Speleo Spiel

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Speleo Spiel
Series Title:
Speleo Spiel
Southern Tasmanian Caverneers
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


General Note:
The Tasmanian Caverneering Club was formed on 13 September 1946. Initially, information was provided to members through a circular, copies of which exist back to November 1947. "Speleo Spiel, Circular of the Tasmanian Caverneering Club" was first published December 1960. Eight issues of this are known, up to May 1962. In April 1964 a "Circular" was again issued and seems to have continued, irregularly, until March 1966. Then in April 1966, a "New Series" of Speleo Spiel commenced, as a monthly newsletter. In December 1996 The Tasmanian Caverneering Club amalgamated with the Southern Caving Society and the Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group to form the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. The combined group agreed to continue to publish "Speleo Spiel" as its bi-monthly newsletter, as continues today (2015). Speleo Spiel is a vehicle for recording the cave and karst-related activities, and particularly the achievements, of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. It also carriers technical and scientific reports, reprints, reviews and other information likely to be of interest to members from time to time.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
No. 61 (Sep 1971)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

Record Information

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:
K26-04133 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4133 ( USFLDC Handle )
21743 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Karst Information Portal

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SPELEO SPIEL. No. 61. September, 1971. Published by the Tasmanian Caverneeriw Club, Box 641 G, G.P.O., v Hobart, Tas. 7001. Registered for posting as a periodical Category "Bu. Annual subscriptio,n $1.00. Single copies 10 c. Pres: Albert Goeds, 8 Bath street, Battery Point, Tas. 7000. Sec: Noel 'White, Geology Departnent University of Tasnania, Sandy Bay, Tasmania, 7005. FORWARD PROGWILd. -Sept. 11 Sept. 18'19 Sept. 22 October 3 October 6 October 10 October 24 Saturday. TIWNTY-FIFTH BIRTHDAY, AP3dUA.L DIldIJER. i'rince of Wales Hotel, Hanpden Road, Battery Point. heet for pre-dinner drinks at 7p.n. Dinner at 7.30. More details in last months Spiel. Payuent before dinner appreciated. Weekend. Mole Creek. Including co~bined trip through Herberts Pot with S.C. S. Actimr Leader: Kevin Kiernan. ~ednesday 8p. m. ~iiuirie UNDER~ROUND FRENCH FILMS to be shown at the Lenah Valley RSL Hall, 188 kugusta Road.(Left hand side, just past Pottery/Creek Road Junction.) Supl>er afterwards at 8 Bath Street. Weekend. Exit Cave. Leader: Bill Lehr.lmn. Leave Fridasmi~~ht ., Sunday. Ladder practice at Hocky Tola. LeLicler:B.Colli~ Wednesday. 8p.m. General Meeting at the Parley's 49 Wells Parade, Blackmans Bay. Gate identified by helmet and willow tree. Sunday. Day trip to wolf Hole, Hastinw. Yhotopraphy and exploration. Leader: Noel White. Sunday. Day trip to Mystery Creek Cave. ixploration of upper entrance and Canyon. Leader. Albert Goede. of Cavini;; his nontIF%e celebrate the v twentyifth anniversary of our club the oldest in Australia. The inau!;ural rieetinc of the Taslmnian Caverneerin~; Club was held on 13 Septenber, 1946 as a result of the guiding influence and enthusiasm of professor S.W.Carey. One of the first trips to bc held after the club cane into existence was to the Junee area where nenbers explored the Junae resuryencc and several snall caves nearby. This trip was not without exciteneut. Our founder nearly foundered in the swollen Junee River after a party had reached the end of tlle cave and established the presence of a sii32lon. Durinc the followil?;; nil~ht the party canped on the river floodplain had to move to hit,her {rround as the river .overflowed its banks. It is interesting to consider that after twenty-five years the -Junee River still keeps its secrets but the prospects of finally unlockinp thesc looks briphter than at any tine during the club's hkstory. In a quarter of a century the wheel hns cone full circle and in the last two years the club has once again concentrated its efforts in this area with considerable success. Last sumirer saw the descent of Khazad-dun -to a de,,th of 950 ft. a new Australian rccord. The cave still continues and may [;ive us access to the Junee Cave systen. Water tracing a few weeks at'o proved that the water frorl IChazad-dun does resurge at Junee. The fluorescein dye used covered the distance of 2* miles in just eleven hours. Other swallets such as Nia'vara Pot and JF 10 which ap2ear to be part of the sane drains-ye systen are still bein;: explored. Surface traversinf; in recent rlonths is givinp. us a clearer ljicture of the relationships of the swallets and potholes to each other. The survey has already shown that Khazad-dun is heading strai{:ht for Cauldron Pot and JF 3 and that these caves are nearly 100 fect hi{-,her. It nakes the area of potholes surroundin: JF 3 a most promisiq area fnr further exploration. The club is already preparing for the cominlr; Khazad-dull season and has just cor~jlleted the manufacture of 240 feet of new ladder. The teal11 si>irit and close friendships which characterized the club in the early days is with us today and merlbership stends at an all time hipli. 'Ye can look back with pride and satisfaction on ovr past record and look forward with confidence to the future in our state where still so rnuch of its uncier!;round world reriains to be discovered. Albert Goede, President.


Speleo Spiel_, Page 2. Se;)t caber, 1971. Club News. +----The club has received two lonr: and newsy letters fron Norm Poulter now in Adelaide on his round iustralia trip. His vehicle is obviously rnucli hn1;l~ier on the flat and straipht South Australian roads and Norm HGS alrcady been on several trips with CEGSA. Nevertheless orie can detedt a touch of nostali-iu in his letters for the wet and awesome de;~ths of Khazad-dum. He is wishinp us all the best for the coming season, + The production of eipht new ladders has been conplelcd except for the spIiciw of the ends which is beiny; done by Rex ancl Sons. Special thanks are due -I,o Denis l3ey1-10ur who not only cut all the ruqs and ferrules butalso freely mde available his hone and workshop. Thanks also to Bill 1;ehfilann who su1)l)lied the crinping device and quartermaster Rrian Collin who supervised the actual production. One must also mention the keen menbers who in less than a nonth attended some or all of the four workinf bees to {-et the job done. The operation has seriously depleted club funds but leaves us well prcp8red for the corniny; smler season. + Cave nul;,~berin(:. The followinp c~~ver; were nunib~red by filbert Goede and Kevln Kiernan on Sunday, 22 August, 1971. JF 30 C;-'ve with small abandoned strean passage a;),)rox. 200 feet lonf,. Located uphill from left bank of Junee fiiver approx. Iialfway between Junee Cave and road bridfre. JP 31 Srmll stream intake on bank of Junee River below JF 30. 'l'zkes some river flow at timer of hich watcr and can be entered in dry weather only. JP 32 Snall cave 40 ft. dezp with talus and nud ill hill behind Junee honestead and a short distance from JF 33. JE' 33 Dead IIorse Cave. Snall chanber with skelcton of horse on floor. Snall side :mssa,re continues another 15 ft. Locate6a short distance west of JP 32. + -ProspecI;iv.c umber. .m. ---"W Geoff Hall, 63. Ray Road, New Town, 7008. + Additions to list of financial nenbers publislled in last Spiel. CWI1INGS, ~i>k"-" -c/o Hytten Hall, IJni. of Tas., Sandy Eay, 7005.-'. F. NORBURY, Laurel F. TAHBURTON, Shirl-ey 4 Barossa Road, Glenorchy, 7016. A. Van T'VILLL~IT, Herik 8B Braeside Crescent, Sandy Bay, 7005. F. Our a:)olo!~ies to Shirley ~vho was incorrectly listed in the last Spiel as beini! unfinancial and in the June Spiel as hrzviry, been accepted as a full r-llenber. Shirley ap;,lied for associate rle11.bcrship and was in fact f innncial. TRIP REPO.WT-S3 Exit Cave 6-8/8/71. Party: Bill ~cl.i,i:lnn(~ctin~: Leader), Sally Morris and Kevin Kiernan. We left Ebbart at approx. 7.30 13.m. on Frudayni~~ht after collecting the key to Xxit Cave (rate fror~ klbert, The trig -in was fairly uneventful with the river level doun the lowest that I Pavc seen it since Christ!las, We arrived in Cam]) 2 at ap1,rox. 3 &.IT. on Saturdaynornint;. A snall snack and then into our sleepink: bq>s till ap9rox. 10 a.m. ufter breakfast we headed via the Grznd Fissure and Mud Passage to the Conference Concoursti. The rlain ob jezt was to check on a possible extension past an aven found at Christnas tille but not explored due t-I difficulties in c1irlbin.around the side csc tile passare entered the aven agprox. 10 12 feet above the floor. A short sto;) was riade in the nain passage to retake the photos of the cracked nud and the frog skcleton that did not coile out too well on the last trip. The aven exl)loration did not t( ke long as, after cuttin;< a step in the rlud with riy ;~eolo:*y pick I innaped to scranbke across onto the rmd bznk. The passatTe extends for about 50 feet and off to the ri;:lit 15 20 fect past the crossover -j?oint there is another aven with a snall(6" diameter) passage leadln: hack to the passage fror-1 which the first aven was approached. There is a possible hich level but it would need a braver rnan than I to clinb ui] the mud wall to reach it. After returni~ to the nain passatye we went on to -tl'7e Last Straw to photolrruph the rirq~tail possun skeleton and then ul\ to the Waddlen -splash where Kevin took some gore ~~hotos. Two other itet~s of interest-v-isitecl-were th3e -Straw Chanber and the short cut ~:nssar e at the end of the uain &unnel. Bio1o~:ically two interestinp thiq~s wcre found; one beinp a cricket .at the Cracked Mud tilucgestin~~ easy access to thc surface vi3 the aven, and the other an Anas 1id3s in the stream where the imin passnfre rejoins it before the em -F-L-L' enslon to the Last *traw.


, -Speleo Spiel. page 3. Se terzber, 1971. vie arrived back at camp at approx. 7.00p.n. and a?d%"tea .had a natter before {?,oiwi to sleep ngain. Arising at about 9.30a.n. on Sunday we packed up and leisurely made our way back to the &alus paying a short visit to Xdies Treasure on the way. At the entrance side of the talus a ~to!~) was made for coffee, a few photos and a quick visit to part of the lIam?er Passage. We then continued to the entranceof the cave. i,;fl~il.c Sally did a little ,ditch dic,ling to help drain the large puddle just inside the {{ate, I reriii,)-ed the rope on the high level. We then went to the surface canp at the bridge for ;:!nother cup of corRfee. At this point we remembered that the gate had not been locked so whi2.e I went back to lock it Kevin did a quick trip up to where the D7EnCrecasteaux River goes under~round before re-entering the cave. Ye arrived back at the car just on dark and tl~en headed back to Hobart stopj!inl: at Dover for food and Huonville for nore food and fuel for the car. As usual there were a couple of conical incidents on the trip both involved with people falling into the water. Sal1.y succeeded in doing this in the main passaqe on the way out just before the talus, and myself off the high level entrance traverse while rerip::-(ing it. Bill Le1ii:ianrl. Junee Area 15/8/71. Party: Peter Shaw and Philip Robinson. No trij? rcpwCt received but a useful piece of work was done b'y' running a surface traverse from Cauldron Pot to Khazad-dua and part of the way back alorq the track towards the track. Flottirq, of the survey indicates that the entrance to Yhazad-dun .?, is nearly 100 ft. lower than Cauldron Pot and JF 3 ancl that Khazaddwn heads straicht for this area. Editor. Junee Area 21,22/8/71. Party: Albert ~oedc(leadcr), Kevin Kiernan and (sunday only) Michael Shield. We left %he car at 10.50 a.n. headed for Khazad-dun and arrived there 30 minutes later. Bt?tween 11.30 and 11.4-5 a.n. filbert injected 4.5 kilogran!-ies(appox. l0 lbs. ) of fluorescein into the strea.m after dissolving it in plastic buckets wh.i.le Kevin endeavoured to capture the historic i!.oi:lent on film. We then moved up above the wa-tcrfall to collect water sqmples for chenical ~lysis and measure tcnperature, conductivity and pH. The tenperature was a chilly 3.2'~. We left the cave at 12.20 ;).!:l. by which tine the fluorescein had virtually disappeared and arrived back at the car at 12.50 p.n. Therese then ferried us to Junee where we arrived at 1.20 p.m. The river was fairly high but no tracc of fluorescein as yet. After setting up camp near the footbridge we went to the cave where riore water sar~;7les and neasurenents were t.xken. It was discovered that the recorder had been vandalized. The cover had been smashed in and the cop;?er capillary tubi2y: cut and sone renoved. The instrurnent was taken out for repairs. That nipht at 10.40 p.3. shortly after Kevin had taken the first two hour watch the first of the. fluorescein started to coue throwh. Water sa~nples were then taken at reeular intervals for later fluorometer. analysis of fluorescein content. A little later Mike Shield arrived and we orirnnized a roster systen to collect water at half hour intervals throughout the nilyhtl. A1thout;h the nicht wax frosty a fire kept us confortable. Visual observation by Kcvin su[yyested fluorescein concentratioii reached a peak bet.ween 1-30 Eind 2.00 a.i.1. (Later fluoramter analysis indicated a peak conc. at 11.40 p. pi. ) At daybreak the river still appeared quite Green and the colour remained visible till noon. The traciw indicates a direct and fast flowing connection between Khazad-dun and the Junee risin~. The straight line distance of approx. 2.5 ~iiles was covered in only 11 ho.urs by sone of the water. The peak concentration of dye was reached only 12 hours aLtsr injection. k surpising feature was the length of tirile the Junee River remained Green nore than 13 hours. Later conparison of thc samples with standard solutions showed a concentration of 3ess than 1p.p.m. but ereater -than 0.1 p.p.rl. when the dye concentration was greatest. On Sunday mrniny: we visited nntl nunbcrad the two snall caves near the bank of the Junee River us JF 30 and 31. JF 30 was explored a little further by Kevin who believes there are prospects for further progress. JP 31 was full of water but Kevin sat down to his niddle in .. the water tn fix a nunber to the only available rockface. then visited the hill behind the

Speleo Spiel. -.. 4. Weld River 29J8/71. Party: Philip [~obinson(ieader), Kevin Kiernan, Bill Lelimnn, Graene Watt, Jeanettc Collin, Sally Morris, Henk and Gerrie van Twillert. For l* hours the Old Port Davey track was followed to Mt. Bowes. Fron here the T.C.C. track heads down toward the Weld River 2 3 ~niles away. Fro11 previous trips the Weld was reckoned ti_, be only a short distrncc froril the end of our track. On this assu~iption no year other than two slashers and Kevin's butter knife was br~u,~lit along. Soon we reachc? the end. It rained heavily, we slashed zncl the scrub thickened. T1:c tributary valley crew stetp sided and oevcral hundred feet high while the creek was tor, deep to follow. We wer< forced to criss-cross the stream and clinb on several occasLons. Two chain saws and several r.lor3e choppers would have been rfiost useful. As tine ran out the decision to return was greeted with ;-reat joy. Much to our amazement an outcrcp of rock actually 3 feet square wa;; visible throuib the dank ve{:,ctation. This was ea~erly bashed in the hope of finding doloriite. No such luck. Wt. added less than 4a rnile to the track and the \Veld River is still a lone way off. Fhilip Robinson. .-P.T.O. cont. from L~aAE'Ji return valve which pushed a known volume of the atnosphere through sets of AVER gas detecting capsules. The capsules allowed direct neasurement of the concentration of each gas by reading off the colour development a{gainst the scale. k nultiplication factor of 5/4 was used as a volu~ae correction for the pump. The equi*x.lcnt, a3though appeariny; rsther crude, ;j:ave reasonable results ao relative cnncentratic.)ns were measured over 8. nunber of explosions using the A.N. nixture, gelignite, T.N.T. and P.X. The latter providin(~ a known basis fror:~ which to start r:-lu:rsurc~ lc:nt. Separately, the ac-tuzl concentrations were neaninl:less as thcre was not a definite volur:ie in which the expl~sions took pla.ce. Por ccneral testinp the bicycle ::~~r.lp was worthwhile ccllsideriny: the hi~,,l~ cost of conmercial testing equip~:~cnt. SAFETY: In his article Yhillips states the expl~~sive is vcry safe to handle. Governr;cnt chcrzist S and explosive experts in Western Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria suy:rest that extrene caution be tslren in handlin~ a1uniniur.1 :!bwder, ;~articularly so in the case of new powder which has only a thin oxide fill?. Extrenes of heat could cause spontaneous combustion. As the' nkrcantile laws prohibit the carryin;; of aluminiuri powder exccgt under certain controlled conditions, I think we shoulC assume the worst and treat with caution. In my oilinion it is better tc mix on site rather than rely on storage in air--ti,.:ht tins. Those pre-nixecl batches seen to Cet~riorate if kept fcr long. The use of alurniniun foil cartridges is to be rcconmnded as cardboard, waxed paper, plastic etc. will all produce varying amounts of carbon nonoxide and carbon dioxide. The use of Cordtex boosters results in production of toxic furles and could assist in rendering a misfire more dangerous. Nunber 6 deton -ators have proven effective and are rct~arded by Euroi~ean explosive experts as sufficient. As Phillips mentions in his article the explosive can be placed in a stopperer1 c,lass bottle and exploded undervcter. This is particularly effective for waterfalls, efluxes etc. or even in very wet craves such as most Tasmanian caves where dcznp is a ~robler; t~ the shok firer. THE LAW: Th-e law varies fron state to state rei:ardin~: the busi!x, use and nanufacture of explosives. The experirient S--described hc-rsijz"require the acquisition of special pernits issued after examination, and nunufacturing has been undertaken under standard Ordinance Procedures. Any serson undertakinl: such :L profmm should first consult with the'i3xplosives Branch of their State Government. My thanks bo Hon Van Senten and Inn hk~rtin, both of d.A.Z.G., who provided rnuch aszistance in conductiry these experimats. P. W. ~enley'( signed )


Spel-eo: Spiel. A FUMELESS EXPLOSIVE. P.W. Henley. The Septenber, 1970 issue of the A.S.F. Newsletter rcfcrs to a paper published by J.B. Phillips in the liBullet%n of thc British Speleological Federationt1 and subsequently reviewed by Mr. :E. HaniltonSmith. The exj7er-i.j.!ents described herein are the result of ficld tests carrmed out in Western Australia and Tasmania durinp 1970 and 1971. Some historical, technical and explanatory notes are included in order to give a lmck[ose to conc entrakions of 10,000 30,000 p. p. 1.1. and prolon(l;ed exposure over 30,000 u.n.11. will result in death. NITROGEN ~IOXID~: This ir'-fl~e nost dan~~erous of all the gases, however the @S can


Speleo. Spiel. -.. page. 6. -A]-Sstenker, 1971. be detected by irritation to the nose at concentration over 0 p.p.m. For concentnations of 75 13.p.m. it is safe for a one hour exposure. 100 150 T,.p.!-l. in an hour is dangerous and concentrations of 200 700 p.p.m. are fatal over very short exposures. TABLE Carbon lionoxide Carbon Dioxide Nitrogen Ilioxicle Parts Per Mill 1,000 3,000 10,0.00 30,000 100 150 11 Dangerous 4 000 30,000 200 I I Lethal All for a one hour exposure. As nentioned previously, the nitro;:en dioxide is the nost dangerous as. The reacts with water-vapour when inhaled and forns nitrous and nitric acids in the luqs and air-pascaces. Unfortunatel;?, the syptons npj?ear 6 24 hours after exposure. In sone cases a certain tolerance can be built U-~I by some people to what others would describe as larce doses. Some miners workinc in quite high levels of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide show no effects of continued ex;Ljosure. One instance in Western nustralia showed two people, usec! to nines, quite able to tolerate 3$, carbon dioxide without discolnfort. However, this is not a norl;l. The exi)losive used by Phillips and described as relatively fumeless is a nixture of 18.5% aluminium powder and 81.5% ail-!oiiium nitrate. This gives a very powerful explosion with a heat value *xcceding that of nitrmglycerine. The by-products are small amounts of nitrogen dioxide, water vapour, nitrogen and aluminium oxide. The in-tercstin(< feature of this rnixture is the fornation of anmonia and hydrogen. The percentage of a1ur:liniurn used will deternine the gas-type pesent after the explosion. See Table: % kluminiwll produces Hydrogen, m1 ionia Kitric Oxide. 0 0 0.1 0.1 Gases Produced in Explosion (in Mols) of 1 Kiloeran of Mixture (Cook 1958). The nitric oxide produced cor:lbines with oxygen frol:~ the atmosphere to produce the dangerous nitrogen dioxide. By checkill[; the table we can see that by using in excess of 202, of aluniniw.3 powder the resultant nitric oxide becones dii-linished with an increase in the less harmful an!!!onia.. The next step is to find out at what stage is the nitric oxide produced in safr auounts. Chenically, nitrogen dioxide, arvzonia and water-wa;~our react to form amoniun nitri.te and anr~oniun nitrate the basic cou;)ound used in the mixture. By examinin{; the table a fhgure of bctwecn 15 20% alurniniurn(-the balance anlmoniun nitrate ) can be deternined. Usiw 18.5% aluniniwn, 81.5% a~nnoniurn nitrate mixtures an explosion was nade in a confined area in a Weetern australian Cave which produced very low levels of -the three toxic eases. Further experinents using a small glass phial of aqueous amrionia, which was pulverised duri~ the explosion, resulted. in the nitrogen dioxkde and water-vapour reactirig with the excess aimonia to f orn arnlxnium nitrnt e and arlnoniurl nitrite. The larze mounts of alminiun oxide formed by the conpound points to the inefficiency of usiq so much aluniniur~ ilowc!cr. The test -iw, of the conpound us in^ less than 10% almliniun powder has yet to be undertaken although the aqueous ammonia additive nay be the answer to the problem of nitropen dioxide production. I.C. I. suc;-jest 7% as the maxinw:l ar:iount of alu~~iniun needed to produce the ;-lost econonical explosion, 'however, their usa{;e is unsuit:tble in confined spaces without the a,a?onia additive. Without mre sophisticated t estinp, apparatus the exl~criixents becone pointless, amd although testing by smell and taste is possible, I feel future experiments should be conducted using nore reliable equipment. T&STING APPA:LTUS --mUSBD: The ap;mra&s used for detectinf;: and neasuring gas ~(~ncentrations was very elerxntary consistiv of a bicycle pur~p fitted with a non-

The Tasmanian Caverneering Club was formed on 13 September
1946. Initially, information was provided to members through
a circular, copies of which exist back to November 1947.
"Speleo Spiel, Circular of the Tasmanian Caverneering
Club" was first published December 1960. Eight issues of this
are known, up to May 1962. In April 1964 a "Circular" was
again issued and seems to have continued, irregularly, until
March 1966. Then in April 1966, a "New Series" of Speleo
Spiel commenced, as a monthly newsletter.
In December 1996 The Tasmanian Caverneering Club
amalgamated with the Southern Caving Society and the
Tasmanian Cave and Karst Research Group to form the Southern
Tasmanian Caverneers. The combined group agreed to continue
to publish "Speleo Spiel" as its bi-monthly newsletter, as
continues today (2015).
Speleo Spiel is a vehicle for recording the cave and
karst-related activities, and particularly the achievements,
of the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers. It also carriers
technical and scientific reports, reprints, reviews and other
information likely to be of interest to members from time to