The British Caving Association

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Oct 2017 10:36 
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FORMATION
Cryogenic cave calcites (CCCs) form when water enters a cave and turns to ice. As the water freezes, it becomes increasingly enriched in ions to the point of supersaturation and precipitation of calcite. Today, caves in Britain do not contain ice, but evidence that they once did can be found by the presence of CCCs. By dating CCCs, we can find out more about the environmental conditions at the time of formation and also when the cave was an ice cave.

WHERE TO FIND CCCs
There are many indications that a cave once contained ice. These can be angular breakdown boulders that formed through freeze-thaw processes operating within the rock, or 'fluffy' mud, which is a type of patterned ground that forms from freeze-thaw processes operating in the sediment.

Today CCCs will likely be found where they settled when the ice melted. This means that they are found on the floor, and not on walls or ceilings. Often they are found in passages that do not flood (otherwise they would be washed away), lying on top of angular breakdown boulders or on top of 'fluffy' mud. They would normally by 'loose' on top of the surface on which they are found, and not stuck or cemented to the underlying surface.

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
CCCs come in many shapes, colours and sizes. Typically CCCs are white to light brown in colour, and a few millimetres in size, though CCCs up to 4cm in diameter have been discovered in the UK. The shapes are extremely varied, from distinct crystals to rafts to balls with concave and convex sides. Below you will see a number of photographs of the CCCs discovered in the UK so far.


Last edited by Gina on Mon 30 Oct 2017 12:48, edited 20 times in total.
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct 2017 09:52 
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Joined: Tue 03 May 2011 10:16
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OVERVIEW OF SITES

CCCs are often found on angular breakdown boulders (indicative of freeze-thaw processes)

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File comment: Switzerland
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File comment: Reservoir Hole. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Reservoir Hole. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Reservoir Hole. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Reservoir Hole. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Reservoir Hole. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Reservoir Hole. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Wetsink. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Wetsink. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Wookey Hole. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Wookey Hole. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Miss Graces Lane
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct 2017 10:57 
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Joined: Tue 03 May 2011 10:16
Posts: 31
Another indication of the former presence of ice is "fluffy" mud

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File comment: Miss Graces Lane. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Miss Graces Lane. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Miss Graces Lane. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Reservoir. Photo: Marc Luetscher
Reservoir Hole 7.jpg
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Oct 2017 11:16 
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Joined: Tue 03 May 2011 10:16
Posts: 31
CCC MORPHOLOGIES

White, 'bubble-like' CCCs

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File comment: Wookey Hole. Photo: Marc Luetscher
Wookey Hole 3.jpg
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File comment: Wookey Hole. Photo: Marc Luetscher
Wookey Hole 2.jpg
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File comment: Reservoir Hole. Photo: Marc Luetscher
Reservoir Hole1.jpg
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File comment: Miss Graces Lane. Photo: Marc Luetscher
Miss Graces Lane 7.jpg
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Brown, 'breadcrumb-sugary-type' CCCs

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File comment: Miss Graces Lane. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Miss Graces Lane. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Miss Graces Lane. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Switzerland. Luetscher et al., 2014. Photos: Robbie Shone
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File comment: Switzerland. Photo: Robbie Shone
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Whiteish, 'raft-like' CCCs

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File comment: Miss Graces Lane. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Miss Graces Lane. Photo: Andy Harp
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Large, mixed-type CCCs
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File comment: Miss Graces Lane. Photo: Marc Luetscher
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File comment: Miss Graces Lane. Photo: Marc Luetscher
Miss Graces Lane 1.jpg
Miss Graces Lane 1.jpg [ 84.41 KiB | Viewed 348 times ]


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