Deepest Cave in the Western Hemisphere
By Bill Steele
March 2, 2016
Sistema Huautla is the deepest cave in the Americas, and the 8th deepest cave in the world. It was the first cave outside of Europe to be explored to over 1,000 meters deep. It is 72 km long (44 miles), and 1,544 meters deep (5,068 feet).
By Dr. Calvin Alexander
February 17, 2016
The old Soudan Mine in Minnesota has anoxic (oxygen free) waters with high concentrations of ferrous iron that are actively depositing a wide variety of classic cave formations --flow stones, stalagmites, soda straw stalactites and rimstone dams. Photographs of surface features on Mars reveal structures that appear to be rimstone dams associated with the distal ends of gullies. The presence of iron oxide rimstone dams suggest that those brines may be an analog for conditions on some parts of Mars. They also form a productive environment for several microbiological communities, suggesting life on Mars.
Dr. Alexander is Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences at the University of of Minnesota. (59:44) Download a copy (108 MB)
By Dr. Lee Florea
January 19, 2016
A historic picture of cave science in Florida and how the sciences of speleology and hydrogeology equally misrepresented Florida until the turn of the 21st Century. Since then, a broader perspective of what the term 'karst' means has permeated both sciences, and has helped to build a conceptual framework that can include Florida.
By Tom Evans
September 15, 2015
A discussion of the testing data for a range of webbing anchors, and their properties so that riggers can select the most appropriate for their conditions. The discussion includes a literature review of past anchor testing, and a synopsis of the results.
Tom has been a vertical caver for a decade, and has been trained in both above and below ground rope rescue. He is a National Cave Rescue Commission instructor, and has a rescue rigging research program whose results are published at the International Technical Rescue Symposium. Recently he cofounded a nonprofit (SAR3) dedicated to providing research and teaching in support of rescue and sport rigging. (1:04:16) Download a copy (119 MB)
By Jason Williams
May 28, 2015
Jason discusses his research on cavernicolous roosting bats in Nevada, focusing on better understanding the macro- and micro-climates bats are selecting for different types of roost use, including: maternity, hibernation, and migration. Jason explains his work with thermal imaging cameras and climate data loggers in mines and caves in characterizing roost use. Jason also discusses research he and colleagues are conducting to better understand how bats are responding to different bat gate designs used to secure mine and cave portals.
By Dr. Penny Boston
April 8, 2015
It's a great big holey Solar System out there with caves, now clearly visible on the Moon, Mars, and other bodies. Some cave formation mechanisms that we are familiar with on Earth may be at work in very different contexts on other planetary bodies. Other potential ways to make caves may be unique to planets and moons very different from our planet. Caves as important extraterrestrial landforms are finding their way into future mission planning for the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Dr. Boston will conduct a cook's tour of extraterrestrial caves found to date, and current thinking about how we can go forward to find and then explore these places.
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