Speleo Spiel

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. 83 (Sep 1973)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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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:
K26-04155 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4155 ( USFLDC Handle )
21765 ( karstportal - original NodeID )

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Speleo spiel. (No.83). Page 1. September, 1973. President: Albert Goede, 8 Bath Street, Battery Point, Tas. 7000. Secretary: iindrew Skinner, 2/63 Colvilhe Street, Battery Pt. 7000. Sept. 16th Sept. 30th October 3rd October 5,7 Hastings.Leader: A. Skinner. Most dry holes in this area will be investigated. Black Buffalo Hotel, Letitia St., North Hobart. ANNUAL DINXER. Pre-dinner drinks 7 ;).m. Dinner will be served at 7.30. Payment before night of dinner preferred. Contact T.Goede for further details. Specially arranged to brush away the cobwebs caused by the previous nights celebrations, 1 days climbing practice. SKT and ladder work at one of the usual practice areas(as yet to be decided). Leader: Andrew Skinner. Exit Cave. Underground to~rist/~~hoto,jraphy. tri Fridaynight start.to Cmp 2r Lirnited nuibers(6 Leader: Andrew Skinner. P Surface work on Mazble Hill. Weekend trip to exciting caving area. Leader: Brian Collin. Entrance Cave or King George V Cave. Trip for scout S helpers needed! Leader r Anarew Skinner. Generzl Meeting, 8 p.n. Clive and Dot Boulterfs, 11 Sheldon Place, West Hobart. Slide show on Kubla Khan and Exit Cave by kndrew Skinner. Mole Creek. Tentative date for meeting of the Tasmanian Council of Speleology. Delegates are A. Skinner, S. Stephens and W,Lehnann. Also a working bee at the lharacoopa Hut followed by a social evening. Sun. easy trip to a decorated cave. Leader: A.Skinner. EDITORIAL. There have been no cave reserves declared in Tasmania since 1939. Since that time three caving groups have been established and many im,?ortant discoveries nade. Indeed, probably about 95$ of Tasnani~ls known caves have been explored since 1939. fi There is an urgent need for protection of some of the truly */ ---. r magnificent caves found in.the Poet-~iar period, as they are undoubt. edly among Australiats finest. Exit Cave, longest known cave in Australia and ninth longest in the world, is not protected by a resErve of any type. Kubla Khan has been described by nay visitors as the best decorated cave in the country, but it too lies unprotected, undeveloped for tourisn and is deteriorating due ho injudicious use by cavers and other visitors. Many aspects of general government policy tbwards caves need revision. A Oaves Protection Act, with similar provisions to the Aubtrian le{;islation could be enacted in Tasmania. Such a law could include provisions for the prohibition of the removal and sale of speleothems, restriction of access to certain wild caves to responsible speleologists and popularisation of suit~ble undeveloped caves for casual visits by the general public, scout in^^ t

. Spele~ Spiel. Page 2. September ,-3973, Niscellaneous : I. delcone to the follcwing propective members: Robert dat on, 15Tyndham Road, Claremont Nick Berwick, 12 Charles Street, Moonah. Paul de Bornford, 12 Bilton Street, Claremont. + Aquamire, the cave reported in the March edition of Speleo-Spiel is hardly a new find. It is almost certainly the cave described by Ken Iredale in a TCC trip report-dated 1948. On that occasion, water was encountered at approx. 20 metres vertically fron the entrance. + Peter Shaw is alive and well! k three page article written by him appears in the winter edition of the ASF Neasletter. Also in the Newsletter is a reprint of Frank Brown's article on the Mole Creek Lime works, first published some months ago in the Spiel. + Tenth Biennial Conference(Decavecon?) of ASF will be held in Queensland late in 1974, and is to be jointly hosted by UQSS and CQSS. Just thought you night like to know early. .+ The subnission to the enquiry into the National Xstate is'almost complete and shoulddbe forwarded this week. DONATIONS OP SLIDES ARE STILL JEEDED. If you have any decent shots of Kubla Khan ancl/ or Croesus, please forward then to the Secretary, Box 64.1 G, GPO., Hobart, 7001. I will pay for the cost of duplicates. -TRIP ~PORTS Genghis Khan 9/8/73. Party: Andrew Skinner, Ros Skinner and nainland visitors Noel Rawlinson and Catherine Seery. A short photographic frip was madeto this small cave. The aragonite crystals are very suitably placed for close-up work. It is not recorwended that this cave is used very often as it is very susceptible to damage. Certain of the non-ASF caving groups in the North-West use this area and their conservation practices leave something to be desiredvby the state in whi'ch other caves have been left. I now understand that there are three non-ASP cavingclubs active in the North-West and some have membership cards. Some of the property owners in the Mole Creek area are beconin3 dissatisfied with larze nwbers of cavers tranping across their properties without taking care to avoid disturbing stock and crops. Andrew Skinner. -Croesus Cave lO/9/73. Party: Bncirew Skinner and Noel Rawlinson. Five hours were spent on photography in this cave, in order to assemble a set of slides for the TCC submission to the National Estate Enquiry. Some go06 shots were'3aken but sGrie are still needed for an adequate photographic record of the cave. A duffle bag full of wire was rexoved fron near the Masterlock; and qo drwns or other rubbish are now in the cave. No new vandalism was detected, but an area near the Golden Stairs was found to have been danaged with a very heavy hamer. Large stalagmites and columns have been smashed but this was sone' tine ago. The track markers were renoved from the Golden Stairs as they have not served any real 'functional advantage. There appears to be no way of keeping this flowstone area clear af mud, but it is washed fairly clean each winter. Andrew Kubla Khan 11/8/73. Part : Andrew Skinner, Laurie Moody, Greg Strickland Noel Kawlinson, d rom Northern Caverneers: Frank Brown, Peter Dowde, Bill Hardeman and Tim Daniel. The air2 of the tri was hotographic again to prepare a set of slides for the Nationa Esta e Enquiry. *he results were very pleasing, with s11lendid shots of the khan(even Llo d Robinson nay be envious) and the Forbidden City. Unfortunately I he canera was tilted for the photograph of the Begun. The results in the Jade Pool and Pleasure Done were not outstanding, and this appears to be a gap in the rec~r?~. Any donations?(Seem to recall you have a decent slide of


Speleo Spiel. Page 3. September, 1973. the Pleaswe ~ome,~ord&f I'm ripht could you please lo-t club have copy, T..,)~I.will pay tae costs of duplicates. yhe track narkers -placed at the ecge of the flowstone towards the Forbidden City seem to be workirc well and should be.extended much further. The mud has accumulated along the track, but other areas of flowstone should be cleaned with a bucket and brush. The flowstone bank in Cairn Hall has becone rather slippery due to the accunulation of mud, but it is not difficult to climb. Some of the eye bolts on this slope are loose and should be used with caution. Kubla Khan is still in quite good condition, but the presence of the top entrance does pose a serious problem. It makes access to the cave quite easy and it is obvious that many have visited it. Yet on normal issightseeing" trips there is no real justification for usiw the top entrance. I would prefer to take to this cave only those nembers who are capable of the cliabing involved from the battom entrance. In order to protect the cave by reducing numbers of visitors I entreat other caving groups to act sinilarly. Thanks to Northern Caverneers for their hospitality. Andrew Skinner. Exit Cave 14-17/8/73, Party: Andrew Skinner and Noel Rawlinson. n This was an extended trip mainly for shutterbyygiw in Conference Concourse and the Grand Fissure areas. Tues: was spent carrying very heavy rucksacks to Inner Base Camp and photographing Ediets Treasure and the Devil's S&vvepipe. Wed: Twelve hours were spent in the Conference Concourse and the Knd Fissure. Unfortunately there was insufficient tine ho go to the Labyrinth area. Thurs: The gear was shifted to Camp 1 and photographs were taken in the section of the cave before the talus. Fri: A quick withdrawal from the cave was made after the D1Entrecasteaux started to rise. New work was inspected in Xewdegate tourist Cave and a warm shower offer from Roy Skinner at Hastings was gratefully accepted. Trmk-marking work to be done soon includes: Ke2lacenent of narkers in Harmer Passage, placing narkers in Conference Concourse to protect a small meandering strean on a nud fkoor and further wokk in Ediets Treasure. kndrew Skinner. Junee Area l8 ,l9/8/73. p Party: Bndrew and Ros Skinner, Noel awli ins on, Catherine Seery, Laurie and Sue Moody, Glen Pinnington, Nick Berwick, Paul de Bonforz, Jan Hardy, Hobert Eaton, Fiom Skinner, Nick Gould and IiIax Jeffries. On Yaturday the Skinners, Catherine and Now1 visited Junee Cave and canped the night in the Florentine. We waited on Sunday morning at the AND1 gate for the others, but gave uy, after an hour 'and headed for Khazad-dum. Ros, Noel and I headed in and we were just coming back from the top of the ninety footer when the remainder of the party tunned up. Whilst I took then to see the top of the big pitch and the waterfall nearby, Noel and Hos aade a quick trip down the Serpentine. Upon returning to the surface, we found Max Jeffries and a very welcome fire. Noel and I ha? a quick look at JF 40 and discovered some white leeches, but unfortunately we had no collecting gear with us. Most of the party headed clown the track and haC. a brief look at the entranc~ of Cauldron Pot. After numerous Oohs, Aahs and Yuks at the sight of the entrance pitch we walked back to the cars, sniffing at the more obvious dalines on the way. Max has reported two creeks sinking to the west of KI)., would anybody like to go and look. around? Andrew WARNING One disturbing feature of the abme trip was the arrival of two people without adequate lighting. Members and prospective members are reminded that they must have three sources of light before venturing underground. Have either a= larlp or carbide lanp and bring a hand-torch for a spare source. Candles and matches in a watertight container should be carried AT -&L TIEES.


Speleo Spiel. Page 4. Sap%enberr1973. Hastings Area 26,27/8/72. Part : Andrew Skinner, Mike Jagoe with one'teacher and twelve stud*T= en S fro~ the fu'ewtown Iiigh School. On Sunday the party visited King George V Cave, rigging a lad3er to make the entrance drop easier. Some photography was undertaken in the main chamber and the party headed upstrean. Two groups investigated an aven to the right of the upstream rockfall. Mike had been to the aven before and tells me that explosives were once used in an attempt to enlarge a small passage. The aven rises about 30 metres above the Xevel of the stream passage and terninates in a' small chute with basal Permian tillite above. The waterfall +o the rich-t; of the rockfall was also clinbed, but the 'squeeze a% the top was not pushed. On Monday a visit to Wolf Hole was made. With ,the large party (15), half descended and went off with Mike as far as Lake Pluto. I took the other half of the party to the Lake and ixvestigated some talus and a side passage on the far side of the water. Unfortunately there was insufficient tine to complete the survey cor-xlenced on an earlier trip. Andrew Skinner. 25,26/8/73. Yicton River party: Brian Collin followed by Noel White. Brim Collin set out on Saturday morning for an easy weekend on the Picton Ziver track. Noel White went along, mainly to slow Brian down to a pace that would permit him to enjoy the beauty of the bush, and incidentally, to examine and collect fossils from some of the newly discovered limestone occurrences. Both purposes were admirably fulfilled. Brian was slowed to the extent that he d-id not raise a sweat, and on the rme occasions that the reariyard cane within earshot he was heard to tactfully renark on the many previous -1y un-noticed wonders of nature that the (for him) leasurely pace was allowing hin to appreciate to the full. Fossils were collected from five localities, and a number of others were located, but must await the attention of a qualified palaeontologist. Notwithstanding the scratchings of the hard-rock golliwog in attendance, the fossils collected created considerable interest anorq Banks, Burrett and Hao at the University, and all indicated ;reat eagerness to visit the area personally. Time will tell how nuch this is worth. Other conclusions were that the limestone probably has a simple structure with very broad folding oa.an n approxinately N-S axis. Dips were in the 25 40' ran:;e, iqostly the lower gut. btrike is at least five kilomet~cs and as yet the southern limit of the linestone is unknown. Caving potential is possihly considerable, although the vegetation and thlck fluvio-glacial sedibimt deposi%s are both najor hindrances. The area west of the known limestone occurences should be checked, particularly the easterly ridges off the South Picton Range. Any outflow caves will probably be found several hundred feet above the Picton River, near the former top of the glacial de13osits. The area will be physically very difficult to explore, but its proximity to Hobart and the excellent tracks which have been and are being cut in the area will 1ar;;ely offset this. These tracks are a great credit to the people who have worked so long and hard in cutting then. Were else could you start cutting a track into an inaccessible caving area, only to discover another entirely new an3 unexpected one on the way? Noel White. Mole Creek (date unknown). After wandering around the pastures at Cavesdde and exploring several dolines Glen Pinnirgton, Michelle Farrell, Piona Skinner & myself finally entered Pyranid Cave. The party worked their way past the pyranid9ov3r the talus and into Galleon Passage, through Black Shawl and on to the Letter Box. Here as expected the through trip was cut short due ta excessive water in the bottom of the squeeze. .


Speleo Spiel. Page 5. p~ptenber 1873. Two inchea air spsce over 611 and a certain duck made continuation impracticable. After 5 minutes lying up to ones ears in water the verdict was, yassable, but the strong nerve required just wasn't present. An about turn and fast scramble back through the cave saw four quite weary and immersed speleos emerge. Ross hlansf ield, Party Leader (TCC.) Frankconbe Cave 2/9/73. Party: Noel 1Jhite, Bill Lehmann, Nick Cunminf:s, Michelle Farrell, Jan Hzrdy, Laurie Moody, Nick Gould, Nick Berwick, Asahel Bush, Max J6,'fries and Therese Goede(surface). The party left on time at 7 a.m. and gathered at Maydena before 9. Despite a peat deal of new clearing in the area the marker was found with little difficulty, and a dazzling array of new trog-suits were soon donned. The weather at this stage was dry but overcast, and everything seemed to be running smoothly. No difficulty was found in locating the cave entnnce and the first stai;e was occupied with showing the party over thefprettiesf section. The real purpose of the trip was to examine and try to push the long stream passage which was partly explored by Peter P Shaw and Koel White a couple of years before, upart from a sudden loss of interest by Laurie, this part also began well. We were conpensated for his withdrawal by the appearance of Max Jeffries, who obviously reads his 'Spielf. A couple of ninor side passqes were found, one with some calcified bones. Two large detached ones and a small skull were removed. Despite the strain on the knees we pressed on. There semned to be rather nore water than previously and finally the worst becane apparent. Ey the tine we reached, at cost of'extrene disconfort rising chiefly from almost total irmersion, the area we were interested in, we found that parts that were previously 'dry' now were covered by nearly two feet of water, which caused sone inconvenience as much of the area of interest was less than that high. Having done pur best we turned about for the long haul back. Outside it was pouring rain although the fire Therese had prepared was sorie comfort. Everyone(except Therese and Laurie, the pikers) was thoroughly cold, wet and uncomfortable. Still it was all good?,clean?, fun?? and we could all be thankful that we had chosen aldrylcave for that day. TV Noel White. HASTINGS CAVES. R. K. Skinner. L This article is derived from a report prepared for the Tasmanian Goverm?ent Tourist Dept. by Roy Skinner. InfornatPon supplied by Albert Goede and Noel Vhite is patefully acknowledged. DISCOVlBY AKD ZAICLY DEVELOPMENT : From the yrd3le of the nineteenth century until the 1920fs, a thriving timber industry flourished in the southern Tasnanian hardwood forests. In 1917 timber-getters for the Hastings mill, who were operating around the foothills of Adamsons Peak, discovered three caves. These were named Newdegate, King Geor~e V and Beattie. Of the three, Newdegate is the largest and most highly decorated. This cave was named after Sir Francis Newdegate, Governor of Tas.,1917-1920. Details of the discovery were not docunented at the time, and accounts handed down over the years are somewhat va~ue and c-nflicting. Tales are told of large trees being felled and c?isapi2e:,,ring into the earth, but an inspection of the area surrounc'~in{: fne cave will quickly dispel this possibility. It is possible, however, that as the st~ilps of several large trees can be seen close to the cave entrance, some of their limbs could have penetrated a short distance into the cave when the tree8 were felled. One of the nenbers of the team which was operating in the area was the late 1Vk.Fred Escourt, and it is generally accepted that he was the first person to enter the cave. The early exploration of the cave has not been recorded, and it is not possible to say how


Speleo Spis. Page 6. ~eptenber, 1977, far Fred Escourt and his companions(if any) penetrated, but it is agreed that this man did become quite interested in the cave, and made several subsequent exploxxations. To perpetuate his narie the largest stalapite in the cave has been named the Escourt Stalagmite. Throughout the l-920rs, suggestions were made fron tine to time concerning the opening up of the cave. Bhe Espersnce Council took up.the case, and in the early 1930's the Goverment was persuaded to provide the necessary finance Oo construct an access road from the Lune River roadsfor a distance of 8kn. to the cave, and to establish stairways and electric illumination within the cave. This road follows the route of the tinber tranline, which was built to carry logs to the Hastings mill. Remains of the log-loading platform can still be seen beside the track from the end of the road to the cave entrance. Funds were nade available from unenploynent relief. Work was completed in late 1938, and Newdegate Cave was officially opened on the 19th January, 1939, by the Hon. A.G. Ogilvie, Premier of Tasmania. Originally a winding concrete stairway was built in the Great Hall, near the cave entrance, and tinber stairways built to connect chambers at different levels towards.the farther end of the developed section. These tinber stairways were replaced with concrete in 1963. This work was done by Mr. H.W. FitzA gerald. The difficulties of workinp with concrete in the cave shoul' ._, be realised, as all naterials hsd to be carried to the cave and witk -in the cave by whatever neans were available. In the case of the original stairway, horses were used to convey naterials to the cave, and for the replacement of the tinber stairs, a tractor was used, but all moverlent of materials Lnside the cave was done by hand. All work in and around the cave is supervised by the Public Works Dept. The original lighting in the.cave wzs carried out under the guidance of an electrician by the nane of Mr.D.Lowry, who was experienced in cave lighting at Jenoler~ Caves in Xew South Wales. 'He was assisted by Councillor H.Brown of Dover, who also acted as cave guide for the occasional parties who visited the caves at that tine. Additional lichting and renewal of lighting equipment has been carried out from tine to tirie by the guides. GEOLOGY OF THE HASTINGS AEh..: p-v-Most of the country around Hastings is made up of flat-lying Permian and Triassic sediments intruded by Jurassic dolerites. The rocks of Permian age, rangi~g from about 225 to 270 nillion years T old, are mostly sandstones which were deposited in shallow seas as indicated by the abundant marine fossils found in then. The rocks of Triassic age, ranging from about 180 to 225 nillion years old, alsc consist of sandstones znd siltstones which were deposited on land by rivers. Sone coal is al~n found in the Triassic rocks indicatiw that large; long-lasting swamps were present at that tine. Sedimentation proba5ly ceased late in the Triassic, and the flat, low lying land was little disturbed until about 155 million years ago when, in the Jura~sic period, vast quzntities of molten rock were forced up and spread as thick sheets wj-thin the Permain and Triassic sediment~. These solidified to form the dolerite which is found throu~hout most of Tasnania. Since the Jurassie period, erosion has cut deeply into the rock around Hastings, and in aone places such as at Hastings Caves, has cut right throu~h to expose sone of the very much older rocks which underly the Pernian sediments. In the Hastings area these are stronfT ,-ly f~lded quartzites and dolomite. It is in the dolomite that the caves occur. These rocks contain no known fossils, and it is not possible to say with any certainty how old they are. Pron comparison with sinilar rocks elsewhere in the state it is believed they are late Precanbrian in age. Thus it would seen that the rocks found at Hastings caves, which are now seen as through a window in the overlying younger rocks, were probably laid in shallow seas at least 600 million years ago, and were probably folded in two mountain-


Speleo Spiel. Page -7. Septenber, 1973. building phases before the Bernian rocks were laid on their eroded surface. THE CAVES. A11 other tourist caves in Australia occur in Linestone, (calcium carbonate, CaC03), The Hastin S caves have forned in dolonite, (calcium nagnesiw?. carbonate, CaNe a different though related rock type. T 1 ': OF CAVES: It is extremely difficult to determine, in most cases, when a cave begins to form, however s rough estimation can be deduced for the Hastings caves. For caves to f~rn, a favourable rock (in this case dolonite) must be exposed to weathering. The Hastings dolomite was exposed at the beginning of the Pernian period, about 270 million years aso, and it might have conatined caves then, though we have no evidence of this. It would next have been exposed to weath, ering sone time after the intrusion of the Jurassic dolerites, when strean action had removed sufficient of the over-lying rock to allow sone groundwater circulation within the rock. This probably P occurred in the Tertiary period, between 2 and 70 million years'ago. From evidence near Hastings, it would seen the caves were well'established before the Pleistocene glaciation of about 1 nillion yrs. ago. In addition, the caves-had to be present long enough to allow the cave-dwelling organisms discussed later to becone a6apted to living entirely in the cave environment. Thus a reasonable estimate would be that nost cave development has taken place in the last ten million years, but the early developnent of the cave could go back forty million years or more. FORMATIOR OF CAVE: -p Wewdegate cave, the larrest of the group, is an extensive cave, only a small i~ortion of which is open to the public. It probably began t~ be forned when erosion of the over-lyinp; sedinents had brought the surface to near the Eevel of the dolonite. At this stage, while, the dolomite was still below the water-table, there would be sone ninor'flow of ground-water through joints and frac, tures in the rock. This water would tend tc dissolve sone of the dolomite, widening the joints and fractures thus allcwing nore /-C water to flow through then. This initial phreatic(per11eating) stage has been considerably modified in later stages, evidence of wnich d can be seen in only a few places, for example the Pophole. As the surface erosion continued to cut down, the water table was lowered, draining the water from the higher level phreatic cavities, Rainwater falling on the doloiyLite, or percolating downwards thrcugh the joints in the overlying sedinents, or draining off the sedinents on to the dolomite, could now use these readymade cavities to flow through the dolomite. Hundreds of minor trickles, each gradually enlarging its passage, eventually cane together to form larger strear~s which formed larger passages. This type of strean-cave developnent is typical of the lower levels of the cave, where passa:;es are high and relhtively narrow, with water flowing throu:;h them. With denudation of the dolonite sone water will find its way as a film into joints. Given sufficient time, this water seeping an2 dripping 'down fractures, can produce high-lof ted char~bers such as are feud inJtewdegate cave. This, together with undercutting by the stream can cause the collapse of massive blocks of rock producing large, roomy chambers such as form the section of the cave open to the public.(See Figs.l,2,& 3 on next page). ... For caves in limestone, it is the mineral calcite that dissolves, and either calcite or aragonite(an0ther calcim carbonate mineral) which deposits. Thus the material deposited is almost identical to that dissolved, This is not so for caves in dolonite


Speleo Spiel. I M*... ..,. *.,I.. Page 8. September, 1973. .Triassic-Pcrmian age. Fig. 2. Percolation weakness in the dolomite. Fig. 3. Solution action widens the upper passages and corrosion by water erodes the basal portion. 1.........*..0.*0....OOO.....*...................~.....*..b...*.............~ such as at Hastings. When dolomite dissolves, equal nunbers of calcium and magnesium ions go into solution. To deposit dolomite from so;ution about three times as much magnesium as calcim r.~ust be


Spele~ S~iel. h Page 9. Septe~ber,, 1973, present. To achieve this situation from the solution derived from dissolving dolomite, a large amount -of calciun must first be removed, and indeed this is what happens. It is unlikely that any dolomite is deposited in Newdega'te Cave. The minerals deposited in dolomite caves'are the sane as those which occur in linestone caves, namely calcite and araconite, with a greater likelihood of aragonite occuring since the high magnesium content of the solution aids its formation. Thus it can be seen that in dolomite caves the material' deposited is not the sane as that dissolved. A small nuuber of stain,tests carried out in the cave showed the helictites to be calcite, and sone stalagmites to be calcite and sone aragohite. In Tasmania, no vertebrates are found in caves except for occasional visitors'such as the brush-tail possum and the wonbat. At Hastings, only the brush-tail possum has been seen under{;round, and then only near a cave entrance. In 1970 a Hastings cave guide, Mr.E.R.Hyatt discovered some bones not far frcm the entrance. These were identified as those of a kangaroo-rat(~otorous tridact lus). The aninal apparently wandered into the cave, fell a F--=out 20 ft. down a rock face, and was unable to find its way cut. Bats, which are comon in caves in other parts of the world, including mainland Australia, do not occur in Tasmanian caves. The cave fauna at Hastings consists a small invertebrates mainly insccts and spiders(inc1uding their relatives, the harvestmen), psaudoscorpions and nites. All food available in the caves has to be carried in from the outside as all animals are ultimately dependent on plant food, and plants can not grow in total darkness. Some food in the form of plant debris is periodi~ally washed in by floods. Other food is brought into the cave by aninals which live there but venture outside at nights to feed. fit Hastings, as elsewhere' in Tasnania, the mcst important seninals that serve this function are the cave-crickets, (~icro~athus tasmaniensis, in this locality,' belongiry; to the family Rhaphidophoidae)which are distantly related to the comlcn crickets found on the surface. They have powerful junping legs and long feelers. They shun day1i~;ht and nay be found in large numbers just inside the cave entrance. They menture, outside to feed only on dark and widdless nights when the air is humid. They feed on both plant and animal food, and are cannibals when times are lean. Their carcasses, droppings and e[;gs, together with newly hatched juveniles, supply food for some other cave dwellers. The'largest animal found is the Tasmanian Cave Spider,(Hickmania tro{

, Spe.leg Spiel. Page 10. Septenber, 1973. -area, although it has a close relative in caves at Ida Say, a few miles further south. The Hastings Idacarabus is a true troglobite, and was not discovered until 1963. Huntsnan spiders belonging to the family Agelenidae, are common in the dark zones of the caves, and are extremely fast noving. They have not yet been studied or described. Two species of harvestman occur in Hastings caves. The larger one,(Monosc P cavaticm) has a leg span of about one inch, and is fairly comon throuchout the caves. It also occurs at Ida Bay, where it was first collected and described. The smaller one, a new species of LomaneEla, is very rare, and only two specimens are known to science. ltdhas not yet been described. xnother distant relative of both the spiders and scorpions is a lit%le pseudoscorpion about one fifth of an inch long with the scientific nane ~s~udotyrannochthonius tasmanicus. This is a very attractive mimal with lonr translucent ninchers. and without the tail of the scorpion. It was first discoGered in'Kiq George V Cave at Hastin,-;S, but is now also known to occur on the surface under logs not far from the caves. Mites are distant relatives of both spiders and pseudoscorpions They are very small and live in cave soil and rottiw wood. Some are parasites, and are carried around on the legs and bodies of the larger cave animals. The unc1erp;round streams at Hastings contain very little life, but the nountah shrimp,(Anaspides tasnaniae) a prinitive crustacean found in the highlands of Tasmania, and often referred to as a living fossil is also found underground where it appears to be able to reproduce and maintain itself. Specimens collected from cave streams show loss of pigment. Those collected in Newdegzte Cave have normally developed eyes, but an eyeless variety is found in an underground lake in the Wolf Hole, and appears to be a true troglobite. (The rest of this article will appear in the next Spiel). ATTENTION \ LATE BOOKINGS FOR THE DINNER. Late bookings for the dinner will be accepted up until noon on Saturday 15th, September, as long as they are accompanied by full payment. DON'T ~iss the social event of the year! Please note that this year dress will be conventional. No trog suits please! Usual after dinner festivities will be held, probably at the hone of Ros and kndrew Skinner.

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


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