caves might form is the solubility of such solids in a mixture of liquid ethane and propane, and how structurally sound cavities might be when created by the rivers that are likely to exist on the surface of Titan.

Our members are, of course, well-suited for cave exploration on Titan with its methane-rich atmosphere. Those who have experienced the methane-rich atmosphere of the cabin on Sunday mornings after a good night out are first on the list.

Mr Fell

New member
You could probably get a grant to cover the cost of travel and if you drink enough Butcome - the resulant methane would probably produce enough power to escape from the Earth`s gravity. Not bad for a start !