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. 11, no. 2 (1979)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-03763 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.3763 ( USFLDC Handle )
21391 ( 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.


reaucratisation of the Bush


SEA CAVES AND MORPHOLOGICAL KARST ON THE TASVANIAN COASTLINE Kevin Ir(iemr, Sea caves are a prominent feature of the Tas~anian coast C''?nmy L'.. .. line. A m.orphologica1 approach to the notion of coastal pseudokarst is adopted and some process variahles related to its development briefly cited. Inheritance is an i~~ortant factor in their present distribution. Classification mieht iest he approached on the basis of structural controls. There is cclv a small body of existing literature although many nrte~vrt5v features occur, and there exists wide potential for exploratfoc as a first step into a potentially rewarding new field. =even sea caves are briefly described, which are developed along :cirts or faults in sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Clastlc and more rarely chemical deposits are sometimes present. Althcuei r%eir examination is embryonic it has shed some light on t?-e

-:-c a sea cave is both a swallet and a resurgence. As in "true" --c:, stream channel morphology is a product of hydraulic factors = -crl~posed upon structural constraints, but the bidirectional ----Q-ent on coasts complicates detailed interpretation. There are 5-~l?rs also to the sink-holes, natural bridges and arches, canyons c-1:arren forms. Stacks might be considered the coastal counterpart -t?e hum. -'-e dichotomisation of morphological karst into "true" karst and ~ceudokarst complicates the concept of coastal karst. Grimes (1975) =csgests the term peeudokarst is valid to describe morphological :rzrst where solution is not the dominant process. This emphasises a 5asic problem; to define pseudokarst one must first define "true" 1:arst. Solution is not an adequate criteria, for the classical tarst process does not itself involve true solution. There is not lust a single reaction producing a more soluble bicarbonate from a less soluble carbonate. It involves a series of ionic dissociations and reversible reactions, each govered by different equilibria [Jennings, 1971) Grines regards sea caves as pseudokarstic features involving solid phase removal by hydraulic processes. His model has some utility conceptually but also has its shortcomings. How dominant need "dominant" be? Solution may be supplemented in "true" karst by the mechanical action of allogenic detritus, or climatically induced frost wedging. Biological factors may be especially important through controlling the degree of acidulation of percolating meteoric waters. So too does coastal karstification encompass a broad spectrum of processes depending upon local conditions and it may be difficult to draw a line between karstic and marine processes where limestone occurs on coasts. (Tratman 1971). Solution may be significant in developing morphological karst on limestone coasts. Even in Tasmania the question has been raised as to the relative importance of true karstic and marine processes in shaping the coastal caves in Gordon Limestone at Furprise Bay. (Kiernan 1973a). The question of inheritance also raises its head: in various parts of the world apparent sea caves may owe their crigin to "true" karst processes followed by post glacial rises in sea level, and the converse is quite conceivable. Solution of silicates has produced karst in old non carbonate land surfaces, and is responsible for the development of karren on coasts and elsewhere. The writer has observed large scale "rund karren" in association with granite sea caves and stacks at Tonga Bay, south island New Zealand. Wall and Wilford (1966) describe substantial areas of microgranodiorite karren in West Sarawak. krhere are the arbitrary lines to be drawn? Otvos (1976) advocates that only processes and forms involving piping and thermokarst be termed pseudokarstic. Mechanical abrasion by pounding with rocks, the pressure of compressed air, salt crystallisation water layer weathering, aeolian processes and biogenic factors may all corntribute to coastal morphological karst. Climate and latitude plays an important role in shaping the nature of operative processes and may provide just as valid a starting point for discussion of coastal karst morphology as preSWTFEP?T CAVER 3 October 1979


occupation with solution, which reflects man's tendency to compartmentalise often at the expense of the understanding of interrelationship, and in that way is perhaps ultimately dysfunctional. Working from morphologv towards process may be more useful than working from preconception and an implied understanding of genesis which may or may not be accurate. A bewildering and confusing terminology for pseudokarst has developed which together with some of the issues involved are beyond the scope of the present article, but which form the basis of a separate item currently under preparation by the writer. For present purposes, "morphological karst on coasts" will suffice. Much of Tasmania's coastline is well suited to the development and preservation of morphological karst. Due to the region's microtidal environment (tidal range <2m) marine erosion is concentrated within a narrow range rather than dissapated over a broader zone. Moreover the mid latitudes are a zone of high wave energy and intense quarrying and abrasion. The island lies in open sea subject to the rigours of the Roaring Forties. Hard rock cliffs are common and often well jointed. Sub-antarctic gales from the south-west produce big swells with a fourteen second period which are responsible for concentrating beach sediment, however local storm waves coming from a variety of directions are the main waves responsible for erosion. Uplife of the land surface facilitates preservation of rosional and depositional features in some areas. Sea level va~"zation However, despite microtidal conditions, the zone subject to concentrated wave attack has itself migrated in the past with eustatic fluctuations in sea level which have accompanied glacial and interglacial episodes. At present at least three glaciations appear to have affected Tasmania in comparatively recent times, one in the late tertiary or early Pleistocene, and another which had concluded by 128,000 radiocarbon years before present. An interglacial 130-100,000 years BP sat: the sea last at approximately its present level, subsequent to which it dropped perhaps 100 metres during the most recent glacial 70-10,000 BP, which probably occurred in two phases separated bv interstadial retreat. The present interglacial (Holocene) dates from 10,000 BP with the sea at its present level by 6000 BP (Thorn and Chappell 1075) and the hypsothermal maximum of slightly higher sea level than at present 4000 BP. Added to these eustatic fluctuations are isostatic adjustments related to movement of the land surface itself, which do not occur evenly. The.Milford level which Davies (1959) attributed to the shoreline at the limit of postglacial submergence in Tasmania occurs at 0.5m in the south-east but apparently at 1.5m on the SOUTHERN CAVER 4 October 1979


----=c: cnast. Little erosion is associated with this shoreline. c1 5.5s Llanherne level, which he attributed to the last lzclal, is more uncertain. Fossil shorelines occur at 69m --Aabove present sea level on King Island, above 20m between v..,. ^ .--:X Zead and Port Sore11 on the north-west coast, at 17m at e -cut?! of the Forth River, 22m at Strahan airport on the west :-?C', up to 30m in north-eastern Tasmania and 61-77m, 30-37m and at =o-*erzl levels below 20m on Flinders Island. A maximum elevation 52 t5e south-east of 22m, is attained at Mary Ann Bay. The pre "-locene marine deposits at these sites, with the exception of the ~zssi51e high levels on King and Flinders Islands are probably of least interglacial age (Van de Geer et a1 1979) whereas other studies suggest the highest level-~~tained elsewhere in South East Australia ir. the last interglacg?.-%ah de Geer et a1 suggest differential tectonic and hydroisostatic deformation may be involved. The net result is that coastal features may be preserved due to uplift. ?!uch of the evidence of glacial low sea levels lies submerged, for instance there exists a mud filled channel cut in bedrock to a depth of at least 40m below present sea level in the Derwent estuary, and a clear mud filled and apparently river cut channel runs E-W from Norfolk Bay into Frederick Henry Bay which reaches a maximum depth of 44m north of Slopen Island. Divers have reported caves in limestone below present sea level off the eastern coastline of Maria Island (M. Wells, pers. comm.) For the speleologist the implication is that sea caves may be some distance above or below present sea level, which in areas of subdued topography means they may be found some distance inland. Erosional and weathering processes Tasmanian sea caves involve primarily mechanical solid phase removal of rock but it may be aided by some chemical action. Under glacial conditions frostwedginghas been operative down to sea level, but more important in coastal reduction are a number of other processes, which apart from producingmorphologically characteristic coastal land forms, may be operative in cave enlargement. Quarrying is important under stormwave situations when pressures of up to 132,300kg/m2 have been measured on the Scottish coast (Kuenen 1950). The wedging action of compressed air and its explosive escape when the wave recedes may loosen and remove rock. This can lead to a shore platform with a seaward slope. Abrasion by sediment in suspension can cause smoothing to produce a wave cut or abrasion. ~latform which mav be aligned to structure in coherent rock. Larger -aU. -. material forming the tractional load may produce channels with undercut walls (Moore 1950). Solution activity may also be significant. As the cave enlarges beyond the reach of most wavl variety of weathering processes may come into play, attacking tl matrix or susceptible mineral constituents. Water layer weathe SOUTHERN CAVER 5 Octobei


from ring more widespread on well bedded sedimentary rocks such as mudstone, on Tasman Penninsula and limestone on Maria Island. Morphologically pseudokarstic features are particularly well developed within Permian and Triassic sediments, but occur also in a number of other rock types including dolerite, granite, basalt, limestone and schist. CLASSIFICATION OF SEA CAVES AND RELATED FEATURES Caves owe their existence to the differential resistance of host materials whereby the less resistant are removed at a faster rate. Ctr..nt..+.rl alnmante m-.* Cn.I r.~mmb nnfnt qnrl in ~vfmr.~ nC +ha YCLULCULQ-C SAGULSLILD LLL~J LVLU a w=an yvrr.L, cruu rr. rr~w vr brrdifficulties in classifying sea caves on a lithologic or physiographic basis, these structural controls may provide a more adequate means. Moore (1954) lists these controls in two main groups, firstly fractures and fracture structures resulting from deformation, and secondly original structures resulting from deposition or consolidation. In the first group are faults, joints and breccias (with frictional, volcanic and intrusion sub-classes). In the second group, depositional structures include stratification, variations within a given stratum, and unconformities, while consolidation structures comprise irregular cementation and internal structures of lava flows. Tasmanian evidence suggests minor igneous dykes may also serve as a weakpoint and Toomer and Welch (1975) also I this factor from their investigations in New South Wales. Micrc features may be very relevant. Existing Ziterature on sea caves per se Even purely descriptive material on Tasmanian sea caves i Clemes (1950) described sea caves in the Eaglehawk Neck z -. .--. :S very sparse. trea. Fish and Yaxley (1966) make some turther comment on the caves of Tasman 6 !d in ~eninsulaand at Blackmans Bay south of Hobart. Jennings (195 noted two small sea caves from King Island which were develope --_--L_--&.--1L..& ---L-J_-> ---J>---L'I---'I--LL-1 ----l cite D non carDonare rocK DUL conralnea conslaeraole speleuulem uever0pment which he attributed to overlying calcareous sands. One is described in more detail in this article while the other and a more recently discovered well decorated cave have been investigated recently by Albert Goede and the present writer (Goede, Harmon and Kiernan in prep). On Maria Island sea caves in calcareous conglomerate have SOUTHERN CAVER 6 October 1979


._ --:'me? *-v GFllieson (1973) and others in Permian limestone C ?. -L?) and Skinner (1473a). The two latter writers have =.--V--.lke? caves developed in Ordovician limestone at Surprise --1c-2~la's south coast (Riernan 1973a, Skinner 1973b). A -.. * and significant contribution is Eric ~olhoun's -: i -at Lor of Remarkable Cave on Tasman Peninsula (Colhoun 1977). .. --. L! "S recorded other sea caves from Bruny Island. '---c: number of sea caves occur. The present writer has examined -=tcral arch at New Harbour in Tasmania's south-west in an area :.-ere locality names such as "Black Hole" conjure up visions of the 12 and cave bestrewn coastline it is. Particularly enticing :-7rances occur in the vicinity of Port Davey and South-West Cape ---ere the elements beat uninterrupted since Patagonia. At the -.'p-tern end of Prion Beach a shallow sea cave a few retres above -resent sea level contains extensive aboriginal midden deposits,and s substantial sea cave occurs at Granite Beach. In Macquarie '3rSonr I have examined a small natural arch developed at Sarah Zsland (Settlement Island) probably under predominantly ~or'westerly conditions. Many islands around the coast are cavernous including ;rch Island in DrEntrecasteaux Channel, Ile des Phoques off the east coast, and Ile de Golfe off the south coast, the latter of vbich is composed of Ordovician limestone. A natural arch occurs In columnar basalt at Don Heads near Devonport and another near ,_--.Caves Creek on King Island. A very large sea cave is reported on thrSdmmd -. the Tasm~ Peninsula at sites such as Tunnel Bay, where a cave has been developed along a fault in Triassic sandstone, and another occurs at Koonya. Another occurs at the eastern end of Clifton Beach. Decorated sea caves have been reported from the Variety Bay area of Bruny Island. The foregoing represents only the briefest resume cf the coastal karst features of which I have some first hand kcowledge: many many more are known. The cliffs of Tasman Peninsula alone represent a life time's project for someone with the right combination of motivation, boat, weather and time. h3at follows is a hrief summary of a few of the better known sea caves in Tasmania. In building upon this base it ought to be remembered that the price of safety is vigilance, that the coincidence of wave crests of various origin may mean intermittent unexpectedly high waves, and there may have been one sea caving death in Tasmania already (Kiernan, 1974). Exploration is the first step into a potentially very rewarding field. S0UlTEm CAVER 7 October 1979




c -c 3 Day LICCIL ha&lcllawh IY~LK 111 ~UULLI CS ces east and is composed of well jointed e sediments with a very slight landward d ,rrcm.s occur above which cliffs rise up to 6 5urface slopes downward at about 10" a cue --:r .*yeck XouhoZe (map I) plehawk Neck Blowhole is a well known tourist feature and occurs .. : t-e end of a narrow headland projecting into Pirates Bay from --P couth. This cave is developed from the antidip side of the To the north of the seaward entrance is a high tide err-~ctural platform 18m wide with a slight seaward declination. From r-5s rises a cliff of 18m. Deep potholes have been excavated in the -latforn by cliff fall blocks or resistant rocks occurring as ice r?fted erratics within them. On the southern side is a supratidal ctructural platform 2.5m above present high tide level. The cave extends 67m through the headland to where the plane of cave development '-2s come sufficiently close to the downsloping land surface to Tronote collapse of the roof. A sink-hole over 35m in diameter, elongate in the plane of cave development, extends to within about 2% of high tide level on the opposite side of the headland. To both the north and south large zatns which probably resulted from collapse of similar sea caves parallel the Blowhole. The northernmost penetrates right through the headland and exhibits "karren" development in the form of sandstone "buns" up to 20cm high and lOcm in diameter developed by presumably solution processes on supratidal platform remnants. The Blowhole cave has resulted from the concentration of marine processes along a double joint which trends at 225". Yo displacenent is evident. The cave has a flat roof which corresponds to a massive bed of (?.am, above which a 2m succession of shaley beds are overlain by some 2m of weakly podsolised sands to complete the roof thickness of 5m over the inner entrance. The rectangular passage profile is dictated by bedding planes and the jointing pattern of the rock, prominent joint trends occurring at 225" and 268" with lesser sets at 242" and 188". The roof approximates the level of the supratidal structural platform 2.5m above high tide level, and a remnant of this occurs in the doline and is being undermined to leave large angular blocks in the south side of the water channel. The channel is of unknown depth. It generally occupies most of the width of the cave at the inner end but a fairly wide high tidal platform occurs in the outer portion. r only the landward entrance is visited by tourists, but corroding ~olts extending from the northern zawn to the seaward entrance IEKN CAVER P October 1070


-=--?-'c Arch is also a well known feature, visited by thousands -. --.,,--lsts annually who peer down into the depths of this =-=:racular chasm from the car park on its lip. A sheer sided --lla~se doline 30m in diameter and 64m deep is linked to the sea ..4 flat roofed arch 53m high, 35m long and 15m wide. The arch 'orzed along joints trending at about 131" giving rise to a very -ec:angular profile, and the back of the arch is defined by a major -lrt at 184" which roughly parallels the coast. There is no e--5lence of displacement. T?ere is more to Ta icrther passages de Yoth sides at the f 3ese passages are Ifon both into the fault (S emerge i the back sides as other mi These side caves ar sources would add p Arch, and 70-90m on 3OOm. Of recent years Tas cavers for SRT and more adventurous to 7Om cliff, success cocker spaniel" wit that one gets a tru size. It is hard t Street, Hobart, wit Other Caves in the In addition to the (1950 ) describes a (sic) planes that c occur at intervals there is another ma ~sman's Arch than the tourists' view however, for veloped along the 184" joint deliver waves from 'oot of the overhanging back wall of the doline. apparently unexplored.Clemes (1950) noted: sides of the Arch caves have been cut deep cliff, and, meeting the North to South lic) have cut along it at right angles, to .nto the main entrance. If you stand at : you have waves coming at you from both 1 well as from the front. There are also .nor caves". ,e apparently unexplored, but the most likely lerhaps 125m of passage on the north side of the the south side: total passage length mav approach ,man's Arch has been occasionally utilised by ladder practice, although Clemes describes the lurist route of earlier years down the outside ully negotiated by "many ladies" and even "a large hout accident, for it is "onlp from the bottom ,e picture of its grandeur, graceful contours and o realise that the Menorial Church in Frisbane h its spire, could stand under the archway ." Area two caves described here, many more occur. Clemes few of them, developed "along the many fault fross the strata. in this area These faults in an approximately East to West direction, but .jor fault which starts betweathe Blow Hole and 11 October 1979 SOUTEERX CAVER


the Tasman Arch, and runs in a North to South direction, cutting across the back of the Arch and the Devils Kitchen". (The latter is a spectacular zawn). One cave lies in a gulch "about a quarter of a mile from the Blow Hole. Since fires have destroyed the bushes it is now necessary for inexpert and elderly climbers to have a rope." Continuing around the platform past a small cave where "there is a drop of about 16 ft. to the rubble floor" ("the usual practice is to take along two long poles and construct a ladder on the spot") leads to a cave which "runs in for about 200 ft and has the appearance of a loftv railway tunnel with parallel sides and a flat roof about 30ft high." Clemes also describes a cave in the Devils Kitchen: "the entrance is quite small, but inside it opens into an immense cave, with roof stretching up into the darkness." But running inland from the back of the kitchen is "the most notable cave of all. The sides run in parallel about a chain across with a flat roof about lOOft high. I have paced out 150yds. without climbing on the boulders which block the end. A small cross gulch blocks the way into the cave. This is crossed by balancing a spar or plank about loft long across it. The difficulty is that you have to get along the cliff on a six inch ledge, and somehow poke the pole over and rest the near end on the same precarious foothold". He notes also that "another interesting cave is found on the sea side with a real blow hole in it." Another well known feature is Patersons Arch, between the Devils Kitchen and Waterfall Bay to the south. BASKET BAY (TASMAN PENINSULA) Basket Bay lies some 5km south of the Port Arthur Historic site. Jurassic dolerite is widespread along this south facing sea coast, while well jointed Triassic sandstone occurs in some localities, and has been locally metamorphosed to hornfels. Remarkable Cave is a well known feature visited by nany tourists, while rusty posts near another cave further east attest to earlier visits. Many other caves occur, one spectacular an2 probably unexplored example being near the Brown Yountain enl of the bay. This is one of Australia's best Xnovri sea caves by virtue of steps which descend to a cobble beach v%re the inland end of the cave intersects a fossil zawn. Colhoun (IQ771 has described the remnant of slope and valley fill deposits L-hich occur in the zakn and dated them,to not less than 37,030 EP (early last glacial). These include wood, plant renains and charcoal, and overlie the cobble beach deposits which are of last interglacial age. SOUTHERN CAVER 12 October 1979


SOUTHERN CAVER 13 October 1979


The sea cliff fs tvo-storied and the zawn is formed along a small first order coastal valley developed along a structural weakness. Pollen in the deposits indicate fire maintained a subclimax veqeratian and permitted severe episodic erosion of soil and repolith. The cave is developed in deformed hornfels and exploits a fault. Colhoun suggests the present form of the cave is much more recent than the zawn, as evidenced by the comparative smoothness of the zawn walls compared to the jagged cave walls. He attributes re-excavation of the zawn and the development of Remarkable Cave in its present form (the tourist entrance) to the last 6000 years. Understandably pre-occupied by the deposits however, Colhoun's map of the cave itself is over-simplified and inaccurate. The cave is in fact Y-shaped rather than the single tunnel visible from the tourist steps, for a further entrance exists in the zawn. His map indicates the only passage as one extending from the tourist entrance to the zawn, having somehow confused the latter entrance . -. -. with the more visible entrance, which is not recorded on his map. In early 1971 the present author, in company with two mainland speleos, Jim Seabrook and John Holliday, encountered a suitably low tide and sea, and was able to explore right through the cave dry footed. The cave increases markedly in size at the intersection of the two passages. Similar conditions have not been encountered subsequently and much of the interior detail in map 3 comes from photographs and notes taken at that time with more recent observations from entrances and overland survey between them to establish dimensions. The main passage is some 105m long, varying between about 5m wide at the tourist entrance to nearly 10m at the two other entrances and 15m at the intersection. Roof height approaches 15m in places, and the floor is predominantly of sand. BLACKMANS BAY (Dement estuary) At Blackmans Bay 14kms south of Hobart, Permian marine mudstones present a 30m cliff to the open mouth of the Derwent estuary. The rock is strongly bedded and well jointed, dipping inland at about 10'. Further south faulting has resulted in some dolerite cliffs in which a few small caves are developed, but the most noteable coastal karst features occur in the Permian naterial, which has been altered to calc-silicate hornfels south of Rlackmans Bay itself. At least one small cave has been developed along a minor dolerite dyke due essentially to the weakness of this zone and the instability of high temperature minerals, particularly in the electrolyte atmosphere of the sea (cf. Toomer and Welch 1975). Some calcareous deposits occur at the coast, derived from calcareous zones in the Permian mudstones. SOUTHERN CAVER 14 October 1979


SOUTFERE? CAVER 15 October 1974


ricinity of the caves desc Island is cliffed to abol ,.-.-> ----l.-=--~action as the rr "2"). The caves a =er level and preda -

le cave extends i 5 and 40m deep ; at about 50" ;and deposits lown over the is is partly jm which c the edge. sea in two main ?posit of ~ps 10m above is not possikle : equipment yL~LLuu~u LLVLL. LIVU.-L CL.LL.. U 30m above sea level. This cave is in a magnificent setting at the bottom of this spectacular yawning zawn into which the sea crashes, and its eventual exploration will undoubtedly be a very stirring and rewarding experience. SEA CAVE DEPOSITS AND TASVAWIP 'S PAST Davies (1959) suggested few erosional features on the Tasmanian coast relate to the last 6000 years, and it is becoming increasingly evident that most predate the last glacial and relate to the last interglacial with some probably older still. With the fall in sea levels accompanying the last glacial, some sea caves admirably served as shelters for Tasmanian aborigines, and deposits in the caves have been examined at a fev sites. At Rocky Cape Rhys Jones has investigated aboriginal occupation of abandoned sea caves adjacent to interrlacial marine deposits which were formed when the sea was X-25r above its present level. Aboriginal midden deposits provide evidence of changes in culture and economy over the past 8000 years, ivvclvicg an increase in refinement of stone tools and the use of cherts fror as far distant as 60h, a decline in bone tools, and a sudden drop of scale fish from the eiet between 3800-3503 PP. (fi?e Cclhoun 1979) At Cave Bay on Punter Islan? investigation of a cave in a prominent cliff forming the eastern coastline about 15m above present sea level has revealed stone artefacts kones and charcoal evidencing human occupation betveen 20,P50-22,750 RP, twice the maximum age from any previous site. The cave vas visited only rarely during the last glacial maximum when there was considerable roof fall. More recent deposits are interrupte? between 14,750 and 8000 BP and the cave was again abandoned around 403C E?. The youngest radio carbon date is 990EP. The post glacial decline in usage is related to the rise in sea level which inundated the plains which previously connected Hunter Island tc Tasmania, leaving it accessible only by canoe. Pollen remains suggest a vegetaticn indicative of warmer and moister SOUTEERN CAVER October 1?7?


~al (1978) has examined caves and other sites at Louisa Say .S'. Tasmania revealing deposits accumulated within the last years. He raises the development of the canoe as possibly Ing the first hesitant exploitation of this area and its sification as the resources of previously unattainable uvker Island became available. Another archaeological sea site which has attracted some attention is near Shag Bay upstreafi kart in the Derwent estuary. :xis tence, morphology and evolution of Tasmania's sea caves lscinating in its own right, and their exploration can be very .ding. Foreover, by documenting these neglected features of the ~nian coastline the speleologist may facilitate valuable ices in our knowledge of the islandb past climate, vegetation, .ife and people. E.C.F. (1972). Coasts. All Press ,ER, S. (1974a). An account of an archaeological reconnaissz?nce of Eunter's Isles, North-vestern Tasmania 107314. Rec.Queen ~ic.&us.~'ton 54 : 1-22. (1974b). Pleistocene date fcr man in Tasmania. Mature 252 : 697-8. (1975). Caves and aboriginal man. Aust. Nat. Fist. 18(6) 216-219. CLEMES, W.H. (1950). Features of Eaglehawk Neck. The Tasmanian Naturalist 2 (1) : 16-17. COLHOUN, E.A. (1977). The Remarkable Cave, southeastern Tasmania its geo~orphological development and environmental history. Pap.Proc.Roy.Soc.Tas. 111 : 29-39. (1979). Quaternary Excursion to Northwest and West Tasmania field guide. Dept.Geog.Uni.of Tas. 51pp. DAVIES, J.D. '(1959). Sea level change and shoreline development in S.E. Tasmania. Pap.Proc.Roy.Soc.Tas. 93 : 89-95. (1964). A morphogenic approach to world shorelines. Z; ~eomorph 8. (Mortensen Sonderhef t) : 127-42. SOUTFEPJI CAVEI! 21 October 197?


?S?, G.J. & Yk\ZEY, Y.L. (1966). Education Dept.Tas GILLESOX, D. (1973). Yaria Islan LE C-OEDE, A., FAIQICN, R. & RIEPJAN, K. (in prep.) Sea Caves of King Island. GCCDE, A., KIERNAN, K., SKINNER, A. & WOOLHOUSE, R. (1973). Caves of Tasmania. (unpub.) GRINES, K. (1975). Pseudokarst: Definition and Types. Proc. loth ASF Conf. : 6-10 ASF HOPE, J. (1978). The late Pleistocene and Holocene vegetational history of Funter Island, northwestern Tasmania. Aust.Jour. Eot. 26 : 4?3-514. JEITNINGS, J.N. (1956). Calc-sinter and dripstone formations in an unusual context. Aust. J. Sci. g(4) : 107-11. (1967). Cliff top dunes. Aust. Geog. Stud. V (1) : 40-49. (1971). Karst. ANI? Press. KIEPSJAH, K., 1973a). The Surprise Bap area. South.Cav. z(2) : 6-10 (1973b). !:aria Island. South. Cav.5(1) : 17 h 18a. (1974). X thouqht on sea caving. South. Cav. g(1) : 11 KUENEN, P.H. (1950). Xarine Ceologp. !.?iley, N.Y. MOODY, L. (1974). Sea Caves on Srunp Island. Speleo.Spie1. 87 : 7. MOORE, D.G. (1954). Origin and 2evelopment of sea caves. NSS Bul. 16 : 71-76. OJVOS, E.G. Jr. (1976). "Pseudokarst" and "pseudokarst terrains": prohlems of teminoloyp. Geol. Soc. Am. Bul. 8i (7): 1021-1027. SKINNER, A. (1973a). Maria Islane.. S~eleo. Spiel. 81 : 5-6. (1973b). Surprise Eay. Speleo. Spiel. 86 : 5-8. THOM, B.G. & CFAPPEL, J. (1975). Folocene sea level relative to Australia. Search. "3) : 40-3. TOOMER, P.B. h IJELCII, B.P.. (1475). Z~vestigations of sea caves. Proc. 10th ASF Cnnf.: ?5-?h T4AW, E.K. (1971). The formation cf t??e Gihraltor Caves. Trans CRG (GB) 13(3) : 135-1b3. PI\IUDERWAL, R.L. (1978). Frehistory and ~.rc'naeology of Louisa Bey (in) Gee et a1 (eds .) The S~uth-~~est Book. YAV DE GEER, G., COLI!OUK, E.A. & ?L?T.TIF:!, A. (lP7SI). Evidence and problems of interglacial r.arine deposits in Tasmania. Geologie Fn ?lijnbouy.: 58(1) : 20-32. SDUTFEPY CA17ER 2 2 October 1479


:e pr epar dc~ur~ UL LIIL~ CLL LLLIC CIIUL LUUI uLauLuuL uaclug "L .-:?ems from Blister Cave on King Island has demonstrated its --, and by inference the other caves and shoreline features .e same level, to date from at least as far back as the last -elacial. See GOEDE, A., HARMON, R. & KIERNAN, K. (in prep.). :ee caves of King Island. SOUTHERN CAVER 2 3 October 1973


. . . -belay does exist. Three hours was spent scrub bashing west of Reserve Pot but nothing was found. On 22nd of September, Leigh, Stuart, Chris Rathbone (Climbers Club of Tasmania) and Lin Wilson bottomed Tassy Pot. The round trip to the surface took nine hours. Details of the pitches appear in the next 'Southern Caver'. Leigh and Mieke visited the Florentine Valley on the 11th of October to show Xichola Harwood the Flelcome Stranger Cave. Water levels were relatively low in the cave three hours were spent underground. The party also visited Tassy Pot to inspect the problem of logs at the top of the shaft. The problem would not be effectively solved by bolting as the rock face is rather shattered. MAGRA Sandstone caves supposedly frequented by bushrangers were to be the object of a trip to this area near New Norfolk on the 26th of August by K. Kiernan and S. Harris. Impressive sandstone shelters were found in cliffs high in the foothills of Mt Dromedary. Handsome Caves (as marked on the 1:100,000 Derwent Sheet) seem to be no more than shallow rock shelters albeit patterned with a remarkable deep honeycomb weathering in which birds nest. Higher on this particular ridge is the hiphest and most spectacular cliff. On top was a strange landscape in a hidden miniature valley, of bluffs, castles, clefts, overhangs and strange solutional weathering forms. An old aboriginal hearth was located under one shallow overhang, wherein was found a smooth dolerite stone of about one kilogram. SOUTHERN CAVER 24 October 1979


LULI~ arlu LLSL UL ULLVUCL, UCL~U UISSDVII, nny and Mieke Vermeulen visited Lynds Cave and Ghengis Khan, f which are lauded for their attractive formations. tely high water was encountered in Lynds, making for a sporty FT first weekend in September, Lindsay Wilson, Leigh Gleeson, ussell, B. Wilson and C. Wilson, undertook an eight hour through myrtle forest to Judds Cavern. Some time was spent ng at the delightful campsite after exploring the cave as could be easily reached with hands in pockets (i.e. 800m). PEAK 21st October, Kevin Kiernan, Sue Backhouse and Steve Harris led the long H.E.C. scar to Tcotts ?eak where a previouslv cave (with a number tag : 1) was surveyed. Further downstream Huon River, behind a curtain of foliage, was found a new cave 18m long, flat, wide, containing a thick bed of sediment and rown formation. The formation mainly comprised stalactites with and twigs cemented on them. were collected from the entrances of both caves and these will ,ted in the next issue of this journal. RIVER ~d September 1979 Kevin Kiernan, Karen Rughes and Greg Middleton :igated a new route to this area in abysmal weather. They did !ach the limestone. [ILL :d September Kevin Kiernan and Greg Middleton visited Quarry This is perhaps Tasmania's most accessible cave, for it is )le to park a car within 4m of the entrance. The stream was ~g strongly. Lighting problems forced a premature retreat. RN CAVER 25 October 1979


-fJ,----r --. __. .... iueusr Kevin Kiernan examined a small cave system developed 'v r,zrellFng in a duplex soil near Hamilton. (see pseudokarst ce-cl ,--on, this issue). An examination of its continuing development vas made by Karen Hughes and Kevin Kiernan on 22nd September 1?77. LOWFRY GULLY Kevin Kiernan, Karen Hughes, Mrs L. Hughes and Sandra? visited Vanishing Cave and the old tourist cave in late September. How manv people take their prospective mother-in-law caving then, eh? The owner of the caves, Mr Bob Beams, is growing increasingly wary of permitting unaccompanied parties into them due to increasing vandalism. Vanishing Cave in particular has suffered badly since the last visit. ELIZA PLATEAU On 25th October Kevin Kiernan and Karen Hughes found a small meltwater cave in a residual snowbank developed by a small stream flowing from a sun-warmed pool. Spectacula r refra lctive effects and well developed wall scalloping was a-notable feature. Subsequent work in this cave will be reported in a forthcoming issue of Southern Caver. ARCE ISLAND Arch Island lies in D'Entrecasteaw Channel near the mouth of the Huon River, and takes its name from one of two sea caves which penetrate through this exposed rock. On 22nd July Kevin Kiernan, Karen Hughes and Greg Middleton visited the caves. A fuller report will appear in the next issue of this publication. CLIFTON BEACH A significant sea cave was examined by Kevin Kiernan at the eastern end of Clifton Beach on 6th May 1979. IDA BAY Kevin Kiernan, Karen Hughes, Alison Davies and David OtBrien visited Exit Cave early this quarter. SOLTHERN CAVER 26 October 1979


and the last cave area converted into little green garden gnomes. I don't know if I've invented it or not, but in case I am first I'll claim to be and reveal to the caving public "~iernan's Law of Voids". Briefly stated, this holds that in informal passtimes such as the scrub-sports many "administrative" voids exist simply because there has never seemed to be any need to fill them. Yet evontr~gllxr rrnirlc nG +hie n-tqrra tnrrrl tn oat C

elce :c turn to, Secause trainee physical education teachers and t?e lLke will have to become certified if they want to be involved In outdoor education, and because some freelance scrub lovers with nothing better to do with their time or a burning desire to do something "useful" will involve themselves. In a way it is all remarkably akin to the manner in which lovers of nature are drawn towards working amid nature, and to do that they must join agencies like the Forestry Commission or Hydro-Electric Commission where paradoxically they are engaged in its destruction. And so some will promote outdoor sports and by pressure of numbers help love our wilderness to death. And they will help breed, a generation of scrub users who have never known the real dangers and errors which are the stuff of experience and the root of true adventure simply because authority has never been able to allow them to, but who sooner or later will confront the real world and expect it to conform with their expectations of safety and comfort. And so wilderness will be diminished amid pressure for tracks, huts, and all manner of safety precautions. What has it got to do with cavers? Plenty! I suspect we shall see from the bureaucracies which govern us (as opposed to the politicians we elect) a continuing string of such convenience measures. Today we are fed platitudes about the intent of leadership training courses, tomorrow we may find ourselves debarred from a trip because we do not ourselves possess some relevant piece of paper or perhaps even the leadership certificate we are now told not to worry about. The spontaneitv and informality of a group of friends deciding on the spur of the moment to go bush is being threatened. Tf wn.3 +hqnL it imnnecihln In+ mo to1 l vnlr nf a friend whn was I -LA ,"U L,LIII& LC AULyVUUIYIL ILL '"C C..-.-V vU ......-I pounced upon by a roving park ranger at Eft McKinley, Alaska, who demanded to see his permit to be in the area. Or the comment in Caving Intsrnational that caving has been effectively banned in Canadian national parks. Or of the (probably cigarette smoking) park authorities whose concern wit?? the possible lung cancer risk associated with radon gas in caves mzp have far reaching consequences for caving in the U.S.A. And if you think it only happens overseas, do not forget we are in the throes of having a permit system established right here in Tasmania restricting caving in State R benefits in that,there are also many d what a handful of misguided bureaucrats have been able to do to spe~eobiology in Tasmania, and every day we let them get away with it compour?ds the problem. And elsewhere, as pressure of numbers grows and trips to sensitive areas have to be canrmeroa'tcw limited, park authorities give the lions share of the allocation to opm70cs ad v,rtul~\.,~~ t~~individuals because it is easier to police the former its completely logical if you are a bureaucrat, but then we are not all bureaucrats. U eserves, and while there are angers. We have already seen .. So what should we do, ignore the Bush and Xountain Walking Leadership Training Board of Tasmania andhope it goes away? If we do that it SOVTHEFX CAVER ?G October 1979


. "A" r. v-.. ur&r-u, ---..I-I 1 nsume our time helping fill a void we never thought serlous --:p'? to bother with before. Or we could get very drunk. Or :e=atively we could fight like hell, the Board, the concept, every other attempt to bureaucratise the bush and hamstring -2taneity and adventure with a load of bullshit that has no place 9ur mountains, valleys and ultimately, caves. 9 CAMBRIDOE AERODROMF CAMRRIDOE IN N"" TASMANIA 7170 PO BOX 775 RELLERIVE TASMANIA 7011 PHONE 40 5l l l A8 5I77 AFTER HOURS TEI EPHONE 85 7359 4R 8124 79 5793 TFLCX AA011135 SOUTH-WEST SCENIC FLIGHTS IUSHWALKERS' FLIGHTS INTO OR OUT OF MELALEUCA STRIP OR COX BIGHT SUPPLY DROPS 37~ KILO We have some Special Suggestions for Scenic Flights Just write or phone for free literature lUTHERN CAVER 2 9 October 1979


joints, the size of the joint; discussions with several peopl C----aL 'L-------.I-.*^-^^* ompas s SOUTHERN CAVRR 3 0 October 1979 with joint strike trends represencea ay lines or equal ~engrh at appropriate orientations. The width of the line would represent the width of the joint relative to some appropriate scale (as in I.ine b). Where some joints were atypically wide, a parallel line extending to the maximum width would be added (as in line a). Finally, joint E frequency would be represented by an "arrowhead" of lines representing the number of joints at the orientation over some standardised distance (in the above example trend a = 4/m, b = 2/m and c = 6/m). This might be derived by averaging over a broader distance depending upon particular circumstances. (received 8/11/79)


as 8 t I: the 1


FERNS OF A LIMESTONE Stephen Hds A complete collection of ferns was mi fron a limestone fissure set amidst near Caveside. The fissure is a probable-solution el 2m in width, 10m in length, 6m in del Sloping ramps comprising rock and so: vegetation are at either end of the : occur along smaller intersecting joil limestone boulders span the fissure I The bedrock is a compact, light blue. age (Gordon limestone) ? nlarged-joint approximately pth, and aligned north-south. il debris, rotting logs and Eissure. Constricted openings nts. One or two large near the top. -grey limestor le of Ordovician The vegetation surrounding the fissure comprises a EucaZyptus viminaiis E. obZiqua open-forest with an understorey regenerating after a fire in December 1977. Blackwoods sassafras and dogwoods are more prominent members of the understorey while PoZystichum proziferum provides a fairly dense ground cover amidst fallen t imber Belchnum wattsii occurs 15m downslope on the banks of the Mole Creek. Eight species of ferns from six genera were collected from the fissure, and only a filmy fern remains unidentified. The annotated list of ferns is given below. Specimens are in the possession of the writer. Nomenclature follows Jones and Clemesha (1976) : Australian Ferns and Fern Allies. Reed. Aspleniwn buZbifem Forst f This fern was found growing prolifically on the ramps of the fissure. Found especial? 111s near the top of the fissure. A. trCcFomanes L. This species was found as a 1.ithophyte on the walls. Jones and Clemesha claim that the species is uncommon in Australia and is usually associated with limestone. PZecFnm clmbersii Tindale. A fev cclmps were found on otherwise unvegetated mud banks, under an overhang where little light would penetrate. These specimens were the most remote from the surface of any of the plants in the fissure. SOC.?E~ CAVER 32 October 1979


15-en only with a short trunk. Tree 1:he area where they exist in ref ?ties was found to be dense on the large boulders near the :Se fissure. -

lrom Lne upper ena, rne passage was roorea ror /m. lnls secclon was not entered due to blockages at both ends, but midway along it a series of small holes of a few centimetres diameter in a depressed and very thin soil roof which appeared to be held together only by the grass mat, permitted a view into a tunnel 2m high. At 14m a small tributary channel was roofed by a lOcm bridge at the confluence. At 18.5m a further bridge spanning 50cm of the conduit was depressed by broader subsidence to one side, with another of lm at 21.5m. (see map on opposite page). 2 &Q swdq 10 an The tunnels are developed in shallow grey podsolic soil eihyy % ~AQY~Y .A2.-. The profile is duplex with an abrupt clay B2 horizon with blocky peds. There may be an aeolian component in the A horizon, the high silt content of which leads to high bulk density and hard setting. In such situations, drainage is concentrated at the junction between the A horizon and the clay subsoil. The conduit is gradually enlarged by predominantly mechanical removal of material by running water. Whereas other soil erosion features tend to occur in depressed surface features related to surface runoff, tunnels may a slope. In this instance leakage from an old initiated the tunnel, which was in the process 'orm an erosion gully, and had developed into a .cally resembling a carbonate karst system but scale, and fulfilling a similar hydrological .osion tunnel systems are generally fairly short 1 7110179) ': 4 October 1970


SOUTHERN CAVER 3 5 October 1979


LOST OR FC Kevin Kie "At the 4!5 mile there is a develo and these are regarded by the pec great beauty. l' Loft The reference by prominent early to caves 4% miles from Kelly Basi the defunct Crotty smelter of the on Macquarie Harbour has been reF The reports stimulated a visit tc Harris and the writer in 1970. 'I 1966 by members of the Tasmanian with West Coast Outdoors Club, wf explored. IUND? ~pment of caves in the limestone ~ple in the district as being of :us Hills, 1914 1 Tasmanian geologist Loftus Eills, .n on the old rail line linking North Ht Lyell Co. to its port leated in a number of publications. 2 the area by John Morley, Steve :his followed an earlier trip in Caverneering Club in association ien a small stream cave was It seems probable that this was one of two small caves, Hamoik I and 11, explored by our subsequent party, one passing under the old railway formation to an entrance which had been deliberately blocked, at a spot which from our map we figured to be about where the old 4% mile peg would have been located. The decoration had seen better days but a few glow-worms were present. Other caves downstream of the Bird River ~or~e~ were reported to us by a Gormanston resident on a subsequent trip but we remained fairly happy that the Hamoik system was that to which Hills referred. Now a Melbourne film-maker, Chris Long, may have thrown a spanner in the works, by turning up an old map which not only indicates the 4!5 mile peg to lay somewhat further down the railway formatton at the confluence of the two rivers near which we camped, but which also indicates, without explanation, a small five acre reserve at that site. Chris has turned up old refere Mt Lyell Standard" of 16th March 1899 and in 1898 referring to a cave system beside the Bird River "large in extent hut still unexplored" (!!). The .?andbook of Tasmania published by a tourist association in 1914 records (p. 232) that "A few miles from the Basin, along the railway, are some five caves in the Silurian limestones. It is proposed to have these explored and made available for tourists." At Hamoik we have found only two caves, although there are five entrances then again "five" could be "fine" misprinted. The nomenclature attached to streams in the area does not help. The Hanoik system lies beside the Nora River which a short distance dovnstream is joined by the Aron (which is Nora spelt backwards SOUTHERX CAPER 3'0 October la7!?


rncidentally) according to ::elly Basin as the .Bird Ri\ ro the Aron as well. Eithc system with "Bird River ca\ Chris has also met an old l =arm Cove, and a limestone of the Bird gorge. Thesc those reported by Hills; tl perhaps more likely a total,, ,-L,,,,,, ,,,. A HILLS, L. (1914). The Jukes-Darwin Mining Field Geol. Surv. Eul. 16 (Tas. Dept. Mines) eg JYSH, G. J. & YAXLCI, M.L. (1966) Behind the Scenerx. (Tas. Dept. Education) or HUGHES, T.D. (1957 Limestones in Tasmania, Geol. Surv. Min. Res. 10 (Tas. Dept. Mines). GOEDE, A. (1966). Kelly Basin. Speleo-Spiel 9:3. See KIERNAN, K. (1979). Limestone and dolomite in and adjacent to the King and Lower Gordon basins, South-West Tasmania: an inventory and nomenclature. Jour. Syd. Spel. Soc. 23 (8) : 198. CORBETT, K.D. & BROWN, R. (1974). Queenstown 1:250,000. (Tas. Dept. Mines). (received 8/10/79) SQUTHERN CAVER 37 Octoher 1979 l


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