Caves of Gargas
The Caves of Gargas in the Pyrenees region of France are known for their cave art from the Upper Paleolithic period - about 27,000 years old. The caves are open to the public, the caves are located near the town of Aventignan in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France, at the edge of the Haute-Garonne close to Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges. The caves have yielded evidence of occupation from the Mousterian to the Middle Ages, the paintings have numerous negative hand stencils made by the stencil technique. The hands are red or black, using a mixture of iron oxide and manganese crushed with animal fat, some have one or more fingers absent which leads to hypotheses of diseases and ritual amputation, but most researchers prefer the symbolism of bending one or more fingers. Many figurative engravings are present in parts of the caves, depicting horses, aurochs, ibex. Carbon-14 dating of a bone stuck in a crack in a wall decorated with hand stencils revealed close to 27,000 years BP and it is surmised that the Hands paintings probably date from this period.
The caves have been classified since 1910 by the French Ministry of Culture as a monument historique, Schedule 2, prehistoric art List of archaeological sites by country List of caves Cave painting Foucher Pascal, San Juan-Foucher Cristina, Rumeau Yoan, La grotte de Gargas. Un siècle de découvertes, Édition Communautés de Communes du Canton de Saint-Laurent-de-Neste,2007,128 pages
A sinkhole, known as a cenote, sink-hole, swallet, swallow hole, or doline, is a depression or hole in the ground caused by some form of collapse of the surface layer. Most are caused by karst processes—for example, the dissolution of carbonate rocks or suffosion processes. Sinkholes vary in size from 1 to 600 m both in diameter and depth, and vary in form from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged chasms, sinkholes may form gradually or suddenly, and are found worldwide. Sinkholes may capture surface drainage from running or standing water, but may form in high. Sinkholes that capture drainage can hold it in limestone caves. These caves may drain into tributaries of larger rivers, the formation of sinkholes involves natural processes of erosion or gradual removal of slightly soluble bedrock by percolating water, the collapse of a cave roof, or a lowering of the water table. Sinkholes often form through the process of suffosion, for example, groundwater may dissolve the carbonate cement holding the sandstone particles together and carry away the lax particles, gradually forming a void.
Occasionally a sinkhole may exhibit a visible opening into a cave below, sinkholes occur in sandstone and quartzite terrains. As the rock dissolves and caverns develop underground and these sinkholes can be dramatic, because the surface land usually stays intact until there is not enough support. Then, a collapse of the land surface can occur. Sinkholes form from human activity, such as the collapse of abandoned mines and salt cavern storage in salt domes in places like Louisiana, more commonly, sinkholes occur in urban areas due to water main breaks or sewer collapses when old pipes give way. They can occur from the overpumping and extraction of groundwater, sinkholes can form when natural water-drainage patterns are changed and new water-diversion systems are developed. Sinkholes tend to occur in karst landscapes, karst landscapes can have up to thousands of sinkholes within a small area, giving the landscape a pock-marked appearance. These sinkholes drain all the water, so there are only subterranean rivers in these areas, examples of karst landscapes with a plethora of massive sinkholes include Khammouan Mountains and Mamo Plateau.
The largest known sinkholes formed in sandstone are Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel in Venezuela, some sinkholes form in thick layers of homogenous limestone. On the contact of limestone and insoluble rock below it, powerful underground rivers may form, in such conditions, the largest known sinkholes of the world have formed, like the 662-metre deep Xiaozhai Tiankeng, giant sótanos in Querétaro and San Luis Potosí states in Mexico and others. The state of Florida in the United States is known for having frequent sinkhole collapses, the Murge area in southern Italy has numerous sinkholes. Sinkholes can be formed in retention ponds from large amounts of rain, an analysis of a case of sinkhole formation under a retention pond due to a large amount of rain can be seen in a sinkhole collapse study
Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves and it has been documented for more weathering-resistant rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions. Subterranean drainage may limit surface water, with few to no rivers or lakes, the English word karst was borrowed from German Karst in the late 19th century. The German word came into use before the 19th century, according to the prevalent interpretation, the term is derived from the German name for the Karst region, a limestone plateau above the city of Trieste in the northern Adriatic. Scholars disagree, however, on whether the German word was borrowed from Slovene, the Slovene common noun kras was first attested in the 18th century, and the adjective form kraški in the 16th century. The Slovene words arose through metathesis from the reconstructed form *korsъ, the word is of Mediterranean origin, believed to derive from some Romanized Illyrian base.
It has been suggested that the word may derive from the Proto-Indo-European root karra- rock, the name may be connected to the oronym Karsádios oros cited by Ptolemy, and perhaps to Latin Carusardius. The development of karst occurs whenever acidic water starts to break down the surface of bedrock near its cracks, as the bedrock continues to degrade, its cracks tend to get bigger. As time goes on, these fractures will become wider, if this underground drainage system does form, it will speed up the development of karst formations there because more water will be able to flow through the region, giving it more erosive power. The carbonic acid that causes karstic features is formed as rain passes through the atmosphere picking up carbon dioxide, once the rain reaches the ground, it may pass through soil that can provide much more CO2 to form a weak carbonic acid solution, which dissolves calcium carbonate. The oxidation of sulfides leading to the formation of acid can be one of the corrosion factors in karst formation.
As oxygen -rich surface waters seep into deep anoxic karst systems, they bring oxygen, sulfuric acid reacts with calcium carbonate, causing increased erosion within the limestone formation. This chain of reactions is, This reaction chain forms gypsum, the karstification of a landscape may result in a variety of large- or small-scale features both on the surface and beneath. On exposed surfaces, small features may include solution flutes, limestone pavement, medium-sized surface features may include sinkholes or cenotes, vertical shafts, disappearing streams, and reappearing springs. Large-scale features may include limestone pavements and karst valleys, mature karst landscapes, where more bedrock has been removed than remains, may result in karst towers, or haystack/eggbox landscapes. Beneath the surface, complex underground systems and extensive caves. Some of the most dramatic of these formations can be seen in Thailands Phangnga Bay, calcium carbonate dissolved into water may precipitate out where the water discharges some of its dissolved carbon dioxide.
Rivers which emerge from springs may produce tufa terraces, consisting of layers of calcite deposited over extended periods of time, in caves, a variety of features collectively called speleothems are formed by deposition of calcium carbonate and other dissolved minerals
A glacier cave is a cave formed within the ice of a glacier. Glacier caves are called ice caves, but the latter term is properly used to describe bedrock caves that contain year-round ice. Most glacier caves are started by running through or under the glacier. This water often originates on the surface through melting, entering the ice at a moulin. Heat transfer from the water can cause sufficient melting to create an air-filled cavity, air movement can assist enlargement through melting in summer and sublimation in winter. Some glacier caves are formed by heat from volcanic vents or hotsprings beneath the ice. An extreme example is the Kverkfjöll glacier cave in the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland, some glacier caves are relatively unstable due to melting and glacial motion, and are subject to localized or complete collapse, as well as elimination by glacial retreat. An example of the nature of glacier caves is the former Paradise Ice Caves. The Paradise Ice Caves collapsed and vanished in the 1990s, Glacier caves may be used by glaciologists to gain access to the interior of glaciers.
The study of glacier caves themselves is sometimes called glaciospeleology, mount Rainier Two craters on top of a cone on the volcanos summit contain the worlds largest volcanic ice-cave system. Perito Moreno Glacier Titlis Ice cave W. R. Halliday, Glaciospeleology Cave Science Topics, J. Schroeder, Inside the Glaciers – Svalbard, Norway The Canadian Caver vol.22 no.1,1990. Media related to Glacier cave at Wikimedia Commons The Virtual Cave, Glacier Caves
La Verna cave
La Verna is a show cave in the commune of Sainte-Engrâce in the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques in France. 660 metres of mined tunnel leads into the Salle de la Verna and it has a diameter of 250 metres, a height of 194 metres, a surface area of 5 hectares and a volume of 3.6 million cubic metres. A river cascades into the chamber from halfway up the east wall, the chamber was named after the Lyon scouts, La Verna Troop, who helped in the attempted rescue of Marcel Loubens who died following a fall during the 1952 explorations. In 2003 a standard 4 person hot-air balloon was flown in Salle de la Verna, La Verna is part of the 82-kilometre-long,1, 410-metre-deep, Gouffre de la Pierre-Saint-Martin and Gouffre des Partages cave system. The Salle de la Verna has formed where the river flows off the schist onto Devonian limestone, over time, the river found a route through the soluble limestones, leaving the original downstream river passage high and dry. The chamber was formed by a process of solution and collapse, the unconformity between the Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks is clearly exposed in the walls of the chamber.
The river flowing through the chamber originated from the zones on the 2, 000-metre high limestone plateaus. In this mineral world lives a community of animals, adapted to the dark depths of the karst. They are small invertebrates and without pigmentation, the two most common species observed in La Verna are the Aphaenops loubensi and Aphaenops cabidochei. In order to survive, these insects need an atmosphere saturated with humidity, after fecundation, the female lays a single egg, out of which a small larva hatches. Contrary to insects on the surface, this larva immediately metamorphoses to an adult, the biologist Michel Cabidoche studied these animals in the 60’s. 1950-51, The discovery and exploration of the 320-metre deep Lépineux shaft in the massif of La Pierre Saint Martin,13 August 1952, Marcel Loubens died as a result of a fall during the explorations. 13 August 1953, Georges Lépineux, Jimmy Théodor, Daniel Eppely, Michel Letrône and Georges Ballandraux, one group opened the way, the other follows surveying as they went.
They met in Salle de la Verna, where they inscribed their names and they had found what was at the time - and remained for many years - the world’s largest known underground chamber. They had set a depth-record, 1956-60, The French National Electricity Company decided to construct a tunnel. The plan was to capture the river that runs through the Salle de la Verna for the production of electricity. It took four years to dig the tunnel, but the project was abandoned for technical reasons, cavers began using the tunnel as a short cut to continue their explorations. 2000, A private company, SHEM re-launched the hydro-electric power project, january 2006, Work on the project began
Caving — traditionally known as spelunking in the United States and Canada and potholing in the United Kingdom and Ireland — is the recreational pastime of exploring wild cave systems. In contrast, speleology is the study of caves and the cave environment. Cave diving is a distinct, and more hazardous, sub-speciality undertaken by a minority of technically proficient cavers. Sometimes categorized as a sport, it is not commonly considered as such by long-time enthusiasts. Many caving skills overlap with those involved in canyoning, Caving is often undertaken for the enjoyment of the outdoor activity or for physical exercise, as well as original exploration, similar to mountaineering or diving. Physical or biological science is an important goal for some cavers, virgin cave systems comprise some of the last unexplored regions on Earth and much effort is put into trying to locate and survey them. In well-explored regions, the most accessible caves have already been explored, Caving, in certain areas, has been utilized as a form of eco and adventure tourism.
Tour companies have established a leading and guiding tours into. Depending on the type of cave and the type of tour, in many areas, there are tours led through lava tubes by a guiding service. Some however consider the assistance cavers give each other as a team sport activity. Too much emphasis on the labeling of caving as a sport can narrow the goals of caving as a whole, Caving often puts the needs and welfare of a cave before those of the active participants. Clay Perry, an American caver of the 1940s, wrote about a group of men and this group referred to themselves as spelunkers, a term derived from the Latin spēlunca cave, den, itself from the Greek σπῆλυγξ spēlynks cave. This is regarded as the first use of the word in the Americas, throughout the 1950s, spelunking was the general term used for exploring caves in US English. It was used freely, without any positive or negative connotations, in the 1960s, the terms spelunking and spelunker began to be considered déclassé among experienced enthusiasts.
This sentiment is exemplified by bumper stickers and T-shirts displayed by some cavers, Cavers rescue spelunkers, outside the caving community and spelunkers predominately remain neutral terms referring to the practice and practitioners, without any respect to skill level. Potholing refers to the act of exploring potholes, a word originating in the north of England for predominantly vertical caves, the base term caving comes from the Latin cavea or caverna, meaning simply, a cave. He developed his own based on ropes and metallic ladders. Martel visited Kentucky and notably Mammoth Cave National Park in October 1912, robert de Joly, Guy de Lavaur and Norbert Casteret were prominent figures of that time, surveying mostly caves in Southwest France
Among some of the best-known Upper Paleolithic works of art depicted are primarily large animals, typical local and contemporary fauna that corresponds with the fossil record. The paintings are the combined effort of many generations, and despite continuing debate, Lascaux was inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1979, as element of the Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley. On September 12,1940, the entrance to the Lascaux Cave was discovered by 18 year old Marcel Ravidat, Ravidat returned to the scene with three friends, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas, and entered the cave via a long shaft. The teenagers discovered that the walls were covered with depictions of animals. Galleries that suggest continuity. Those include the Hall of the Bulls, the Passageway, the Shaft, the Nave, the Apse, the cave complex was opened to the public in 1948. By 1955, carbon dioxide, heat and other contaminants produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings, as air condition deteriorated fungi and lichen increasingly infested the walls.
Consequently the cave was closed to the public in 1963, the paintings were restored to their original state, a full range of Lascauxs parietal art is presented at the Centre of Prehistoric Art at Le Parc du Thot. Ochroconis lascauxensis is a species of fungus of the Ascomycota phylum, in May 2012 officially described and named after the locality of its first emergence, the Lascaux cave. It was along with a closely related second species Ochroconis anomala, first observed in 2000 inside the cave, no official announcement on the effect and/or progress of attempted treatments has ever been made. As of 2008, the cave contained black mold, in January 2008, authorities closed the cave for three months even to scientists and preservationists. A single individual was allowed to enter the cave for 20 minutes once a week to monitor climatic conditions, in 2009 it was announced, Mould problem stable. In 2011 the fungus seemed to be in retreat after the installment of an additional, in its sedimentary composition, the Vézère drainage basin covers one fourth of the département of the Dordogne, the northernmost region of the Black Périgord.
Before joining the Dordogne River near Limeuil, the Vézère flows in a south-westerly direction, at its centre point, the rivers course is marked by a series of meanders flanked by high limestone cliffs that determine the landscape. The Lascaux valley is located some distance from the concentrations of decorated caves and inhabited sites. This is the highest concentration in western Europe, the cave contains nearly 2,000 figures, which can be grouped into three main categories, human figures, and abstract signs. The paintings contain no images of the landscape or the vegetation of the time. Charcoal may have used but seemingly to a sparing extent. In other areas, the colour was applied by spraying the pigments by blowing the mixture through a tube, where the rock surface is softer, some designs have been incised into the stone
A ponor is a natural surface opening that may be found in landscapes where the geology and the geomorphology is characterized by some kind of karst. The term ponor has become the international term for larger karst-induced surface water inlets. The word derives from the proto-Slavic nora, the word ponor itself comes from Slovene in which word ponor has the same meaning. Steady water erosion may have formed or enlarged the portal in rock, in a conglomerate, ponors are found worldwide, but only in karst regions. The entire Adriatic watershed within Bosnia and Herzegovina sits on Dinaric karst, with numerous explored and probably many more unexplored ponors, there are several places in southeast Europe with the name Ponor due to associated karst openings. There are significant geological ponors in the Carpathian Mountains, the Dinaric Alps, Greece and parts of the southern United States
It is located near the commune of Vallon-Pont-dArc on a limestone cliff above the former bed of the Ardèche River, in the Gorges de lArdèche. Discovered on December 18,1994, it is considered one of the most significant prehistoric art sites and its paintings, along with those of Lascaux and the Cave of Altamira, have been dubbed a prehistoric Sistine Chapel. The cave was first explored by a group of three speleologists, Eliette Brunel-Deschamps, Christian Hillaire, and Jean-Marie Chauvet for whom it was named, Chauvet has a detailed account of the discovery. In addition to the paintings and other evidence, they discovered fossilized remains, prints. Further study by French archaeologist Jean Clottes has revealed much about the site, the dates have been a matter of dispute but a study published in 2012 supports placing the art in the Aurignacian period, approximately 32, 000–30,000 years BP. The cave is situated above the course of the Ardèche River before the Pont dArc opened up. The gorges of the Ardèche region are the site of numerous caves, the Chauvet Cave is uncharacteristically large and the quality and condition of the artwork found on its walls have been called spectacular.
Based on radiocarbon dating, the cave appears to have used by humans during two distinct periods, the Aurignacian and the Gravettian. Most of the dates to the earlier, era. After the childs visit to the cave, evidence suggests that due to a landslide which covered its historical entrance, the footprints may be the oldest human footprints that can be dated accurately. The soft, clay-like floor of the cave retains the paw prints of cave bears along with large, fossilized bones are abundant and include the skulls of cave bears and the horned skull of an ibex. A set of prints of a young child and a wolf or dog walking side by side was found in this cave. This information suggests the origin of the dog could date to before the last Ice Age. Hundreds of animal paintings have been catalogued, depicting at least 13 different species, there are paintings of rhinoceroses. Typical of most cave art, there are no paintings of human figures. Above the Venus, and in contact with it, is a bison head, there are a few panels of red ochre hand prints and hand stencils made by blowing pigment over hands pressed against the cave surface.
Abstract markings—lines and dots—are found throughout the cave, there are two unidentifiable images that have a vaguely butterfly or avian shape to them. This combination of subjects has led some students of art and cultures to believe that there was a ritual, shamanic
Mining is extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth usually from an orebody, vein, reef or placer deposits. These deposits form a mineralized package that is of economic interest to the miner, ores recovered by mining include metals, oil shale, limestone, dimension stone, rock salt, potash and clay. Mining is required to obtain any material that cannot be grown through agricultural processes, Mining in a wider sense includes extraction of any non-renewable resource such as petroleum, natural gas, or even water. Mining of stones and metal has been a human activity since pre-historic times, Mining operations usually create a negative environmental impact, both during the mining activity and after the mine has closed. Hence, most of the nations have passed regulations to decrease the impact. Work safety has long been a concern as well, and modern practices have significantly improved safety in mines, levels of metals recycling are generally low. Unless future end-of-life recycling rates are stepped up, some rare metals may become unavailable for use in a variety of consumer products, due to the low recycling rates, some landfills now contain higher concentrations of metal than mines themselves.
Since the beginning of civilization, people have used stone, ceramics and, and these were used to make early tools and weapons, for example, high quality flint found in northern France, southern England and Poland was used to create flint tools. Flint mines have been found in areas where seams of the stone were followed underground by shafts. The mines at Grimes Graves and Krzemionki are especially famous, other hard rocks mined or collected for axes included the greenstone of the Langdale axe industry based in the English Lake District. The oldest-known mine on archaeological record is the Lion Cave in Swaziland, at this site Paleolithic humans mined hematite to make the red pigment ochre. Mines of an age in Hungary are believed to be sites where Neanderthals may have mined flint for weapons. Ancient Egyptians mined malachite at Maadi, at first, Egyptians used the bright green malachite stones for ornamentations and pottery. Later, between 2613 and 2494 BC, large building projects required expeditions abroad to the area of Wadi Maghareh in order to secure minerals and other resources not available in Egypt itself.
Quarries for turquoise and copper were found at Wadi Hammamat, Tura and various other Nubian sites on the Sinai Peninsula. Mining in Egypt occurred in the earliest dynasties, the gold mines of Nubia were among the largest and most extensive of any in Ancient Egypt. These mines are described by the Greek author Diodorus Siculus, who mentions fire-setting as one used to break down the hard rock holding the gold. One of the complexes is shown in one of the earliest known maps, the miners crushed the ore and ground it to a fine powder before washing the powder for the gold dust