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Offline Cave Girl

Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2013, 01:35:57 pm »
Actually we have done a "deep pit" rescue at another cave 86m deep  - a little more complicated than untying ropes  :) but yes with a few pulleys and extra rope, more than doable  :) But all the fun is in the cardio workout  :thumleft:
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2013, 03:41:40 pm »
As promised, the cavers have been back at the big sinkhole, and once again it was a big day for all.

Iím just going to hijack my own report for a moment here. Seeing as I do not do caves, I walked up the hill behind the cave, and at the top found the most amazing ruins. As far as I know, they are from Shaka Zulu, whoís people drove out everything and anything that lived here. If there are historians aboard, please feel free to give your opinion. (Or correct me if Iím wrong)









Ok so back to the caving, this time there were seven cavers that went down, and one experienced caver and myself that would stay outside and wait for them. The caving pics are yet again all from Cave Girl.
Remember Gerry, who last time climbed down only to find that the rope was too short? Well this time he made sure he got down, here he is!


Last time some people asked me what the square object in the cave was, and I didnít know. Well we now know itís a danger sign, which somebody obviously tossed into the cave. (Outside the sinkhole there is no obvious sign of danger other than some very old, rusted and almost non Ė existent barbed wire, and a very low earth berm).


The cave mouth leading off from the sinkhole. Note the yellow tape hanging on the side to the left of the picture. That is my measuring tape, and itís 50 meters long. Didnít quite make it to the bottom.


A bit of bat guano


This is one of the few formations, itís a little pipe that is forming off the roof of the cave.


Looking back at the cave entrance


The next two is a black substance, identified as Manganese by our tame geologist Pedro.




The next five pictures are what CG describes as fluffy white stuff growing on the rocks. Some kind of crystal.










Then there are these very exquisite small white crystals.







This shows one of the walls of the cave.


Now Iím in a bit of trouble, because I was told the names of the next two formations, but forgot them. Come on DB9 or Roxens, help me out!
I do know the first one was made when the rock was shattered by the Fredeford meteorite event, and the cracks were filled immediatly with molten stone.


Iím not sure about this one, but itís so neat it almost looks man-made.


This is the hole that stopped the cavers on their first expedition down. This time they rigged a ladder across.


This is Irene, having a rest. Yes, a lot of woman do caving.


And lastly, but most importantly, a photo of our own Cave Girl, trying to see into the middle of the earth.


By six oíclock that night the experienced caver waiting outside with me was well worried, and promised that if the group was not out by eight, he was going to call in a rescue team. As CG had told me they would not be out before well past nightfall I felt there was no reason for worry, and sure enough the group came out at just past seven.
This time we had rigged a pulley system to get the cavers out, so I could not take any pictures because I was hauling on a rope, sorry.
Anyways, it turns out they had gone 530 meters into the cave, and then they hit a sheer wall. There was another hole leading off from the wall, but it was too high for them to reach, so they will have to go back with a bolting kit.
For those of you who donít know, a cave of 530 meters long is big, very, very big.


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Offline Oupa Foe-rie

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2013, 03:58:31 pm »
Very interesting and thanks for sharing ................  :thumleft:
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Offline Brandt

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2013, 04:01:23 pm »
Very interesting and thanks for sharing ................  :thumleft:
+1000 It feels if we discover the new cave with you guys. Very interesting...
 

Offline Kerritz

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2013, 05:37:50 pm »
Very interesting and thanks for sharing ................  :thumleft:
+1000 It feels if we discover the new cave with you guys. Very interesting...

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Offline Cave Girl

Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2013, 06:46:17 pm »
Some info from me  :)

Main chamber including the actual sink hole - 50m x 150m at widest points - total lenght of cave surveyed - 700m - highest point taken by me in main passage 25m deepest point 235.7m

I didn't actually go near "Bat passage 1" but Gerrie did and said there were aprox 500-600 bats in the passage, flew around for a bit and disappeared into the passage.

Main chamber has a few alcoves and 3 passages - 1 surveyed 530m and goes but at ~15m above ground so we will need to go back with a bolting kit. one passage we were unable to get more than 3-4m into due to a massive 30m drop right at the start (Bat passage 1) . and 1 passage goes up quite steeply for ~ 6m and ends.
Not many bats flying round in the main chamber - or if they were they were high up and we didn't see them. One small low chamber 8m x 5m has evidence of a small group of bats - fresh guano (Photo)... and no bats in there.
Main passage itself had 3 "sink holes" along it - the passage carried on but 15m in the air so we could not get into it with the equipment we had. The whole way along the passage you could hear bats in the roof so my guess is there are a few thousand bats in the cave.
We only got out after dark - so missed any "emergence" if there was one - Leon was on top but was so busy with hauling us out the cave did not have time to pay much attention to the sky around him - but did notice quite a few bats coming up through the sink hole -  I was lying on the floor looking up while the guys were being hauled up, and there were not "masses" of bats as I had expected there would be, but there seemed to be constant activity for at least 30min.
We had a few bats come check out what we were doing lying around at the bottom - visual and my experience says they were horseshoe where as the "masses" were by virtue of the noise in the cave, long fingered.

My very uneducated guess is there is a 2nd entrance to the cave - somewhere along the passage we could not get into because based on the noise inside the cave there just didn't seem to be enough bat activity in the sink hole - mind you we were pretty distracted. Will defiantly like to be able to watch the entrance at sunset to get a better feel for the number of bats in the cave.

Photo correction : White fluffy stuff is calcite - arogonite crystals (SP) and as Pedro explained formed after the hole was opened - me on the ladder - was taking a rest as I had just climbed up a 8m rope ladder and it seemed like a good place to take a breather - and look into the 4/5m hole I was climbing over  >:D
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Offline Mikie

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2013, 06:49:46 pm »
How awesome Caves have always fascinated me.
I would love to go down there.
As long as there are no tight spots I think I would be fine.
I remember in the Cango caves there is the devils chimney, going up there really did freak me out a bit, the tight places,,,,
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Offline Mikie

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2013, 06:51:53 pm »
I am actually surprised you didnt find any Skeletons down there, perfect umping ground for bodies if you ask me  :)
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2013, 07:31:02 pm »
Thanks Cave Girl.
Once John has drawn the cave, maybe we can put a picture of the survey on here?
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Offline Inprogress

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2013, 08:24:54 pm »
Awesome! My first though when I saw the picture from below upwards....movie set  ;D
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Offline Toors

Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2013, 02:17:33 pm »
any water for the cave divers among us??
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2013, 03:18:38 pm »
Not so far, and I don't expect them to find any either because of the amount of mining activity in the area.
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Offline Toors

Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2013, 03:24:04 pm »
Not so far, and I don't expect them to find any either because of the amount of mining activity in the area.


aah well, could only hope  ;)
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Offline SlŠinte Mhaith

Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2013, 03:33:57 pm »
Fascinating
 

Offline Rodlau

Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2013, 07:00:37 pm »
Great photos and very interesting.  But caving not for me.  I really admire all the cavers.  Looking forward to more
 

Offline White Rhino

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2013, 12:43:37 pm »
Awesome, yet freaky ... down in the bowels of mother earth .... is this a new find?
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2013, 04:50:59 pm »
Awesome, yet freaky ... down in the bowels of mother earth .... is this a new find?
Yes, brand new!
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2013, 04:01:20 pm »
Ah, I think I got this one



It is called Pseudotachylite. Pseudo because you usually find this stuff in volcanoes, and this was found at a meteor impact site.
I still have conflicting reports on where the black stuff that fills the cracks come from, according to The Story of Earth and Life, it is the rock itself that got melted and flowed into the cracks.
According to my tame Professor it was some other rock or something that melted and got injected there.
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Offline DeepBass9

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2013, 05:16:31 pm »
The fluffy spiky crystals are aragonite which is a form of calcite. : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aragonite

The pic above looks like a fine dusting of aragonite on weathered dolomite. The red is likely an iron oxide, and the darker minerals will be manganese oxide in all likelyhood.

These are dissolution cavities where the slightly acidic ground water in contact with the atmosphere, dissolves the soluble dolomite. The water ends up saturated with dissolved minerals and these can re precipitate out again to form the crystals.

Offline roxenz

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Re: Caving anybody? Check this out!
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2013, 03:40:28 pm »
Ah, I think I got this one

It is called Pseudotachylite.

It is quite possible that the dark lines on the photograph are pseudotachylite, and yes, in and around the Vredefort Dome area there are many occurences of this rock type.  It is a severely tectonised rock, similar to melting the rock, but not at high temperatures,  basically the rock was liquified due to extreme dynamic shock (high pressure as opposed to high temperature).  Obvious cause was the Vredefort impact, which was a rather spectacular event. Concentric "ripples" in the surrounding earth can be observed on satellite images more than 1000km away from the impact area.  Let's just say that if you were anywhere on the current land area of South Africa you probably would not have survived the fire works...

I cannot make out what the white rock is, probably dolomite or quartzite - both are brittle and would crack that way.

There are similar veins of pseudotachylite visible in the quartzites of most of the gold mines along the west Witwatersrand.  It is generally speculated that they are related to the Vredefort event as well.
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