Author Topic: An expert opinion!  (Read 6238 times)

Offline Joe Duxbury

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An expert opinion!
« on: October 03, 2009, 05:05:57 pm »
Here is what an American caver, resident in California, and well-acquainted with lava tubes, has to say about them:
"Rat piss encrusted grot holes"!

Offline menacer

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2009, 07:10:16 pm »
If hes an expert he must be right then.  :shrug:


Rats Piss encrusted Grot hole in Lanzarote.
Chaos, panic, and disorder - my work here is done.

Offline Les W

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2009, 07:33:16 pm »



Rats Piss encrusted Grot hole in Tenerife.
I'm a very busy person

Offline menacer

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2009, 07:36:43 pm »
and another...
Chaos, panic, and disorder - my work here is done.

Offline Les W

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2009, 07:40:56 pm »
To be fair, we did see a rat* in one tube in Tenerife. It was ever so cute.  :hug:

*It may have been a Siberian Hamster though.  :chair:
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Offline Joe Duxbury

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2009, 05:55:00 pm »
Rat Piss encrusted Grot hole in Lanzarote.
and another...

Hmmm. Could it be that the lava tubes of California (and possibly also Hawaii) are somewhat different?

Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2009, 06:10:47 pm »
and another...


I like this one.  Is it really snow?

Offline zippy

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2009, 09:00:13 am »
rats piss encrusted lava tubes in Hawaii!



and some nasty, horrible rats piss encrusted formations...



Experts!  :'(
"The world is a book.  Those who do not travel read only one page"  St. Augustine.

Offline menacer

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2009, 09:27:21 am »
Hmmm. Could it be that the lava tubes of California (and possibly also Hawaii) are somewhat different?
Hawaii

Rats piss encrusted Grot hole with wheel chair access  ::) - for old and inferm or less able bodied rats

No, rhychydwr1,not snow, its in Lanzarote  ;D
Ed.W (uk lava tube moderator)maybe able to tell you what it is though...

I love Zippy's Pic by the way, shame I couldnt see more from the link location  :'(
Scrap that, just went in through front page ..fab

« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 09:43:04 am by menacer »
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Offline Ed W

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2009, 10:18:33 am »
I'm not 100% sure on the Lanzarote "Snow".  It is a fine white powder which can appear as a light dusting or great drifts several feet deep.  I suspect that it is basically gypsum, some of the Lanzarote tubes have fabulous gypum flowers in them - some so fine they look like balls of cottom wool.  The powder may be some form of breakdown of these formations, though it is hard to reconcile the tremendous quantities of this powder in the lower reaches of Cueva de los Verdes with the small gypsum flowers.  It is also highly likely that these flowers and the dust has at least some biological origin (probably bacteria).

However, the main bonus is that it is highly absorbent and as such sucks up all that Rats Piss and prevents it from making the grot hole smell too much.  Sort of a natural Rat's Litter.
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Offline menacer

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2009, 10:22:37 am »
However, the main bonus is that it is highly absorbent and as such sucks up all that Rats Piss and prevents it from making the grot hole smell too much.  Sort of a natural Rat's Litter.

 :lol: :lol: :lol:
Think it also absorbs the rats too , because we haven't seen any.
Chaos, panic, and disorder - my work here is done.

Offline Roger W

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2009, 12:01:54 pm »
Great pictures of some really excellent passages!

An American expert?

Reminds me of the story of the American rancher who visited the UK and was rather critical of the farms over here - told a local farmer how back in the States he could drive all day and not get to the other side of his ranch.

The English farmer nodded sadly.  "I know what you mean," he said.  "I had a car like that once."
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline estelle

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2009, 01:42:58 pm »
i'm guessing that expert was spelt wrong in the subject line - it should have been 'ex-spurt' as in ex being 'was' and a spurt being 'a drip under pressure'...
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Offline zippy

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2009, 03:27:08 pm »
Recently visited a lava tube in La Reunion, that could honestly be described as a bird-sh1t-infested hole as it was home to a significant colony of swifts!  They actually made their nests a considerable way into the tube - well beyond the limit of where light penetrates.  As they flew, they made a rapid clicking noise - some form of primitive echo location?  They seemed to be able to avoid the lava tube walls no problem, but did keep bumping into passing cavers  :-[


The tube was also host to some calcite - yes, calcite, formations. Work that one out!

More photos & info to follow (a starter is at http://www.winstercavers.org.uk/LaReunion_Overview_2009.aspx ) the pickie below is the view down from the entrance. 



Can you spot the cavers at the bottom?  They're to the right of the (house sized) boulder in the middle of the shot!

Z.

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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2009, 03:48:57 pm »
A quick search with Google found some stuff on the geology of the island, and it mentioned a few remnant calcareous sedimentary deposits, possibly now above sea level due to changing sea levels? In which case, if there were once such deposits over ancient lava tubes, calcite deposits might grow in them? Just a thought.

Offline zippy

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2009, 04:04:36 pm »
...this was the opinion of our companions also - still a surprise when you see them tho'

Relatively speaking (it's a pointy island) the lava tube entrance is low down - but it's still probably some 400m above sea level.  The drop from the entrance to the ravine floor (as per the pickie) is ~170m, and it's a fair way from there down to the sea!

Z.
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Offline Ed W

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Re: An expert opinion!
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2009, 05:32:41 pm »
Though not common, it is not that unusual to see calcite formations in lava tubes.  For instance some of the tubes on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, are famous for them.  Such as those in th epictures below from Yoncheondonggul,





In this case the calcite leaches from wind blow coral sand which covers large parts of the island.  Stal formation is then basically exactly the same as you would get in a limestone cave.  Slightly acid water disolves the lime in the sand, then percolates through the sand and lava to deposit lime when it reaches the cave.  This can happen with other minerals, sometimes contained within the lava itself.  Gypsum formations are relatively common,

[/img]http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-sf2p/v362/136/78/723485973/n723485973_1374133_5574.jpg[/img]

but also rarer formation such as opal can be found.

These are sometimes known as secondary formations, as they form later than the tube.  Primary formations are those made of lava which form with the tube.  These lava stals are believed to form as the tube cools.  Some fractions in the rock solidify quicker than others.  As they solidify they expand, forcing the still liquid bits out of the rock matrix, forming stals and the gunmetal like linings seen in some tubes.
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