New St. Michael's Cave
New St. Michael's Cave known as Lower St. Michael's Cave, is a cave system in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. Unlike its namesake, St. Michael's Cave, known for over 2,000 years, this cave was discovered as as World War II; the cave was accidentally discovered during World War II, when in 1942 the Royal Engineers were blasting inside the Rock of Gibraltar so as to create an alternate entrance to the lower chambers of St. Michael's Cave, prepared as an emergency hospital; the first sign was when their tunnelling appeared to create no rubble as it had fallen through the newly created opening into this undiscovered cave which may have remained sealed for some 20,000 years. The cave's chambers include examples of all known cave formations, including a lake nearly 40 yards long containing an estimated 45,000 imperial gallons of crystal-clear water. After the war, the cave and every visitor was supervised by the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence the Royal Engineers, it was not until the 1970s.
Within ten years, the guides were all civilians as the Gibraltar Tourist Board took over the cave's management from the military. Three-hour guided tours of the cave can be arranged, ending with viewing the underground lake
Painter's Cave is a cave in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It is located close to Royal Naval Hospital, it is a narrow cave 5–6 meters long. It has an entrance about 3 meters high; the cave has old graffiti from 1877. It has various rock formations. List of caves in Gibraltar
A cave or cavern is a natural void in the ground a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves form by the weathering of rock and extend deep underground; the word cave can refer to much smaller openings such as sea caves, rock shelters, grottos, though speaking a cave is exogene, meaning it is deeper than its opening is wide, a rock shelter is endogene. Speleology is the science of study of all aspects of caves and the cave environment. Visiting or exploring caves for recreation may be called caving, potholing, or spelunking; the formation and development of caves is known as speleogenesis. Caves can range in size, are formed by various geological processes; these may involve a combination of chemical processes, erosion by water, tectonic forces, microorganisms and atmospheric influences. Isotopic dating techniques can be applied to cave sediments, to determine the timescale of the geological events which formed and shaped present-day caves, it is estimated that a cave cannot exceed 3,000 metres in depth due to the pressure of overlying rocks.
For karst caves the maximum depth is determined on the basis of the lower limit of karst forming processes, coinciding with the base of the soluble carbonate rocks. Most caves are formed in limestone by dissolution. Caves can be classified in various other ways as well, including a contrast between active and relict: active caves have water flowing through them. Types of active caves include inflow caves, outflow caves, through caves. Solutional caves or karst caves are the most occurring caves; such caves form in rock, soluble. Rock is dissolved by natural acid in groundwater that seeps through bedding planes, faults and comparable features. Over time cracks enlarge to become caves and cave systems; the largest and most abundant solutional caves are located in limestone. Limestone dissolves under the action of rainwater and groundwater charged with H2CO3 and occurring organic acids; the dissolution process produces a distinctive landform known as karst, characterized by sinkholes and underground drainage.
Limestone caves are adorned with calcium carbonate formations produced through slow precipitation. These include flowstones, stalagmites, soda straws and columns; these secondary mineral deposits in caves are called speleothems. The portions of a solutional cave that are below the water table or the local level of the groundwater will be flooded. Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico and nearby Carlsbad Cavern are now believed to be examples of another type of solutional cave, they were formed by H2S gas rising from below. This gas mixes with groundwater and forms H2SO4; the acid dissolves the limestone from below, rather than from above, by acidic water percolating from the surface. Caves formed at the same time. Lava tubes are the most common primary caves; as lava flows downhill, its surface solidifies. Hot liquid lava continues to flow under that crust, if most of it flows out, a hollow tube remains; such caves can be found in the Canary Islands, Jeju-do, the basaltic plains of Eastern Idaho, in other places.
Kazumura Cave near Hilo, Hawaii is a remarkably deep lava tube. Lava caves are not limited to lava tubes. Other caves formed through volcanic activity include rifts, lava molds, open vertical conduits, blisters, among others. Sea caves are found along coasts around the world. A special case is littoral caves, which are formed by wave action in zones of weakness in sea cliffs; these weaknesses are faults, but they may be dykes or bedding-plane contacts. Some wave-cut caves are now above sea level because of uplift. Elsewhere, in places such as Thailand's Phang Nga Bay, solutional caves have been flooded by the sea and are now subject to littoral erosion. Sea caves are around 5 to 50 metres in length, but may exceed 300 metres. Corrasional or erosional caves are those that form by erosion by flowing streams carrying rocks and other sediments; these can form in any type including hard rocks such as granite. There must be some zone of weakness to guide the water, such as a fault or joint. A subtype of the erosional cave is the aeolian cave, carved by wind-born sediments.
Many caves formed by solutional processes undergo a subsequent phase of erosional or vadose enlargement where active streams or rivers pass through them. Glacier caves are formed by flowing water within and under glaciers; the cavities are influenced by the slow flow of the ice, which tends to collapse the caves again. Glacier caves are sometimes misidentified as "ice caves", though this latter term is properly reserved for bedrock caves that contain year-round ice formations. Fracture caves are formed when layers of more soluble minerals, such as gypsum, dissolve out from between layers of less soluble rock; these rocks fracture and collapse in blocks of stone. Talus caves are formed by the openings among large boulders that have fallen down into a random heap at the bases of cliffs; these unstable deposits are called talus or scree, may be subject to frequent rockfalls and landslides. Anchialine ca
Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar known as the Rock, is a monolithic limestone promontory located in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, near the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is 426 m high. Most of the Rock's upper area is covered by a nature reserve, home to around 300 Barbary macaques; these macaques, as well as a labyrinthine network of tunnels, attract a large number of tourists each year. The Rock of Gibraltar was one of the two Pillars of Hercules and was known to the Romans as Mons Calpe, the other pillar being Mons Abyla or Jebel Musa on the African side of the Strait. In ancient times, the two points marked the limit to the known world, a myth fostered by the Greeks and the Phoenicians. Gibraltar is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea; the Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic promontory. The Main Ridge has a sharp crest with peaks over 400 m above sea level, formed by Early Jurassic limestones and dolomites, it is a eroded and faulted limb of an overturned fold. The sedimentary strata composing the Rock of Gibraltar are overturned, with the oldest strata overlying the youngest strata.
These strata are the Catalan Bay Shale Formation, Gibraltar Limestone, Little Bay Shale Formation, Dockyard Shale Formation. These strata are deformed. Predominantly of shale, the Catalan Bay Shale Formation contains thick units composed of either brown calcareous sandstone, soft shaly sandstone interbedded with bluish-black limestone, interlayered greenish-gray marls and dark gray cherts; the Catalan Bay Shale Formation contains unidentifiable echinoid spines and belemnite fragments and infrequent Early Jurassic ammonites. The Gibraltar limestone consists of greyish-white or pale-gray compact, sometime finely crystalline, medium to thick bedded limestones and dolomites that locally contain chert seams; this formation comprises about three quarters of the Rock of Gibraltar. Geologists have found various badly eroded and rolled marine fossils within it; the fossils found in the Gibraltar limestone include various brachiopods, echinoid fragments, gastropods and stromatolites. These fossils indicate an Early Jurassic age for the deposition of the Gibraltar limestone.
The Little Bay and Dockyard shale formations form a minor part of the Rock of Gibraltar. The Little Bay Shale Formation consists of dark bluish-gray, unfossiliferous shale, interbedded with thin layers of grit and limestone, it predates the Gibraltar limestone. The Dockyard Shale Formation is an undescribed variegated shale of unknown age that lies buried beneath the Gibraltar's dockyard and coastal protection structures. Although these geological formations were deposited during the early part of the Jurassic Period some 175-200million years ago, their current appearance is due to far more recent events of about 5 million years ago; when the African tectonic plate collided with the Eurasian plate, the Mediterranean became a lake that, over the course of time, dried up during the Messinian salinity crisis. The Atlantic Ocean broke through the Strait of Gibraltar, the resultant flooding created the Mediterranean Sea; the Rock forms part of a mountain range that dominates southeastern Iberia. Today, the Rock of Gibraltar forms a peninsula jutting out into the Strait of Gibraltar from the southern coast of Spain.
The promontory is linked to the continent by means of a sandy tombolo with a maximum elevation of 3 m. To the north, the Rock rises vertically from sea level up to 411.5 m at Rock Gun Battery. The Rock's highest point stands 426 m near the south end above the strait at O'Hara's Battery; the Rock's central peak, Signal Hill and the top station of the Gibraltar Cable Car, stands at an elevation of 387 m. The near-cliffs along the eastern side of the Rock drop down to a series of wind-blown sand slopes that date to the glaciations when sea levels were lower than today, a sandy plain extended east from the base of the Rock; the western face, where the City of Gibraltar is located, is comparatively less steep. Calcite, the mineral that makes up limestone, dissolves in rainwater. Over time, this process can form caves. For this reason the Rock of Gibraltar contains over 100 caves. St. Michael's Cave, located halfway up the western slope of the Rock, is the most prominent and is a popular tourist attraction.
Fossils of Neanderthals have been found at several sites in Gibraltar. In 1848, a Neanderthal woman's skull was found at Forbes' Quarry, located on the north face of the Rock. However, its significance was not recognized until after the 1856 discovery of the type specimen in the Neander Valley. Excavations in Gorham's Cave, located near sea level on the eastern side of the Rock, found evidence it was used by Neanderthals, plant and animal remains in the cave gave evidence of Neanderthals' varied diet; the Moorish Castle is a relic of Moorish rule over Gibraltar. It was built in the year A. D. 711, when the Berber chieftain Tariq ibn-Ziyad first landed on the rock that still bears his name. The 17th-century Muslim historian Al-Maqqari wrote that upon landing; the principal building that remains is the Tower of Homage, a massive building of brick and hard concrete called tapia. The upper part of the tower housed Moorish bath. A unique feature of the Rock is its system of underground passages, known as the Galleries or the Great Siege Tunnels.
The first of these was dug towards the end of the Great Siege of Gibraltar, which lasted from 1779 to 1783. General Elliot, afterwards Lord Heathfield, who commanded
St. Michael's Cave
St. Michael's Cave or Old St. Michael's Cave is the name given to a network of limestone caves located within the Upper Rock Nature Reserve in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, at a height of over 300 metres above sea level. According to Alonso Hernández del Portillo, the first historian of Gibraltar, its name is derived from a similar grotto in Monte Gargano near the Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo in Apulia, where the archangel Michael is said to have appeared, it is the most visited of the more than 150 caves found inside the Rock of Gibraltar, receiving 1,000,000 visitors a year. The cave was created by rainwater seeping through the limestone rock, turning into a weak carbonic acid which dissolved the rock. Through this process, tiny cracks in The Rock's geological fault grew into long passages and large caverns over thousands of years; the numerous stalactites and stalagmites in the cave are formed by an accumulation of traces of dissolved rock deposited by water dripping from the ground above.
In 1974 a Neolithic bowl was discovered in the cave, one of many examples which prove that the cave was known to prehistoric humans. Another would be the discovered cave art depicting an ibex drawn in charcoal on one of the cave walls, it has been dated to the solutrean period based on the style used. However, since two Neanderthal skulls have been discovered in Gibraltar, it is possible that they were among the first to set foot in the cave around 40,000 BC; the first factual description of the cave was written in 45 AD by Pomponius Mela, an Algeciras born geographer. He described Gibraltar as: A mountain with wonderful concavities, which has its western side opened by a large cave which may be penetrated far into the interior. However, the writings of Homer as well as artifacts discovered in the cave show that it was well known to the ancient Greeks and Phoenicians; the name Cueva de San Miguel is recorded by the Gibraltar's first historian, Alonso Hernández del Portillo, in his Historia de la Muy Noble y Más Leal Ciudad de Gibraltar.
In his work, Hernández del Portillo suggests the caves name is taken from the similar grotto in Apulia, Italy. During the first century of the British period, there are some records of the attempt by the new owners of the Rock to change the name of the cave using the name of the English patron Saint, Saint George. However, the new name, St. George's Cave, was not successful and, although still used in the 19th century, has not remained in use, being replaced by its original name. During the Victorian era the cave was used as a venue for picnics, concerts and duels; the caves would be decorated for many of these events and illuminated for distinguished visitors by soldiers who would perch on stalagmites with torches. The first official archaeological excavation of the cave was carried out in 1867 by the Governor of the military prison, Captain Brome, he discovered numerous prehistoric artifacts such as stone axes and arrow heads, shell jewelry, bone needles as well as a large collection of pottery.
Despite his archeological efforts, Brome's unauthorised use of prisoners' labour cost him his job. Officers looking for adventure during quiet times of service, would pass their time exploring the many passages within the cave system. Sometime before 1840, Colonel Mitchell accompanied by a second officer got lost in the caves and were never seen again, their disappearance led to extensive explorations of the cave system in 1840, 1857 and 1865, but no evidence of the officers' whereabouts was found. Further exploration was carried out between 1936 and 1938, when a scientific expedition was mounted and every known part of the cave system was explored but again no human remains were found, it is believed that St. Michael's Cave has had a military use since the Berber general Tariq ibn Ziyad led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 711 AD; this is assumed due to the defensive wall of Moorish origin which protected the cave's entrance until recently. Just after Gibraltar's capture by Anglo-Dutch forces in 1704, 500 Spanish troops concealed themselves within the cave overnight after having ascended through a path led by goatherd Simón Susarte, before an unsuccessful attempt to surprise the garrison.
During World War II the entire cave was prepared for use as an emergency military hospital. It was never used as such. In 1942, it was decided that an alternate entrance was required to improve air circulation within the emergency hospital in the lower chambers of the cave, as well as to serve as an emergency exit in case of airstrike. Whilst blasting the rock in order to create the extra opening, another deeper system of caves known as New St. Michael's Cave were discovered; the series of descending chambers are riddled with examples of all known cave formations, including an underground lake of crystal clear water. The largest of the chambers, named the Cathedral Cave serves as an auditorium, it was converted due to the chamber's natural acoustic properties. It is equipped with a concrete stage and has a seating capacity of over 100, it has been a regular venue for events such as dramas and son et lumière shows as well as the annual Miss Gibraltar beauty pageant. The cave is used to hold concerts of all music genres, from operas and philharmonic orchestras to pop and rock.
Notable acts who have performed in the cave include Steve Hogarth and Breed 77. The Gibraltar World Music Festival is held here each year. Presently the cave is one of Gibraltar's top tourist attractions and is open daily to the public
Hayne's Cave Battery
Hayne's Cave Battery is the remains of two gun positions that made up an artillery battery on the west side of the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar at Hayne's Cave. Gun emplacements can still be visited at this cave; the derelict battery can now be found on the Royal Anglian Way, named after the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment, who refurbished it in August 1969. The path leads up the west side to the top of the rock passing by this battery, some military support buildings and Rooke Battery; the battery dates from 1788 although it has a plaque labelled "1903" It is named as the nearby Hayne's Cave. This battery was named after Captain Haynes, the garrison quartermaster in 1787. Visitors can see the remains of one of the two 4-inch QF gun positions which were installed in 1904 and are about 40 metres apart. In 1911 the guns were removed in favour of the superior 6 inch guns of Tovey Battery
Gorham's Cave is mistaken for a natural sea cave, but is in fact a sea level cave, in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It is considered to be one of the last known habitations of the Neanderthals in Europe, it gives its name to the Gorham's Cave complex, a combination of four distinct caves of such importance that they are combined into a UNESCO World Heritage site, the only one in Gibraltar. The three other caves are Vanguard Cave, Hyaena Cave, Bennett's Cave, it is located on the southeastern face of the Rock of Gibraltar. When first inhabited some 55,000 years ago, it would have been 5 kilometres from the shore, due to changes in sea level, it is now only a few metres from the Mediterranean Sea; the cave is named after Captain A. Gorham of the 2nd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers who discovered it in 1907, when opening a fissure at the rear of a sea cavern. Gorham inscribed his name and the date of his discovery in lamp-black on the wall of the cave, which has borne his name since.
After this initial discovery, it seems the cave was forgotten—at least at an official level—as Gibraltarian historian and potholer George Palao recalls an inscription on the cave wall that read J. J. Davies 1943. Gorham's Cave is a sea cave. Total length of this cave is 100 m and at the entrance it is 35 m high. Further inside the cave becomes narrower and turns per 90 degrees. From the entrance of cave opens a view on the Alboran Sea, it is possible. Gorham's Cave has been a site of archaeological interest; the beach below the cave had been inaccessible from the cliffs above. Royal Engineers Keighley and Ward were the first to report artefacts of archaeological interest in the cave via the Gibraltar newspapers, they had found stone tools. Moreover, they reported that animal remains had been discovered in Gorham's cave. Rev. F. E. Brown of the Gibraltar Society reported these findings to the governor of Gibraltar who requested further investigations after a site visit; these investigations were reported to the British Museum for their deliberation.
Lieutenant George Baker Alexander, Royal Engineer and a graduate geologist from the University of Cambridge, arrived in Gibraltar in 1945. He decided to make a geological survey of Gibraltar. Alexander was the first to excavate Gorham’s Cave, before his departure from Gibraltar in 1948 after the Gibraltar Museum challenged his methods. There are no preserved materials about these excavations. In 1945, the governor wrote to the British Museum requesting that they continue further explorations of the cave; the museum had no resources, however, so they forwarded his enquiry to Professor Dorothy Garrod at Cambridge, who had found a Neanderthal skull at Devil's Tower Cave during her earlier work in Gibraltar in the 1920s. Garrod sought the assistance of Dr. John d'Arcy Waechter, a fellow of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara. Waechter arrived in September 1948 and spent two months digging test pits to see if further excavation would be justified. Waechter's success resulted in his return in June 1950.
He went back to England in 1951, without concluding the work and returned from February to July 1952. During a final visit in 1954 he requested financial assistance from the local government to complete his work. Excavation of this site has resulted in the discovery of four layers of stratigraphy. Level I has produced evidence for eighth to third centuries BC use by Phoenicians. Below that, level II produced evidence for brief Neolithic use. Level III has yielded at least 240 Upper Paleolithic artefacts of Solutrean origin. Level IV has produced 103 items, including spear-points and scraping devices that are identified as Mousterian, shows repeated use over thousands of years. Accelerator mass spectrometry dating gives dates for level IV of between 33 and 23 thousand years before the present —the researchers felt that the uncertainties at this time depth made calibration impractical, they suggest occupation until at least 28 kyr BP and 24 kyr BP. No fossil remains have been found that would allow identification pointing to either Neanderthal or anatomically modern human inhabitants, nor associated with findings of a modern human in a site at nearby Abrigo do Lagar Velho, Portugal of 24,500 years ago who may have featured Neanderthal genetic admixtures, although Mousterian culture is identified with Neanderthals in Europe.
The floor of the cave was found to be scratched in July 2012. Researchers uncovered a series of criss-crossing lines over ~1 m2, cut into the surface of a ledge about 100 metres from its entrance; the scratches consist of eight lines arranged in two groups of three long lines and intersected by two shorter ones, used to suggest it is a symbol. The scratches are thought to be at least 39,000 years old, because they were found below a layer of undisturbed sediment of that age in which hundreds of Neanderthal stone tools were discovered; the attribution of the scratches to Neanderthals is disputed. Matt Pope of University College London cautions that "linking them directly to Neanderthal populations, or proving Neanderthals made them without any contact with modern humans is harder; the dates were indirectly obtained and refer to the material from within sediments covering the scratches and not the marks themselves. Given the dates span a period when we know modern humans have reached