Southern Caver

Southern Caver

Material Information

Southern Caver
Series Title:
Southern Caver
Gregory Middleton ( suggested by )
Southern Caving Society
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Applied Speleology ( local )
Regional Speleology ( local )
Resource Management ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


General Note:
The Southern Caving Society was formed in April 1965 and in July 1967 commenced publication of "Southern Caver" as its quarterly newsletter. At the time of the 1996 amalgamation of SCS with the Tasmanian Caverneering Club, it was agreed that Southern Tasmanian Caverneers would continue to publish "Southern Caver" in the form of an occasional paper as and when suitable material was available. The publication has in fact appeared approximately annually in recent years and has generally carried reprints of otherwise difficult to obtain reports relating to caves in Tasmania.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 10, no. 4 (1979)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-03761 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.3761 ( USFLDC Handle )
21389 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0157-8464 ( ISSN )

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Full Text
The Southern Caving Society was formed in April 1965 and
in July 1967 commenced publication of "Southern Caver" as its
quarterly newsletter. At the time of the 1996 amalgamation of
SCS with the Tasmanian Caverneering Club, it was agreed that
Southern Tasmanian Caverneers would continue to publish
"Southern Caver" in the form of an occasional paper as and
when suitable material was available. The publication has in
fact appeared approximately annually in recent years and has
generally carried reprints of otherwise difficult to obtain
reports relating to caves in Tasmania.


W cnrrvurnm FA ~mon Published Quarterly by th Southern Caving Society. Postal Addre ss : PESSIDENTt Mi eke Vermeulen P.O. Box 121 Mconah, Tas. 7009 Club Rocms: 132 Davey St., Hobart. S EWTAKY: Peter Russell EDITCXS : RO\T MANIJ, DAVE ELLIOTT TREABJHER: Ron Mann COhrnI TTEE: Steve Harris, Graeme Watt COVERS: By ccurtesy of Graeme matt Registered for posting as a periodical Category B. VOLUME 10 NUMBER 4 APRIL 1979 CONTEXT S me Did It Our Way ..................................... ........Page 2 A Shallow Englacial Cave System In The ........ ............. Mueller Glacier New Zealand. .By K.Kiernan. Page 4 Jsne Rimring.. .......................... .B Ian Cantle ....... .Page 9 Nelson River.. ........................... .By K-Kiernm.. .... ...Page 12 ..... . Caves in milderness Should Te Record?. .By K.Kiernan.. ,.Page 14 A New State Reserve.. .................... .By Stem Harris.. we ..Page 17 Km$% Area Pt Moina, ..................... .By K .Kiernan.. ...... .Page 19 Area Reports ............ .... ..............By Xon Mann ......... .Page 22 ................... Editors of "Southern &mr" 1967 to 1979.. ..Page 25 .. ......... .......... Membership List 1978/1979.. ..... .,.. a 26


No magazine cm succeed without contributors and we have been especially fortunate in this respect. We must t'naak particularly Kevin Kiernan, Steve Harris and Leigh Gleeson for articles of high quality and consistmcy. At the time of writing, we do not know who the next editorial teawill be, but WC offer them our best wishes ,md condolences. It remains for us to thank our readers for putting up with us. May we suggest you go buy yourselves a chain saw. (1f this reference escapes you see "Fadsi1 by L. Terauds Vol. 2, No .l .) D. Elliott R. Mann SOUTHERN CATER (3) APRIL 1979


By Kevin Kiernan Large volumes of meltwater frequently complic~te explorstion of terminal outflow caves in glaciers, particulmly in summer. Although exploration of shallow surficial grottoes occuring on the b2re ice of some glaciers cm be most rewarding on account of their often quitc exquisite beauty, these larger subglacizl cxves have been of most interest to the glaciospeleologist. However comparatively little interest hzs been shown in shallower ~nglacial systems. One such was patly explored by thc writer some 2km from thesnout of the Mueller Glacier in January 1979. It was essentially horizontally developed, devoid of the large flows which complicate subglacial cave exploration, and was actively enlarging its dicmcter by aerogenic mechanisms but shortening by collapse. Caves on the upper reaches of glaciers tend to be of restricted size, with larger but muoh wetter swallets further eownstrem. Holes are frequent in the debris covered snouts of many New Zeslmd glaciers but frequently infilled with rocks and gravel. A number of such holes were examinedo% the Nueller Gkcier prior to location of the cave here described, and subsequently on the Tasman Glacier. Entrances in such situations tend to have to be fairly large and recent to permit entry, and the caves generally appear to be of fairly steep gradient. The morning sun rose reluctantly cver Mt. Wakefield nnd hung unenthusiastically in the morning air as I sweated across the chaotic Mueller debris, dancing from slithering block to stable after having crept down the even m~re unsound lateral rnxaine wdl behind White Hwse Hill, These walls of l2ose and unconsolideted debris, left unsupported with the downwasting of the glacier, must represent same of the mcst hazardous features of this part; of the Southern iilps, a few years ago knocking out one would be glacio-spele~logist. The booming zvalmches off Mt. Sefton were rekindled by the first touch of the morning sun as I mzde my way toward a sinkhole complex in a dry valley, spotted the day before from the Sealy Rage. The rattling of rocks down ioc escarpments on the glacier grew mare frequent as the morning warmed and the ice lips began to melt. My new climbing campanion had shown the temerity to be less than enthusiastic about ny obsession with glacier caves, had I crawled out of his pit as I was leaving and decided on a sightseeing trip elsewhere. t APRIL 1979


But for the present there was a, never ending oci:m of giant boulders but no viewpoint from which to check directions. Than suddenly, the first doline, about 40m wide, flanked to the north by a scarp of hard granular ice 8m high, capped by rock debris ad conce2liag at its foot a shadowy entr2nce 5-6m high. Every few minutes rocks clattered down over the edge so I pmsed a while, wondering zt the best spot to dive in between volleys, then chprged thrmgh benmth where some had just fallen and shouldn't be due again for a while. Lfter about 7m a pssssge 2m wide and Im high disch,aged a small tributary stream which sCmk at the upstream end of the dolinc, and a blast of cold 2ir9 pcrhapso2-4m/src. The cir in glacier caves generally st3ys cl.)se t~ 0 C depending an the geothermal flux and the temperature zind vo1~w.e 3f any running wcter. When the outside air is cglder than that within, during wlnter or on very cold nights, the less dcnsc and varmcr cave 2ir riscs ~ut upper entrances, such as swallets, or in this case, probably crevasses, This phenomenon is knmn from some limestone caves. In summer, the zir within is colder and mme dense and flows out the bottom enlr,qmces, md for the moment this reverse chimney e ffect rms mz!cing life quite unpleasant. Lfter about 30m of crawling up the icy trickle without much change in passage size, the lure of a mqre spwious entrance noticed sarlier on the other side of the dolins became irresistable. There wCs only one problem. from within the spxious entrence it was not possible to see fram Just where overhead the ncxt lat of rocks was likely to come. d smaller entrmcc would have limited indecision. d few photographs filled in the time. Then 10 minutes pacing back

The passage disappeared into darkness: this was more like it. After tzking a couple of photographs and cursing a malfunctioning flashgun I headed in. The passxge was floored with mainly small calibre deposits mostly glaciuflwial mzterials, but also some rock fragments derived from the enlc~sing ice during ac-rogonic cave enlargcmtnt. After about 50m the main passage vcered slightly north-easterly, but after clambering down over some of the larger rocks covering the floor an3ther 40; in, my light went out. Almost simultane~usly the ice gave a forbidding groan. I suddenly convinckd myself I haJ strong religious views ~~S?out people, particularly me, being squashed out of recognition, and momentarily panicked, but rapidly tripped over a rock and stoved my head into the wall. Lft~r deciding that if the cme hadn7 t fzllen in aftcr the latter it probably wasn't g3ing to, n little blind fiddling with the light in the Cark produced the ocld perfunctory flash, and this plus a memory in between saw me back to daylight. A few minutes work and the scungy light blazed zgxin, but I had retraced only half my steps when it died utterly. One day I'll hzve a compmion for these ventures, and with luck he'll be a Fanatic about good lights. Mnphology, Spelean deposits speleogenesis Nevertheless, dzylight and an uncluttered flom permitted access along a large passage running pt right .angles for 20m t:, an archway at a slightly higher level linking the original sinkhole with the next d~wnstream. This was 5-6m high, 6-7m wide, 23m long and a truly superb sight. Into one end ran z steep, smgoth, ice tube 2m in dixneter, from above the earlier pnsssge. It was smaoth wallcd and free of scalloping, having prohbly only recently been abmdonned by running water. In the srchwzy, thin dirt hyers were expased in the glzcier ice, stemming from the dust clouds which are r2ised periodically from the moraines axtd ridges by strong wjnds which sprecd them an the campacting ice further upstrem. There were also f.zirly frequent interbedded rocks. Fram outside one massive b~ulder in the raof near the entrance was alsa identifiable on the surface: the tkin rxfs bred a new respect when walking on glaciers. Lbsut 3-5m thickness of ice beneath the bulk of the averlying rock dabris seemed fairly typical. 1, further passage only marginally srmller was explored f~r some 3012, as fzr as dzylight and limited brsille permitted, in one corner of the b~ulder filled dawnstrcm doline. It was devcl~ped at the sane level as the main passage md wzs possibly cofiriected to it. Within one wall was part of a discreet body of clear ice partly wetted within the opaque white glacier ice. Halliday hderson (1972) have suggested similar features in the PxrZdise Ice Czves, Wxshington, represent seasonally frozen englacial conduits, and certzinly this feature wzs flowing substantially. It had developed along m inclined minor thrust plane arid could perhaps be rcgnrded aa analogous t~ a dip tube in a limestone cave. Presum-bly there is a seasonal chnnge from a vadose to phreatic state.


Further evidence of pmbeble phrextic activity, noted from a very small passage remnant upglscier, was n n2rr3w dcgmded ridge of gravcl and cobbles 40cm high which rasc In! over cmvaity in the ice floor, suggesting deposition in thc nGrrow conduit by water under hyZrostatic pressure. Ty~?cally, howcver, thc floor of the main system were covered by colluvi4 deposits of vnrying c?.libre near the entrznces and waterlain cobbles, gravels and silt further inside, blacking some smaller side passages and forming a small terrace in the first part of the main passagec There was no evidence of the river nichcs so conspicu~us in teminal outfl~ws previously examined, sugg2sting air currents had long since replaccd running wter as the main agent of enlargement. No ice speleothems were present, summer ablation rates presumably being too high for their preservation. The usual spcctaculzr ice blue and green color refractive effects were limited by the thick moraine cover on the ice. The essentially horizontally developed morphology of the system may stem from its occurrence n~t far from the point af slowing of the glacier ice. It was developed not far from the point where supraglaciel moraine sgain becomes abundmt beyon? the tributzry ice and heavily crevassed cxmr czr~und the en2 3f the Sealy Range. Lt this point englacial debris may be stzrting to be returned t3 the surface by upthrusting behind the slowing ice front. The fairly gently inclined thrust planes evizent may possibly have prmidcd a site for phreatic spele~genesis by englacial water under hy-Irostatic pressure, with only a limited vertical component in the structurd elements. Vedose flow may have been more quickly achimed under the lower confining ice pressures of essentizlly subh~rizontal distribution near the surface, with the conduits subsequently invaded 2nd modified f irstl~ by supraglacial ineltwatcr and the3 atniosphed.cablation ~nechanisms~ Llternatively, the shallow depth of the passages beneath the b2se of the bulk of tha suprag1,zcinl lade could suggest supraglacial mlt adjzcent to this drtrker c~lourcd mnteri~l which would be different ial heated by s~lar radiation, may hrve provided bsth 2 source of meltwater ad a zone we?hess where spleagcncsis c~uld ham been initiated. Diurnd or seasonal refreezing of the waters nearer the surface might favour downwar?, migration of the developing conduit, as would ablation under the influence of the running watcr, until more consistent co~Citions dceper in the 1ce allowed -2 m3re permanent mi: efficient condxit to develop in equilibrium with both meltwater supply a,nd the pre:;sures within the ice tending to close the void, (7) APRIL 1979


Subsequently enlargement permitted increased meltwater flow, which was active in further enlargement both in its awn right and armed with its load of clashic debris from englacinl md suprsglacial sources, as a precursor to aerogenic mechanisms of enkrgement and ultimately destruction. CH.ARLJCSWORTH, 3 .K. (l 957) The Quaternary Er2 With Special Reference To Glacia.tion Edwasd hnold London, 2 Vois WLLLIDLY, W.R. & fdDERSON, C .H. (1 972) The l?aradise Ice Caves NSS 27pp ,gOUTHERN CAVER (8) APRIL 1979


The Jam River, with all its beauty and seclusion has an extremely intriguing axd varied system of riverside caves. Because it takes a through trip down the river to be able to see these ca.ves, thcy are all the more interesting md rewarding the effort involved and., I suppose because Bob and myself were the first to venture into a lot of the passageways, completed what was essentially a liloing holiday. )!bout half way to Warnes Lookout, along the Jane River track is s low rmge called Everlasting Hills. On our first day we raced out to where contour depressions are mzrked on the Nive Sheet. Small streams meander strangely around little hillocks and one that, we followild ended up flowing at right angles, excitingly into the Hills themselves. It sank into a small hole with a side entrancc that wound its w2y, with a couple of glow worms on the roof, back to the stream and disappsared with a gravelly ending. The depressions marked on thc map are full of thick grcen forcst. Once on the Jane we soon cane to kl~nkian Rivulet which ?,gain has contour depressions msrked on the map. We visited seven lakes (many are not marked on any maps, nor easy to discern on aerial ~hotos) which are really beautiful themselves, often reed-lined 2nd with small quartzite beaches. There were smaller depressions everywhsre, but alas no caves only possums md thick moss forest. Rrck on the Rimlet we discovered that we'd walkel! right past small dolomite bluffs that h2d littlenodules little unnegutiable passages of a couple of metres in length. Some hnd what zppeared tobe gypsum flakes near the entrance. Below the Norway Range and before where the Jane cuts zq incredibly beautiful gorge through the bottom of the Surveyor Range, dmost every major bend in the river has an outcrop of limestone (or dolomite) usunlly visible as bluff S from hundreds of yards upstream.. There would often be a small natural zrch at river levcl with a stream passage leading back from this entrance to m open doline entangled in roots and reinforest v ines Occasionally a whole string of up to six small dolines would extend bnch from the river, connected underground, or all fallen in creating a parallel-walled gully. Cave crickets and cave spiders, strxngely long legged, criss-crossing webs bejeweled small, pebbly, wet pzssages. a.:


wes5 caves cm oe ruuna. unc par-cxularly olg ana con-cor-cea, lnzerconnecting system has a large riverside window that looks across the valley to two amazing cascades descending from White Hill Plein. Continually hopping on and off the lilo to look at every limestone hole became tiring, hazardous (holing liloes on shsrp bits of rock) and : cold-in-the-bones1 producing a sort of half-lethargical, half shivering attitude. So some extremely promising passages were not lookad at at all, or sometimes only partly looked FL~. One particularly fine example of this was where a stream gushed from e hole some four feet above river level but was a bit hard to get at cad we were cold enough to wznt to keep on moving, sitting in the water the whole time. Another strenm we followed up through a three metre archway; then followed it round a few bends but didn't go my further when I could see at the end of a 30 metre, fairly straight pRssage the customery daylight hole. Still another time, behind an extremely dark black limestone bluff, a passage led off which I didn't explore, that bad 10" and 12" stalactites speleothemS didn't occur very often in any of the caves. I could see why previous SSS/T~S. cavers expeditions up the Franklin didn't bother to explore far up the Jane its lowest reaches have nothing of the better limestone bluffs like those around and beyond. the Hl3C hut. h he bluffs however are not as big as those on the ~ranklin) To me the only way to appreciate these caves is to do c trip right down the Jme River to the Fraaklin end Gordon. Then one cm apprcciate more not only coming zcross the caves while floating ezsily in the flowing waters, but alsr the incredibly inspiring -and rewarding gorges and forests (especi~~lly the Huon myrtle forests) of the upper J,me. SOUTHERN CAVER \ APRIL 1979


The Society would like to thmk Im Czntle for providing this summary of his cave observations made in the Jane River are2 over the past smer. Detailed geological mapping has not been conducted over much of the arez describid, but Prccmbrim Jane Dolomite is recorded from the general area and the caves described are probably in this rock type. The Everlasting Hills depressions were visited by an SCS party led by Kevin Kiernan.two years ago, the results having been reported in Southern Caver in Kevins area report and a subsequent item by Leigh Gleeson. Brief observations on the lower Jane have also been recorded in an article by Kevin Kierna. However the other areas: Algonkiw Rivulet the Norway Surveyor remh of the Jane, and the Iiumbaba -Gilgarnesh areas have never been visited by speleos. Hence Ian's article is a major contribution to our knowledge of these interesting karst areas 3f the vestern rivers. A follow-up trip is on the drawing board. Editors APRIL 1979


NELSON RIVER By Kevin Kiernan Nelson River is the northern most of a number of fault dislocated limestone arezs extending from near the Lyell Eighway southwards to the iadrew River. The limestone underlies the Xelson Vzlley for several kilometres, but only outcrops clearly in a few places, the most noteworthy being a meander core of about 80ha extent which is pook marked by numerous dolines ad exhibits abunrlmt Karren development. The Nelson River flows underground for s short distance md a considerable number of small caves are known but there has been little exploration of them. fi minor project has now been initiated by the wrf Ler with the intention of systemztising work in this area. To date a number of newcaEs have been located, and othcrs previously known have been explored for the first time, including the Melson River resurgence which involved a cold swim up the deep watefs of the stream passage. Heavy rain has proven a hinderance subsequently flooding a number of caves. Three prominant remnant terrace levels are recogniszble on the eastern valley wall, with the surface of the limestone outcrop approximating '* the lower most termce. The caves themselves are developed on two levels, the current one being fairly recent, Some Of the caves are moderately well decorated but some rcsoluti6n of spdeothems is occasionally evident. h number Of the caves have now been surveyed and surf zce surveying is prdgressing well. Much more exploration and surveying remains to be completed. One interesting aspect has been the discovery by Kevin Kiernan and David OtBrien of bone deposits in some of the caves. These occur in the upper horiz6ns of a clay deposit and in the base of an overlying czve breccia. Both were deposited upon zn alluvial fill, probzbly dzting from the last glacial, of several metres thickness, The breccia itself consists in pazt of zngular, probably frost derived material and related to processes not substantially operative in that part of Tasmania since the close of the Pleistocene, and hence the bones may well date from lzte Pleistocene times. Further work is required to confirm or refute this. SOUTAERN CA~ (ie) APRIL 1979


The alluvial fill has subsequently been largely removed, and the unsupported clay and cemented breccia is collapsing from the roof and walls. The few surficial bones collected from the deposits are being handed on to Dr. Peter Nurrzy of th~ Tasmm.ian Musem for examination. The discovery follows pr'vious hone discoveries by the Society over the past few years which hwe revealed s wi& vzLriety of recent material from a number of areas (1-nclrews 15)70), including a rcccnt Thykcine skeleton froin Zulu Pot at Junc Florcntine (hdrcws 1972) and oldcr material from Montagu (~iernen 1373; Goede, Nurrrzy and Harmor, 1978) and 2 substmtial unstudisd deposit In Frsser Cave on the Franklin Ziver (~ierrlan 1 977a, b) The area is two hours walk from the Lyell Highway ?ad about four hours drive from Hobart. ii series of further trips is planned. over the coming months, ctnd a mare substzntial report on the area should hopefully appcar in this publication in 6ue course. BIBLIOGMPHY hi\Dm!S, L.P. (1970) Cme Bones Southern Caver ~(4) : 19-21 tt (1 972) Thylacinc Remains-Florcntine 'Jalley Southern Caver 4(1) : 10-1 1 GOEDE, A; MURUUY, P. & IJLNlMON, R, (1378) Pleistocene Man and Meg~~fauna in Tasmania : aated evidence from cave sites The Artefact ~(j) : 139-49 KImf,N, K. (1973) Thc Montagu Iiarst Southern Crzver l(1): 9-1 1 12 (1 977a) Euloafor the Frsnklin ,Southern Cover ~(4): 2-6 M (1977%) Czves of the 'Iiil3 Vestern Rivers. J.T!IJS 4: 14-17 Gmfitti in letters 20 cm high seen on a suburban Christchurch (??L .) utility construction: I'D RAE-3R EAT ITETAS TllkN VOTE NATIONAL :


CAVES IN WILDERNESS SHOULD \JE RECORD? By Kevin Kiernan Wilderness*has always been to me, above all, a blank spot on a map, of which knowledge is either non existent 3r apparently so. Irrespective of any other guality of virgin beauty, opportunity for challenge or solitude, or absence of motorised access mystery couples with remoteness has seemed to me to be the essence of.what wilderness is all about. Only roade, tracks, facilities and development can destroy wilderneas faster than mpe, Science has become so fundamental to contemporary humanity that recording, mapping and studying have been much encouraged. Cavers have become speleologists, whether they are or not, *and with eat aplomb plrobe, measure, name (or number) and generally record every shadowy overhang they encounter, the pace restricted only by their own numbers and over-zealousness and the frequency of the aforementioned shadowy overhangs. Mankind doesn't slaughter virgins to appease the gods much these days, for they are in short supply, ,and there is also a new god, Science. The feeling of wilderness which accompanies one in a major cave system beneath otherwise developed and well hown terrain can for some, myself included, be equalled or even surpassed by comparatively less significant systems which are set ih a context of surface wilderness. The proximity of the former to civilisation generally ensures that they are rapidly described, photographed, measured, mapped and mauled but those in surface wilderness have often escaped this. I'd like to suggest they should stay that way. Tasmania's south-west is the last substanttal temperate wilderness left in Australia. Numerous limestone belts and caves exist, some explored and recorded, some not. Recording caves has been largely restricted to those sites where developmental proposals have been mooted. Most blank spots on the map have vanished, apart from what lies underground, often at the hands of their greatest advocates. Is it really so vital .to mankind or our own egos that we should fill thoseblank spots in? Anyone who has been caving long in Tasmania has been involved in all manner of exciting exploration and discovery. We don't even deserve what we get, its not as if we work for it we don't dig the bloody things out and lovingly shape the stals mostly we just fall down new caves while we're blundering around in the scrub on the pretext of conducting an organised search which generally justmeans being lost within certain roughly defimd boundaries,. Tasmanian speleos are lucky to have been in the right place a.6 tne right time. SOUTHERN CAVER APRIL 1979


I'd go so far as to say that most Tasmanian cavers, myself included, should quit that enough's enough and lets leave a bit of excitement for those who follow us. But I'm as selfish as the next bloke and don't want to stop, so perhaps theres another way, if not quite as sa,tisfactory. Perhaps its non recording, It's not easy to get the concept of non recording accepted due to the bzckground of pressure suggesting speleology is a science (even though that side of it really involves very few people). Moreover, people being people there mzy be jealousy of the next blokes fun or even Kudos if he is exploring and publicising significant new caves and you aren't. But Lf he could just kcep it to himself such sentiments needn't occur. Eut it's not always that easy. With increasing frequency, surface wilderness is coming under developmental pressure, ~md to bolster the case for conservation there is often a need to take stock of what might be (and usually is) lost. Tbis has occurred in Tasmania, on the Pranklin, Gordon, and at one time, at Precipitous Bluff. Generglly, however, it is the more accessible arezs which get converted into garden gnomes, giant green cement frogs, surplus office space and all the other vital cogs in our society. Fortunately developed karst areas tend to be the best recorded. But at the same time conservation has become a new god, in whose name ail mamer of things have been done. Speleologists have often found the dictates of this new god a wonderfully convenient excuse. Some really rather disintereetsdin his teachings have used his to ~~ou~e enthusiasm for deeds really perpetrated to honour science (and perhaps through that themselves). Perhaps I may seem to be skating on thin ice, talking about how one shouldn't talk about non recorded caving, but I merely wanted to implant; the seed in the, minds of anyone who might like to mrh-e it, Perhaps its not R long way from some of the things which hme been said already. Mieke has raised the issue of insensitive numbering in wilderness areas previously in Southern Caver, and Steve Harris has touched on something relevant to caves in wilderness in questioning, in his words, the purpose of just s2.ving the holes in the cheese. The question goes beyond the too frequent rock-climbers situr.tion of keeping secret a new cliff until their name is plastered across all the routes, because in this cAse it is unlikely evcnts will ever be revealed (perhaps a conservation threat may chcange this). Rather, the bush will consume their footsteps and someone else will have the pleasure of finding it one day. APRIL 1979


Whetherhot the sentiments are acceptablo to the bulk of cavers is pretty irrelevant, if some individuals hold them and act by them then it's a fait accompli which really hurts no-one. To continue recording readily accessible and threatened areas is fair enough and often desirable, but will it really hurt if you fail to mention that bit of wilderness you just trod and the cave you found, and in so doing lewe it for someone else? If that sounds impossible, just consider the caves of the Junce-Florentine ~zrea, 2 numbor of which were known to early people in the area. Has that detracted from the pleasure of more recent generations of cavers? If the lost cave of Hastings exists will its eventual discovery merely shatter and dissappoint those who find it? The next lot night record new wild@-rness caves, but at least they are getting somet5ing out of it, and maybe by then non recording will be accepted when people start to reaiis~ what it means. Has it really made all that much difference to speleology that some Tasmmian cavers have already been exploring but not recording some wilderness karst areas for a couple of years anyway? They themselves haven't suffered any, but have been able to savour the expereince and take their time, without their game being spoiled by an influx of people playing the .game to a different set of rules. Elitist? Perhaps. But in this age of the mad rush, competition and advertising, where a Captain C onquest seems to lurk around every corner, thats getting pretty hard to find. SOUTHERN CAVER


L JEW STLTE XZSERVE By Steve Earris Exit Cave is nt last protected by State Rcscrvc Status (equivalent status to National Parks). The gctzettal of this Rcserve hzs not been too soon 2s logging threatened to sczr the surface above the cwe with possible zdverse consequences for the cave itself. The proclamation of the Reserve follows years of lobbying and pressure an the government by speleological so-ieties individuals, xho could easily draw on superla.tives in their descriptions of the cmc. The Mational Perks md Wildlife Service itself commissioned czn ecological study of the cme environment (~icinrds and Olli er, 1376) which recornended among other things that the vea underlain by all known caves in Marble hill sliould be included in a reserve. The new reserve comprises about 440.5 hectares and is described in the gazette notice of 4th April, 1979 as cmpriaing: ':A11 those 2 areas of land contairing respectively 424.3 hect2res or therezbouts md 16.2 hscteres or thereabouts as the are shown bounded by heavy black lines on L.M. Plm 131 filed

extensive cave in Australia, Mr. Lohrey said -L, features including outstcmding mineralogical formations, a. very large glow worm population which provides the best such display in Tasmania and scicntifi~~lly interesting deposits of sediment. The proclamation of the State Reserve md its consequenfmanagement by the National Parks and Wildlife Service would ensure the long term protection of the cave and its delicate environments, he said. The cave is currently under lease to Nr. Roy Skinner, who has many years of experience in cave tourism, for the operation of adventure excursions into the cave. MO specid fzcilities arc provided md the tour is fairly demanding, giving a unique opportunity for those prepared to make the effort to see this impressive cave in its natural state. 1,nybody wishing to visit the cave should contact the National Parks md Wildlife Service, either at its Head Office in Smdy Bay, Hobart, or through the Ranger at Hastings Cwes, the Minister said. -. APRIL 1979






By Kevin Kiernan The Moina Karst area consists of a minor outcrop of Gordon Limestone, principally within the basin of the Iris River, a tributary of the Wilmot Piver, about 2Okm N.E. o! Cmdle'Mountain just west of the Cradle Valley Road. It is one of e number of such outcrops in this part of Tasmania. Others occur at Lorinna and the Liena end of the Mole Creek limestone belt 8km and l7km to the S.E. respectively; Loongana llkm N.W.; Gums Plains 22km to the north, and near Lake Lea 14km W.S.W. the latter being a northern extension of the Nt. Mayday limestone belt. The Linestone also occurs in the last 50tn of the long water tunnel at the Rwn$ Hill mine (~c~ntosh Reid I91 9j and in the bed of ClaudeCk, 8km to the east (~iernan 1975). Settlement at Moina had its origins in mining activity, but today only one residence is occupied, and that apparently as a farm holding, a few hectzres having been cleared of the thick forest cover, which occurs in this qea* where rainfall is of the order of 180cms. pea, Much of the pashr& area is degraded with bracken and blackberry. Part of the small limestone deposit has been inundated with the filling of the artificip.1 Lc&e Gairdner to a level of zbout 460m as part of the Mersey-Fmth hydro-electric power development. The waters of the Wilmot impcunded at the confluence of the Iris and Lea Rivers, flow by tunnel intv the aztificial Cethana storage in the Forth Valley to drive the turbines"first1y of the Wilmot hydro-electric station and then the Ceth'ma station. The Cethana storage was responsible for the flooding of the Lorinna cave area. Limestone cavities reputedly posed some problems during 6rilling of the tunnel. Geology and Karst r] The Moina limestone outcrop is a small remnant of about 2.25kmL extent with maximum dimensions ~f 1.5 X 1.5 kilometres. A very small isolated outcrop is indicated by Hughes (1957) 1.5 kilometres to the west in the valley of the Lea River, which has not been visited by speleologists and is of only a few hundred metres extent. It is n3t indicated on the Tasmanian Department of Mines Sheffield,Sheet, but the letter does show a slightly larger outcrop a little uncier Ikm to the N.E. at Bell Mt. The main Moina outcrop is bounded t:, the S.W. and N by Moina sandstone and faulted against the same material to the east. Tag:the west and south the limestone is overlain by Tertiary basalt. B considerable portion of the limestone surface is mantled by alluvial deposits, till, basalt talus and pleistocene solifludiondeposits. Although some sinkholes have undoubtedly developed beneath this material others have been infilled by it. Where the mantle thickest and floors shallow dry valleys it permits ephemeral surface drainage. Gradational > podzolic soils predominate. SOUTHERN CAVER (19) APRIL 1979


The limestone topography is subdued. At the eastern end of the outcrop, a substantial strew, Bismuth Creek, persists in its brief surface course over the limestone, but a few hundred metres to the west another sinks into the 10m deep entrance doline of IY201 upon encountering the limestone. The Iris River fl~ws across the western perimeter of the main limestme outcrop. Maximum limestone relief to lake level is of the order of 60m. Much of the limestone remaining above lake level has been cleared of its natural vegetation and is now degraded pmtureland. Thereexists a couple of minar dry valleys with some linearly arranged sinkholes interrupting the long profile of the mare easterly of these valleys. Therewfs little expose3 limestone. Near the Iris River bridge the r~ck id riense, light-dark bluish grey, dipping north-easterly at approximately 25'. Here it is thinly bedded with calcitevezins, and includes quartzite beds up to 60cm thick. Further downstream some minor exposures near the confluence of Bismuth CK with the Iris River exhibited a more massive structure (~ughes 1957) but are now flooded, while up streamonBismuth Ci( the limestone has been metamorphosed to ska~n. In the clezred land same small scalerandkarrsn stands as testimony to accelerated soil erosion due to mismanagement. Caves This small karst area has received very iew visits from speleological parties. In the 1960's a party from the Tasmanian Caverneering Club recorded two small caves on the left bank of the Iris River near the bridge, Subsequent to the filling of ~&eGairdnor a party from the Southern Caving Society which visited the area. in 1974, found the lake to have filled these two caves virtually to roof level. The same party explored the swallet M201, which although probably the hole reported by a geologist and recorded by Geode, Kiernm, Skinner and Woolhouse (1974) does not have the reported 9m entrance pitch,. and in.fact requires no tackle. The two former caves appear to have been typical river bp& caves developed by the Iris River itself 2nd perhaps seepage wzters operating upon pr~minmt joints. On the other hand M201 is a fairly recent swallet formed upon collapse of the ba.s21t averlying the limestone into a subjacent solution cavity. Some early maps (e.g. NcIntosh Reid 1919) indiczte this stream t3 cross the limestone surface, so its disappearance under grounil may be a very recent event. Glow-w~rms are present in the.short section of c2ve explored. The potential for further discoveries appears very limitec! but c&ot be totally discounted. e ,r;., (20) APRIL 1979


Cave List: The following thrce caves have becn recorded (those numbered in parentheses have not been physically tagged): M201: Swallet of a noderate sized stream at the upper edge of the limestone; s2rem enters sinkhole 10m in diameter and 10m deep; small passage blocked a few metres inside by rock and gravel; further progress may be possible with work; small glow-worm population ,md recent bones. (~1202): Small cave in left bmk of Iris River near bridge; does not penetrate beyond daylight. (~203): Very small cme in limestone exposure by Iris bridge. BIBLIOGRLPHY GOEDE, A (1967) Caves of Tzsmmia in P, Mntthews (~d) Speleo Handbook ( ASF) GOEDE, L; KIERN1J5, X; SKITjlER, L. & WOOLHOUSE, B. (l 974) Caves of Tasmania (~n~ublishecl MS Gpp) HUGHES, T.D. (1957) Limestones in Tasmania Geol. Surv. Min. Resa 10: 153-54 as. Dept. Mines) (KIERL'A, K.) (1 974) iirea Reports Moina and Lorinna Southern Caver 6 (2) :26 -KIERTIAN, K. (1975) Geology of the Nersey-Forth area (unpublished MS) McINTOSH-REID, A. *)l 91 9) Tke Mining Field3 of IvZaina, Mt. Cl~ude and Lorinna Geol, Sur, Bul 2:29 APRIL 1979


AREA REPORTS By Ron Mann THs report covers the ieriod from 9th October, 1978 to 30th April, 1979. Mole Creek (2 trips) Steve Iiarris led a trip during 14/15 October to Kubla Khan to show some of the delegates to the Royal Australian Institute of Farks and Recreation Conference, held in Burnie, through the cave. Approximately seven hours werespent underground; the party entered and left by the back entrance. A11 the party were impressed by the beauty of this cave ar,d some of them photopaphed the fine formahion. Leigh Gleeson, Greg Middleton and Steve Harris later went to Union Cave on the Mersey River where they waited while some other cavers dived the third sump to find more passage. The 1979 Easter trip was a sea+ success with a total of 18 people spending the holiday at ,,Mole Creek. Clubs represented were SCS (7), CaSA (7) and VSA (4). The weather was excellent and many caves were visited. Two parties explored Kubla Khan, One doing the through trip and the second party laddered the back entrance and went as far a@ the Khan before returning, leaving the pitches rigged for the through trip, Herberts Pot attracted two trips, one e'arly on and the second on the Tuesday by a CESk team. Wny of the cavers checked out Croesus while a few intended doing the Georgies wet Caves trip but returned through Georgies after failing to find the short route to Eureka Link. The opportunity of caving and socialising with mainland cavers was appreciated by all our members present and we hope to see the Australians again! On the 22/23 October a party led by Leigh Gleeson surveyed in Satans Lair. The final section of this cave rcmains to be surveyed and due to the winter water levels it will probably be next summer before it can be attempted in reasonable comfort. Three Falls Cave was surveyed on 17th February by Leigh Gleeson, hleks Terauds and a reluctant Steve Street. The survey has now been drawn and should be published shortly. SOUTH JIRN CAVER (22 > APRIL 1979


A party of four visited Frankcombes Cave in Narch ad reported that the stream was virtually dry. Lbout 24 hours were spent underground in this interesting cave. After Easter, ,Leigh Gleeson (SCS), Terry Reardon, Rick Xutchings and Rod Mcllougal (CEGSI;) bottomed Khazzd Dun in five hours however the return trip took over ten hours.. Although the visitors fomd the trip very trying they enjoyed the experience. Ids Bay (3 trips) Zeigh Gleeson, Dave Martin (SSS) and a visitor from Englanr? spent five hours in Exit Cave on 19th February doing the round trip to the Grand Fissure and Edies Treasure. Dry waather made the trip to the cave a pleasant t~alic and the low water levels helped make the caving enjoyable. Kevin ICiernan led a party to Exit Cave during the period but found that the key he had would not fit the lock a new lock had been fitted with no advice to SCS. Kevin notes that six person's time, energy and petrolwerewasted because of someones thoughtless zction. (hother new lock has besn fitted a?d the cave is now controlled hy the National Parks and Wildlife Servic~ see 113 New State Reserve" elsewhere in this issue ~ditors) h party of five club members showed Terry Beardon and Rick Hutchings (CEGS~) through Exit on 28th April. Four of the party went to the Grand Fissure while the others looked at formation in the sid.e passages before the rockpile. The water levels were moderately high but did not cause any problems. King Island (1 trip) Kevin Kiernzn was a member of s University prty which visited two sea czves on the south western coast of King Island. The main cave was about 80m long znd although it was not formed in limestone it was profusely decorated by cdciwn carbonate. Gypsm. wdl encrustations were also present. smaller cave to the south has been extensively vandalised and canother promising hole in the same area was not explored. The caves were surveycd and with a more detailed dcscription may be published elsewhere. P?%. lane (1 trip) L surface trip to the Mt. Lnne area was held on 23/24 March with the aim of locating the karst area containing Kellers Cellar. The weather was not kind to the party and the zim of thertrip wzs not realised. d APRIL 1979


Nelson River (1 trip) Kevin Kiernan ,and Dave OIBrien left their car zt the King River and walked in to the Nelson River area over 21/22 April to exdore the many small $aves in this area. 1; separate report is published elsewhere in this issue. SRT Practice Three separate SRT practices have been held over the period, two of them by the seaside at Blackmans Bay, south of Hobart. FISFi SIGHTED IN HEE3"JiTS POT D?"vve Martin aad Steve Worthington (SSS) seportad that on a trip to downstream Berberts Pot on 14th Februzry, 1979 they sighted what they believed to be a fish about 12cm long, white and with fins, swimming in shallow water. From their description the area would be upstrezm of the downstream tributary. KHfLYD DUI4 SURVEYING Dave Mmtin and Steve Worthington (SSS) surveyed in the depths of h%azad Dwn on 17th February, 1575, from Sump 1 to Sump 2. Sump 2 is about 2 metres lower them Sump 1 which is much less th9,t the 20 50 feet claimed by R. King et a1 on 16th April, 1976. They therefore state that the new depth would be 1060 feet. Dave also notes that a stream resurges 75m to the south east of Sump 1 and flows 30m downstream to Sump 2. Connection between the two strems has not been conf irmecl


EDITORS OF "SOUTmRN CATER" 1967 to 1979 Vol. 1 No. 1 B. James & R. Cockerill Vol. 6 No. l D. Elliott & L. Terauds 2 R. Cockerill 2 D. Elliott & A. Terauds 3 R, Cockerill 3 .D. Elliot t & R. Mann 4 R. Mann 4 D. Elliott & R. Mann Vol. 2 0. l J NcComack 2 J. i\lcCorinack 3 J. McComack 4 J. iY2cCormack .. Vol. 3 No. 1 J. McCormack 2 J. McCormack 3 J. McCormack Vol. 7 No. 1 D. Elliott & R. Mm 2 D. Ellaiott & R. Mann 3 D. Elliott & R. Mm 4 D. Elliott Sc R. Mann Vol. 8 Eo. 1 D. Elliott &R. Mann 2 D. Elliott & R. Mann 3 D. Elliott & R. Mann 4 D. Elliott & R. Nann Vol. 4 No. 1 A. Terauds & R. Cockerill Vol. 9 No. 1 R. Mann & D. Elliott 2 h. Terauds & R. Cockerill 2 R. Mann & D. Elliott 3 4-. Termds & B. Cockerill 3 R, Mann & D. Elliott 4 A. Terauds & R. Cockerill 4 R. Mmn & D. Elliott Vol. 5 No. 1 D. Elliott & A. Terauds Vol. 10 No. 1 D. Elliott & R. Mann 2 D. Elliott & b. Terauds 2 D. Elliott & R. Mann 3 D. Elliott & L. Termds 3 D. ~liiott & R. Mann 4. D. Elliott & 6. Termds 4 D. Elliott & R. Mam Committee members for the various editions were as follows: Vol. 1 (2-3) Vol. 2 (1-4) vole 3 (1-3Vol. 4 (1-4) Vol. 5 (1-4) Vol. 6 (1-4) Vol. 7 (1-4) Vol. 8 (1-4) Vol. 9 (1-4) Vol. 10 (1-4) R. Mann, P. Sarge APRIL 1979


BlJiXX, Graham COCKERILL, Robest DLRLING, Kim ELLIOTT, David 4 GLEESON, Peter GLJEESOIJ, Leigh H,'2RRIS, Steve GHES, Rod J~~MES, Berry E


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