Author Topic: Deepest cave in England  (Read 3120 times)

Offline Andy Farrant

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #50 on: June 27, 2020, 03:18:00 pm »
The region with the greatest depth potential could easily be either the Peak District or the Mendip area, it just depends on how deep the sumps are. In both regions the limestone extends to much greater depths than in Yorkshire. Some of the sinks in the Cheddar catchment north of Wigmore are up around 280 m, and the resurgence at c. 27 m, so depth range of 250-260 m, but Sump 3 in Gough's is 55 m deep (base at c. 28 m below sea-level), giving an overall depth potential of 308 m, but could be more (Wookey 20 is 90 m deep). But hypogene systems could be deeper still. The conduit feeding the Bath hot springs could be as deep as 2500 m.... just depends if it is big enough to fit a diver. Same applies to Buxton or Matlock thermal springs, both could be deep systems.

Offline Tseralo

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2020, 03:18:12 pm »
I've not been to the bottom of Russet Well since I was a teenager but I think it was about 24.5m deep. Maybe Pitlamp has a better idea.
The sump index says 25m but what’s 0.5m between friends.

Online Duck ditch

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2020, 03:36:29 pm »
Langcliffe Pot to black keld is around 270m. So not completely out of the mix.  A higher entrance to langcliffe could be found and I’m not sure how deep black keld goes down.  Not 30m I suppose.

I’m going to get into hot water but I’m dismissing Roman baths.  :) 

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #53 on: June 27, 2020, 03:49:37 pm »
The conduit feeding the Bath hot springs could be as deep as 2500 m.... just depends if it is big enough to fit a diver. Same applies to Buxton or Matlock thermal springs, both could be deep systems.

I'll get my dowsing rods out  ;)
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Online Fjell

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #54 on: June 27, 2020, 04:27:31 pm »
Should do some prospecting, never know what you will find. You can get open phreatic passage several metres in diameter at depths of over 4000m in some places in the Carboniferous. Def what you might call paleokarst though given there are Permian deposits on top. Passage that has not collapsed since. Pretty sound rock eh?

Offline Inferus

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #55 on: June 27, 2020, 06:47:36 pm »
Langcliffe Pot to black keld is around 270m. So not completely out of the mix.  A higher entrance to langcliffe could be found and I’m not sure how deep black keld goes down.  Not 30m I suppose.
The depth potential is similar in the Malham area, Kuling Hole (tested) to Malham Cove is (based on altitudes in NC2) 277m, not including sump depth at the risings (15m according to the book, I'm sure Pitlamp will no doubt have a more up to date depth,if it has gone deeper since that publication), also not including possible connection to Aire Head, which is lower still.
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #56 on: June 27, 2020, 07:23:40 pm »
From memory, the highest potential entrance up above Pikedaw, to the deepest point (-14 m) in the underwater cave system at the foot of the Cove is around 310 m. (Yes, I think you're right Inferus - Aire Head Springs are lower than the deepest currently known point in the underwater cave system at the Cove.)

Again, without looking it up, I think the depth in Black Keld gets down around the 20 m mark in the final long sump. (Alexchien could probably tell us more precisely.)

Doesn't the limestone go extremely deep below ground in the Greenhow area (due to the proximity of the Craven Fault zone), with theoretical potential for great depth in the phreatic zone? Langcliffe knows this area and its geology better than me

Offline pwhole

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #57 on: June 27, 2020, 11:56:24 pm »
Didn't the Eyam borehole in Horseshoe Quarry confirm 1200m of limestone there to a basement of 'some other stuff'? I'm away so can't consult my files but I'm sure it was close. Not that it guarantees cave passage of course but it's a hell of a depth.

Offline benshannon

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #58 on: June 28, 2020, 07:13:04 am »
As ever in these discussions, it would help to know what the OP had in mind.

Yes this is the idea I had in my head 😁

I'm guessing something like highest peak and deepest cave in 24 hours.

If Charterhouse fits the bill for deepest (as in most vertical range without diving), I'd be happy to lead a trip to the end, with a few caveats, like the cave being open again...

Offline benshannon

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #59 on: June 28, 2020, 07:20:53 am »
This has been a really interesting thread to read. Lots of knowledge 😁 so the concensus is charthouse then.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #60 on: June 28, 2020, 08:14:55 am »
Is it?

Mikem wrote:

"whereas charterhouse connects to goughs cave at bottom of Cheddar Gorge"

Has it been connected? Or does that mean "hydrologically connected"?


Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #61 on: June 28, 2020, 08:15:44 am »
I've not been to the bottom of Russet Well since I was a teenager but I think it was about 24.5m deep. Maybe Pitlamp has a better idea.

Your memory is spot on Mark!

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #62 on: June 28, 2020, 08:37:48 am »
Didn't the Eyam borehole in Horseshoe Quarry confirm 1200m of limestone there to a basement of 'some other stuff'? I'm away so can't consult my files but I'm sure it was close. Not that it guarantees cave passage of course but it's a hell of a depth.

We'd better get cracking on Layby Shelter then. Pathway to the Master Cave right there.
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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #63 on: June 28, 2020, 08:50:44 am »
Is it?

I believe it is, though a slip on the quote makes that less obvious. I have added emphasis to benshannon's words within the context that they were written. Hopefully this makes his original intent clear, for which Charterhouse fits the bill.

As ever in these discussions, it would help to know what the OP had in mind.

Yes this is the idea I had in my head 😁

I'm guessing something like highest peak and deepest cave in 24 hours.

If Charterhouse fits the bill for deepest (as in most vertical range without diving), I'd be happy to lead a trip to the end, with a few caveats, like the cave being open again...
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline mikem

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #64 on: June 28, 2020, 09:24:45 am »
I took "Is it?" as referring to charterhouse being connected to goughs, which as we were discussing potential at the time, is obviously hydrological, it has not yet been physically done.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #65 on: June 28, 2020, 09:47:29 am »
Indeed.

Judging by the way the silt, sand and gravel have moved in the "dry" cave over recent years (flat out become stooped walk in some places) further downstream progress may be easily won now. Tough old carry though and there's no saying that the sump won't be even worse  ;D
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #66 on: June 28, 2020, 09:55:12 am »
I took "Is it?" as referring to charterhouse being connected to goughs, which as we were discussing potential at the time, is obviously hydrological, it has not yet been physically done.

Ah - thanks for clarifying that; I thought we'd have heard if these two major caves had actually been connected.

For anyone considering the potential depth from Charterhouse to Goughs Cave, don't forget the deep sumps, which must be well below the entrance to Gough's.

(Pete Hall - I follow your reasoning about contex,t a couple of posts above - thanks.)

I'm still pinning my own hopes on the Malham system. Although the longest known cave in the area at the moment is in excess of 1.8 km, it's still only a tiny fraction of what remains to be found in this Dales "last great problem". Something high up on the moors will go big one day.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #67 on: June 28, 2020, 10:15:13 am »
I've not been to the bottom of Russet Well since I was a teenager but I think it was about 24.5m deep. Maybe Pitlamp has a better idea.

Your memory is spot on Mark!

Purely for completeness, you prompted me to look up the survey.  The deepest point is at -25 m but the immature bedding where the main flow comes in is just above the floor at -24 m.

Offline Judi Durber

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #68 on: June 28, 2020, 10:47:27 am »

I would love this to be a subject at Hidden Earth, with lots of diagrams and surveys by someone in the know   :smartass:  (which I am not  :-[ :doubt:  )

 ;D

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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #69 on: June 28, 2020, 10:55:40 am »
I'm still pinning my own hopes on the Malham system.

And please keep it up, I always look forward to reading your reports in the CDG newsletter. Shame there will be a bit of a gap...  :weep:
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Offline Laurie

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #70 on: June 28, 2020, 11:20:42 am »
Don't you have to qualify 'Deepest' first?
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #71 on: June 28, 2020, 11:53:44 am »
Thanks for your encouraging  comment above Pete - but I really meant the Malham area generally, not just the efforts of the divers at the Cove. There's a great swathe of land high above which has been largely neglected by cavers (with a few very notable exceptions over the years). If the same degree of effort was put in here which the Ease Gill system (for example) has received, I think a lot more cave would be known by now in the Malham catchment.

Offline braveduck

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #72 on: June 28, 2020, 12:36:18 pm »
I would have thought one of the deepest possibilities would be Pikdaw Calamine Caverns to the Cove .
In Pikdaw there is at least one natural shaft which must have been backfilled by the miners and other natural
leads also backfilled .If these connected with deeper natural stuff it must lead eventualy to the Cove .
Surprised nobody has had a serious dig in there  .

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #73 on: June 28, 2020, 02:31:35 pm »
They have. But there are higher entrances still.

Everybody knows Pikedaw drains to the Cove - right? OK - who? And when?

I tried to answer this a while ago. I couldn't find any reference to a test anywhere. It seems that this "common knowledge" can be traced back over 5 decades to Norman Thornber's 'Pennine Underground books where he makes a throw away comment about  Pikedaw's water going to the Cove. (I actually used this forum to ask about this a few years ago, in case this sounds familiar.)

My conclusion was that it had probably never been tested and the comment was based on supposition. There are other risings it could go to. When we were planning the BCRA Malham Hydrology Project in 2016, this was one test we had on the radar. It was rejected late in the game (in favour of testing other sinks) because conditions were far too dry at the time.

As that well known song goes (perhaps somewhat unfairly, overall):

Norman Thornber, master caver,
Wrote a book they called P.U.
But the book was like the author,
Full of b......t through and through!"



Online Duck ditch

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Re: Deepest cave in England
« Reply #74 on: June 28, 2020, 06:04:20 pm »
I was under the impression Terry Whitaker carried out die testing here in the 80s. Possibly under the umbrella of ULSA. Gorbeck was done.  Ftfagos too, as Terry Seemed to indicate to us when a few of us were looking at that squaller show, amongst others around the grizedales.  The draught wasn’t reliable.  Not sure about Pikedaw. 
Good shout for the potential depth record. 

 

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