UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newlsetter

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UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newlsetter

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UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newlsetter
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Lava tubes ( lcsh )
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UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 s No.7 5 Uni on Internationale de Spéléologie (UIS) Commission on Volcanic Caves e NEWSLETTER December 2019


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 1 http://www.uis speleo.org/ http://www.vulcanospeleology.org/ No.7 5 September 201 9 Contents . Page 3 Page 4 19 th International Symposium on Volcanic Caves, Catania, Page 6 European Space Agency Appeal for Innovative Idea s for Page 35 STOP PRESS! 19 th International Symposium on Volcanic Caves Registration now open . Page 36 The Commission on Volcanic Cav es Newsletter has been published regularly since December 22, 1993. The Newsletter is available free of charge to all members of the commission, and to others who are interested in Volc anic caves.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 2 UIS COMMISSION ON VOLCANIC CAVES Honorary F oundation Chairman William R. Halliday, M.D. wrhbna@bellsouth.net Chairman John Brush Warwillah@gmail.com Vice Chairman Greg Middleton ozspeleo @iinet.net.au Membersh ip Officer Roberto Conti rcontiggba@gmail.com Web Master Dirk Stoffels dirkjs123@bigpond.com Editor Ed Waters speleoed@outlook.com MISSION STATEMENT The UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves encourages exploration and scientific investigation of volcanic caves, and hosts the International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology about every two years COVER PHOTO Grotta Grotta dei Tre Livelli By Ed Waters


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 3 Editorial I feel a bit of a fraud as I edit the latest edition of this Newsletter, as I canic cave for 2½ years, the longest gap I have had in very nearly 20 years. I am however looking forward very much to curing this vulcanospeleo logical famine next year with the forthcoming 19 th Symposium on Volcanic Caves. What better excuse could there be to indulge in a little subterranean fun, learn about the latest thinking on the subject and to spend time with valued friends both old and new. This edition of the Newsletter therefore concentrates on providing information about the symposium, for whic h registration will be opening very shortly. Much of the content of this is sue is derived from Circulars No.1 and 2 issued by the organising committee, and which I am sure will be of interest to the readers of this newsletter who are considering whether o r not to attend. For those who have not visited Sicily and the volcanic caves of Etna, I can personally recommend the caving here after a visit back in 2009. Finally many thanks to Stephan Kempe for alerting me to the European estigate how to explore caves on the moon. Details of the proj ect ca n be found at the end of this newsletter. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas, and looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Sicily. Ed Waters, 8 th December 2019


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 4 Message from the Chairman Ciao a tutti Yes, I am trying to learn a few words of Italian to better prepare myself for i t will all help. The Catania Symposium seems to be approaching with ever increasing speed. Fortunately, Mel, Giuseppe, Roberto and other members of the Symposium organising committee appear to have everything under control. As most of you would already be aware, the Second Circular and a detailed program for the Post symposium trip to the Aeolian Islands were recently pub reference, the key points from those documents and also from the First Circular are re printed in this issue of the Newsletter. Over the course of this year many of you pre registered your interest in the 19th International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology (ISV) at Catania. During this month of December, you will be able to fo rmally commit to participate in the ISV by completing the online registration process through the 19 th ISV Website. Hopefully many of you will be in a position to do so. Based on the level of interest already shown, I suspect the symposium will get close to its limit of 80 participants. Looking ahead to future ISVs, I have had some positive preliminary discussions (via email) regarding the 20th ISV, due in 2022. Hopefu lly, we will have some good news on that score in the leadup to the meeting in Catania. It is also time to start think ing about the 21st ISV, due in 2024. Please have a serious think about possible locations for that meeting. Send me your ideas and also your offers to help organise the event. I am sure that Greg, Ahmad, Theo, Ann, Peter and Mary, a s the key organiser s of recent ISVs, would all agree that organising an ISV was an immensely


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 5 fulfilling experience even though it did involve a significant commitment of time and effort. Hopefully, Mel, Giuseppe and Roberto will feel the same way in 12 mo The Commission is currently considering the feasibility of adding another page to its Website that would contain links to publi shed papers on any aspect of research on volcanic caves. The thinking is that it would contain links to papers that have been already published and that are freely available on the Web. It has the potential to be a central location for published works on volcanic caves research work but obviously, it will only be as successful as Commission members make it. In other w ords, if members provide the necessary links to papers that they know about. And finally, I hope to see many of you at Catania next August. John Brush Chairman / President Commission on Volcanic Caves. International Union of Speleology


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 6 Etna's sum mit craters seen from Barbagallo craters photo. G. Priolo SUMMARY The 19TH International Symposium on Vulcanos peleology (ISV) will be held in Catania, on the island of Sicily in Italy from Saturday August 29 to Saturday September 5, 2020. LOCATION The 1 9th ISV will take place in the prestigious setting of the University of Catania, in the centre of the city. The town is only 35 kilometres from the top of Mt. Etna. The big draw for cavers will be the lava tubes, numbering over 300, on Mt. Etna. This mount ain is a composite strato volcano that reaches 3.325 m a.s.l. Its pyroducts cover a large area (8100 hectares/ 20,000 acres).


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 7 ORGANIZING TEAM The symposium will be organized jointly by Gruppo Grotte Catania (GGC) and University of Catania. The GGC caving group is affiliated with the Catania section of the Club Alpino Italiano (CAI). The University of Catania is one of the oldest in Italy. INVITATION Dear Friends, The big day is comi ng. We all, including Mount Etna, are pleased to welcome you to this lan d of extraordinary beauty. I remind you that the 19th symposium will be held in Catania, from August 29th to September 5th 2020. Three mornings of lectures are scheduled, at the Department of Geology of the University of Catania, to introduce you to volcan ic environment in Catania and to other similar areas in the World. In the afternoon, after the lectures, and in the following days, you will be guided on special trips to our most representative lava caves, on Mount Etna and to nearby sites. (I recommend you see also the various cultural activ ities connected with the Symposium, already described in the first circular see the link next page). The Gruppo Grotte Catania has an 86 year history and experience in the speleological field, especially dedicated t o the volcanic environment. The study and research in the lava field are still continuing today. Many new caves have been discovered recently with important re sults in every field such as the recent discovery a new species of beetle inside an Etna cave. We look forward to sharin g our results with you and to listening to your papers. Carmelo Bucolo (Mel) Chairman of Gruppo Grotte Catania


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 8 SYMPOSIUM PROGRAM [Taken from the first circular, Ed.] The following is taken fro m the first circular of the Symposium that includes the program of the Symposium and all the information about lectures, connected events and excursions: SATURDAY AUGUST 29TH All Day : Minibus from the airport to registration desk and hotels, WNS decontami nation procedures (GGC Headquarters). Afternoon : SUNDAY AUGUST 30TH PRE SYMPOSIUM EXCURSION (2): GEOLOGY OF MT. ETNA an overview of the volcano guided by a geologist, with comments at the most si gnificant points (all day). All Day : Minibus from the airport to registration desk and hotels, WNS decontaminatio n procedures (GGC Headquarters). Evening : Visit of t , Welcome party (GGC headquarters) MONDAY AUGUST 31ST Morning : Opening ceremony and beginning of work sessions coffee break incl. (University of Catania Geological Faculty) Afternoon : , Mt. Etna selected caves (short caving trips) Ev ening : Recent discoveries video or slide presentatio ns (GGC Headquarters)


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 9 TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 1ST Morning : Lectures and work sessions coffee break i ncl. (University of Catania Geological Faculty) Af ternoon : ed short trips) , Mt. Etna selected caves (2) (short caving trips) Evening : Participants video or slide contribu tes (GGC Headquarters) Taormina and Alcantara Gorges guided tour WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 2ND Morning : Lectures and conclusion o f work sessions coffee break incl. (University of Catania Geological Faculty) Afternoon : ed short trips) , Mt. Etna selected caves (2) (short caving trips) Evening : Gala Banquet in a typical Sicilian restaura nt Syracuse and Noto guided tour THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD GENERAL EXCURSION depending on the volcano activity. (All day for all participants). Evening : M usical event with a fol k group (GGC Headquarters) FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 4TH SPECIAL EXCURSION Following the 1669 Lava Flo from Monti Rossi craters to the seas ide of Catania including a special caving trip to Grotta delle Palombe Evening : Closing ceremony and Farewell party (GGC He adquarters)


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 10 PRIMA CIRCOLARE (First Circular) During the Symposium week, the registration desk will be located at the headquarters of Gruppo Grotte Catania, in via Messina 593/A. It will be open from Saturday 29 August 2020 to Friday 4 September 2020 with t he following schedule: 8:00 am 10:00 pm The desk will also be available for booking the cultu ral activities and daily excursions indicated in the program. An additional info point will be installed at the Universi ty, during lectures. SIGNING UP T o allo w the participation of the greatest number of interested persons, four possibilities of enrollment are being offered: Accompan ying member (in association with a participant) 20.00 from April 2020) Student (with university identification card Dai ly pass (lecture session only For the details of what is included in the individual fees see the first circular, but please n ote that cave rescue insurance is no longer included in the (now reduced) registration fee (see below on page 5 for new information on insurance). The Gala Banquet of Wednesday 2nd is not included in the fee but the t miss this special social event. The team selected for that event, 40.00 per person, drinks included.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 11 Due to logistical constraints, the maximum number of participants to the Symposium, including full members and accompanying members, is 80 people. If the maximum number of attendants is reached, priority will be given to those who have pre registered. Students and visitors will be admitted to the theoretical sessions until the room capacity is reached. The final r egistration procedure will take place exclusively online and will be available from December 2019. Full registration is needed before submitting any abstract or presentation to the Symposium. The payment of the fee will take place upon registration. The fo llowing pay ment methods are accepted: PayPal Credit card. In case of registration not accepted, for a ny reason, the fee paid will be fully refunded. CALL FOR PAPERS Papers on any topic related to volcano speleology are allowed. They will be grouped in theoretical sessions and discussed during the three days of lectures at the University. All the works submitted will be included in the Proceedings of the Symposium that will be published on the Symposium website and on the Vulcanospeleology Website and p rinted on a special book about the event. Please, refer to the first circular to find the directions to follow for submitting abstracts and papers. The dates to remember are the following: End of December 2019 deadline for sending the abstracts (must b e in English) End of March 2020 deadline for sending the papers (preferably in English).


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 12 VISITS AND EXCURSIONS DURING THE SYMPOSIUM The general excursion on Mount Etna on Thursday 3rd and the following excursion on Friday 4th following the 1669 flow path are confirmed with the features indica ted in the first circular. Those excursions are free of charge for all participants and accompanying members, except for the daily insurance fee where it is necessary (see Insurance Policy paragraph). Cultural Herita ge: During the days of the Symposium , a variety of cultural activities in the Catania town and suburbs is planned . These vi sits will be managed directly by the Gruppo Grotte Catania. At the Registration Desk you will find all information about them and the possibility to make your reservation. Reservation will be required for all the activities even if most of them will be fr ee of charge. Caving excursions: As indicated in the first circular, during the Symposium, the Gruppo Grotte Catania wil l lead severa l caving excursions to lava caves, located near the city. The list and the characteristics of the selected caves are available on the first circular. The organizers reserve the right to add on other cavities or eliminate some caves depending on the condit ions of seismic or meteorological danger. To attend those excursions, it is absolutely necessary to make a reservation, at the Registration Desk, by the day preceding the date on which the excursion is scheduled. The daily excursions, for accompanying mem bers, to the main touristic attractions along the Sicilian coast will be carried out by specialized carrier s for this service. Therefore, these excursions must be booked on line at the time of the registration and paid in advance upon receiving the confirm ation of participation.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 13 INSURANCE POLICY Participants and accompanying persons who want to attend to the excursions on Mt. Etna lava fields and in the caves are required to have insurance coverage for all the period of the confer ence and connected excu rsions. All members are required to indicate at the time of the registration, if they are in possession of an international insurance that involves repayment of rescue costs in case of accident during their stay in Italy or if they are already members of the Italian Mountaineering Association (CAI) or the Italian Speleological Association (SSI). team suggests participants subscribe to a daily policy through the organization of the Symp booked at the time of the registration. The same policy can be bought at the Symposium Desk, but the cost will be ACCOMMODATION The city of Catania offers a great range of accommodation but it is important to keep in mind that August is a month of high season and therefore the accommodation must be booked well in advance. The organizing committee of the 19th International Vulcanospeleology Symposium has selected a range of accommodation f acilities (ho tels, motels, university campus or camping places) that have offered special fees for participants of the conference. If you choose a partner property (see table below) it will be possible to book your stay at the time of registration. However the payment must be sent directly to the chosen property following the instructions that will be communicated at the confirmation.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 14 The organizing committee has selected the following possibilities: Property Reserved rooms Type of accommodation p/day p/day = person / day NH HOTEL CENTRO **** (Near the University) 35 Single room Double room 120 day 140 day Breakfast incl. 8ROOM HOTEL **** (Near the University) 8 Single room Double room 75 day 85 day Breakfast incl. MEDI TUR HOTEL OGNINA *** (Near the sea and the GGC Headquarters) 52 Single room Double room Three bed room 59 day 65 day 80 day Breakfast incl. p/day CAMPLUS COLLEGE CATANIA (Near the University) 17 Single room Double room Three bed room 50 p/day 28 p/day 26 p/day Breakfast incl. Self 12 p/day CAMPING IONIO CATANIA (Near the sea and the GGC Headquarters) Bungalow (max 4 people) or Caravan (max 6 people) Bungalow (max 4 people) or Caravan (max 6 people) Tent 27 p/day 22 p/day 9 p/day Breakfast incl. Breakfast not incl. Breakfast not incl. In addition to the possibilities mentioned above, participants can search for their accommodation directly through internet providers. Sometimes those providers use the commercial approach of making special offers or have rewards schemes for members. In this case the organiz ers recommend participants pay attention to the location of the selected B&B or Hotel; if the location of the selected property is not near to the University or the town centre they may have problems reaching Symposium events each day because public transp ort is not very efficient.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 15 MEALS With the exceptions of the Welcome Party and the Farewell Party, meals are not included in the Symposium fee. The area surrou nding the University, where the Symposium will take place, has many restaurants and bars where it is possible to have a variety of lunches at reasonable prices. For dinner, the organizing team suggests to go to the Camplus College, where all participants, even if not staying in the College, may have a complete dinner, at the Self 12.00 per person. EXCURSIONS BEFORE AND AFTER THE SYMPOSIUM PRE SYMPOSIUM TOUR OF ETNA August 30th A geological tour of Mount Etna, led by PhD. Giuseppe Priolo, is scheduled before the Symposium opening, on Sunday August 30th. This excursion will follow the route indicated on the first circular and will have six stops of explanations on the field where the guide will show you the singular morphology of this volcano. ransport and lunch included. This excursion must be booked on line at the time of registration. Payment will be required upon receiving the confirmation of participation. The maximum number of participa nts for this excursion is 16 people. POST SYMPOSIUM AEOLIAN ISLANDS Septembe r 5 th to September 10 th . After the Symposium, an excursion to the Aeolian Islands is scheduled to show the participants the volcanic features of the islands th emselves. The excursion will be guided by a team of experts from Gruppo Grotte


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 16 Catania and the local section of Club Alpino Italiano. It will be the only post symposium trip offered by the organisers. The excursion, that will start and end in Catania, will take 6 days (5 nights) from Saturday 5th to Thursday 10th . Transport will be by bus and boat specially reserved for this excursi on. Accommodation will be in small hotels and half board is included. The detailed program of this excursion can be fou nd on the 19ISV Webs ite . The program may change depending on the weather / sea conditions and volcanic activity. For example, at the moment, the walking excursions on the island of Stromboli are forbidden and the ascent to the Big Crater on Vulcano Island is possible only wi th the help of a professional guide. Therefore, the organizers reserve the right to cancel some visits or indicat e alternative destinations without changing the total duration of the excursion. This excursion must be booked on line at the time of registra tion. Payment will be required upon receiving the confirmation of participation. The minimum num ber of participants required for this excursion is 10 people and the maximum number allowed is 30 persons. The CONTACTS WEBSITE http://www.19isvetna.com/index.php MAIL TO: contact@19isvetna.com


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 17 REGISTRATION The registration procedure will be available on line, on the Symposium website in December 2019 . Registration fee is fixed at Euro 230 (early bird price available until the end of March 2020) and includes: 19th ISV booklet Transport from and to the airport Welcome Party Morning lectures at the University of Catania General excursion to Mt. Etna Special 1669 excur sion Proceedings of the Symposium ( hardcopy or USB key) Farewell P arty (as per info above)


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 18 EXCURSIONS B) GENERAL EXCURSION Mt. Etna is an active volcano. From the summit craters there is often the emission of gasses and ste am. During periods of high activity, the hike to the craters is strictly forbidden. Thus, the organizers will be able to confirm the destination of this excursion only during the Symposium. If the volcano is quiet, our goal will be to take all participants as high as possible o n the volcano, towards the summit craters. The idea is to reach the highest parking place, by 4x4 minibuses, at 2.700 m a.s.l. From that point, there is a two hour walk on cinder and unconsolidated lava to reach the summit of the north east crater at 3.35 0 m a.s.l. In this excursion you will see many volcanic features and the fantastic panorama from the top of the mountain. This part of the excursion will be led by the rangers of the Etna Park. It requires good health and to be trained for long walks. Sack lunch and drinks included. C) ALTERNATIVE GENERAL EXCURSION This excursion is an alternative program in case that the activity of the 850 m a.s.l. by bus. del Bov his depression is famous because most of the lava flows coming from upper craters, stop there. From the panoramic p oint it is possible to see the most spectacular features of the valley: hornitos, lava bridges, columnar basalt, etc. Re quires: good health a nd good shoes. Packed lunch and drinks included.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 19 D) FOLLOWING THE 1669 FLOW This excursion is designed to show the path followed by the biggest lava flow that reached the town 350 years ago. In the mo rning a bus will take all participants to the erupting cones of that flow whose name is "I Monti Rossi" at 750 m. a.s.l. There will be an explanation of the highlights of the event starting from the description as were given by the witnesses of that time. In the afternoon the excursion will follow the path of the lava, visiting the town of Nicolosi and then reaching the cen tre of Catania. There will be some stops near monuments that were left untouched by the lava flow. This excursion will e nd at the seaside, at the edge of the area, more than 2 square kilomet res, that was added to the land with that flow. A sweet lunch is included at the typical restaurant attached to the Condorelli confectionery factory. For those who wish, there will be the possibility to descend the first pit of the crater in order to have a quick look inside. This is vertical cave and cav ing equipment is needed. E) CAVING TRIPS More than 300 volcanic caves are known on Mount Etna, scattered on the slopes of the mountain, from the upper part of the volcanic cones, to the dark beaches of th e seaside. The caves of the upper part of the volcano are generally very far from the roads or located in dangerous areas because of the volcano activity. Moreover, the highest part of the volcano is included in the area of the Park of Etna and the access is subjected to restrictions due to the dangerousness of the volcano itself. It is therefore not possible to plan the visit of the highest caves of the Etna in a half day excursion during the period of the symposium. For the days of the Symposium, the org anizing team has selected some caves, very representative of Mt Etna caves features, so close to the town to permit the visit them in a sh ort caving trip, from afternoon to the evening. Due to their beauty and importance, the organizing team particularly h


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 20 organizers will set u p ladders to allow all participants to visit them. In addition, other easy to walk cavities have been selected for the e xcursions during the symposium period. You can find below a non exhaustive list of them, with the description of each cave. More caves will be added in the future. Finally, near the town of Catania there is an area in which some simple caves have been p repared for a didactical tour (Grotte di San Gregorio). The access to that area is possible to all participants and is inc luded in the cultural heritage program. More details on all scheduled excursions will be published in the second circular; the organiz ers will be happy to answer any other questions you may have about speleology in the area of Catania. Here is a short description of the selected caves: a) GROTTA DEI 3 LIVELLI This is an in clined tunnel formed in the lavas that flowed from the lower ef fusive mouth of the 1792 eruption. Overall, the cave is very well preserved and there are few places where collapses occurred. At the entrances, the cavity is divided into three superimposed ga lleries located at three different levels. The upper tunnel, 60 m long, is rather narrow and a part of the ceiling consists of a reinforced concrete slab that supports the provincial road. The intermediate tunnel is about 40 m long. Greater development pre sents the lower gallery which is more than 400 m long. The thre e levels are connected by small jumps to overcome which a 10 m ladder is useful. For the first 50 m from the base of the wells the route is very easy given the height of the vault that only for ces you to bend down in some places. The floor is of lava with a slag surface in large fragments, which have a characteristic wavy surface in the southern ends of the tunnel. Throughout the cave it is possible to observe remelted stalactites that appear as shreds of lava with a glass surface and interesting protrusion s, similar to cornices, arranged along the walls. The cavity is visited by many bats.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 21 Figure 2: Tre Livelli Cave, from first level to the second ph. G. I. Sanfilippo b) GROTTA KTM The search for a continuation downstream of the lava tube of the G rotta dei Tre Livelli led to the discovery, in 1995, of the KTM cave. Imposing cavity of 650 m of development and 60 m of elevation gain, which opens just 20 m downstream from the final point of the Grotta dei Tre Livelli. The two cavities are part of a "s ystem" of inclined tubes which, stretching and overlapping, had to feed the lava fronts of the 1792 93 eruption for a long time.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 22 Figure 1 : KTM Cave ph. G. Priolo c) GROTTA DELLE PALOMBE A pit 8 m deep gives access to a first r oom of the size of 5 m by 15. At the bottom of this room there is a 3 m deep well that leads to a 15 m long steep slope that ends in a smaller room than the previous above a 17 m deep well. From the base of this pit you can follow the eruptive fracture for about 60 m southwards. This is well preserved in some sections and has a uniform glazed lining on the walls, formed during the eruption. Elsewhere the walls of the fracture collapsed and the material behind them collapsed inside t he cavity in chaotic mass es of large blocks or in heaps of small stones. Following these phenomena, the cavity has several enlargements. Continue through a passage located 6 m high, reachable by a ladder that can be fixed to a rocky outcrop. This opening l eads to a section of the cavity where the walls are intact and a couple of metres apart. A little further on we note a collapse of the western wall. The consequence of the collapse is the formation of a room at a higher level.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 23 To reach the front of the col lapsed material requires climbing a jump of 6 m on unstable blocks. From the room, a steep slope of loose material can be followed for 25 m. Subsequently, it is still possible to follow the fracture for 75 m, which is again intact and gradually shrinking u ntil it becomes blocked. The floor here is made up of lava with a fragmented scoriaceous surface. In the terminal part of the cave the eruptive fracture is on two different levels. In the lower one there are at some points accumulations of fine volcanic sa nd; it is also possible t o observe curled sheets of lava with the formation of rolls. In many places, slabs have detached from the walls and clutter the passage. Figure 4: Palombe Cave, a lava roll ph. B. Scammacca


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 24 d) GROTTA INTRALEO The cave consists of a set of lava f low galleries of various sizes located at different levels and variously oriented. Near the entrance of the northeast gallery there is a small altar. This gallery is about 40 m long. On the opposite side there are three overlapping galleries. The upper gal lery is 13 m long. The lower one is about 30 m long; it begins with a slope of lar ge boulders that ends in a large room, several meters high, where you can observe two large lava rolls, among the largest known to us, and numerous large sheets protruding fr om the walls. The intermediate cavity is the longest of the three branches and beg ins with a tunnel about 30 m long, over 2 m high, with a flat floor on which two rolls can be seen, smaller than the previous ones but longer. Further on, this gallery is div ided into three branches located at different heights. The eastern branch, at a lo wer altitude, is very short and has an accentuated slope, the central branch is 50 m long and its ceiling is low, so that it is necessary to crawl here and there; in some pla ces it presents domes where it is possible to stand; the floor of this gallery is flat and consists of slag partly welded and partly movable. The third branch has the same configuration of the previous one; in this branch a wedge shaped boulder, detached f rom the ceiling, almost completely obstructs the passage, about halfway. The three branches end up with the ceiling and the floor joining together.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 25 Figure 5: Intralio Cave, the biggest lava tube ph. G. Priolo e) GROTTE GALLO BIANCO The Gallo Bianco caves are located in the township of Adrano. To reach them, you have to walk up a long lava canyon until you reach an impressive lava arch, which is what remains of a large collapsed lava tube. Further on, along t he canyon, two lava tubes can be seen. These are lava flow caves , 60 meters long, with a marked slope. Both end after a narrow passage that brings to a slightly larger hall. f) GROTTA BURRO' This is a large lava tube cave, 250 meters long with a differen ce of 47 meters between the highest and the lowe st point. The entrance is located inside a large depression in which two large holm oaks have grown. The initial part of the cave presents many collapses on the floor whereas, in the final stretch, there are many puddles of water and mud. In the middle


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 26 par t of the cavity a large lamina detached from one of the walls and, leaning against the opposite side, produced some sort of elevated room. About 30 meters further down, a rock pillar separates the tunnel into 2 small parallel tunnels. The cave has a large colony of bats of different species. Figure 6: Burrò Cave ph. B. Scammacca g) GROTTA MICIO CONTI This cave is located in the natural reserve of the "Immacolatelle and Micio Conti Complex". This complex is also known as "Grotte di San Gregorio". It consists of a system of nine volcanic cavities within a lava field of morp hology similar to that of the Hawaiian caves. In the Immacolatelle caves, two collapses divided a single lava tunnel into separate parts, giving rise to a complex of four caves. Inside the caves there are interesting morphologies: in the Micio Conti cave, the la va flow has left linings on the walls and small refusion stalactites on the ceiling.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 27 Figure 7: Micio Conti Cave ph. G. Priolo h) GROTTA AMPUDDA DU PISCITEDDU E DEI TADDARITI These caves are lava flow tunnels da ting back to the famous eruption of 16 69 that destroyed many small villages and reached the town of Catania. The entranc es of the caves are skylight windows caused by collapses of the lava tube vault. Inside both cavities it is possible to observe flow linings and re melting stalactites. At th e end of the tunnel, the Ampudda du Pisciteddu cave has a small wooden door, placed laterally to the tunnel. From this door the citizens of Catania entered the cave during the World W ar II because this cave was used as a shelter from the Anglo American bom bings. The origin of the name of the Taddariti cave derives from the presence of a large colony of bats that, in the past, lived inside the cave. In Sicilian dialect they are called "taddariti". Today, unfortunately, only a few


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 28 isolated specimens have rem ained of the large bat colony due to the distur bance caused by external works.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 29 Figure 8a: Ampudda di Pisciteddu Cave ph. G. Priolo Figure 8b: Taddariti II Cave, the skylight ph. G. Priolo i) GROTTE CATANESE These two caves are in the townsh ip of Ragalna. The first one is a lava tube characterized by a room that is among the largest known on Mt. Etna. Passing the entrance, you descend on large collapsed blocks a nd you immediately find yourself in a vast bell shaped environment. The floor, at the lowest point of the room, is of earth mixed with stones and plant debris. On the south side it rises abruptly until it forms the back wall of the room; the lava appears h ere with a united surface with the formation of ropes and edges. It is easy to cli mb up this wall until you reach a characteristic hollow almost at the height of the ceiling, from which you dominate the environment. On all walls you can observe a great num ber of small protruding sheets; on the west side near the entrance there are any s hallow grooves, parallel to each other, which abruptly change direction bending downwards at an angle of 140 °. At the foot of the wall, on the south side, the lava formed la rge blocks that might seem collapsed, but which actually are huge irregularly crum pled sheets. From this first large room the cave continues, through a narrow passage at the base of the east wall, with a tunnel about 70 m long. Some bones, presumably human , and many small ceramic fragments were found in this gallery. Numerous bats of th e genera Myotis and Rhinolophus still inhabit the cavity.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 30 Figure 10: Catanese I ph. B. Scammacca The second cave consists of a single tunnel just over 20 m long. You enter by descending on a chaotic mass of collapsed blocks. The floor, after the first section, appears flat with beaten earth and stones; towards the bottom it is possible to observe lava with a joint surface. On the walls there are num erous sheets of lava of different thickness and folded in various ways. The section of the cave has a cha racteristic pointed arch shape, but not symmetrical as is normally observed in other cavities. The southwest wall is overhanging while the northeast is an inclined plane on which it is easy to climb.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 31 Figure 10: Catanese II, a lava roll ph. G. I. Sanfi lippo F) Catania was founded in the 8th century BC by Chalcidians, a Greek population coming from Thrace. In 1434, the first university in Sicily was founded in the city. In the 14th century and into the Renaissan c e period, Catania was one of Italy's most important cultural, artistic and political centres. The city is well known f or its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy. Its old town, besides being one of the biggest examples of baroque architecture in Italy, is a World Heritage Site, protected by UNESCO. During the 3 days of the symposium, in the afternoon, after the morning lectures, short trips will be planned to visit relevant artistic or scenic places. Organizers selected some places t hat are connec ted with the volcanic features of its territory. At the moment the following visits are planned:


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 32 Walking through the Baroque A wonderful walk in the centre of the town. Etna's endemic species Guided tour of Catania botanical gardens. T he caves of San Gregorio The nat ural reserve is characterized by the presence of numerous lava flow caves in a relatively small area. The reserve was established in order to "preserve and protect the important complex of lava flow caves colonized by cave fauna and bat colonies". The idea is to go and visit the mud "vulcanelli" near Paternò, including also a stop at a winery to taste the famous wines of Etna. Boat trip from Aci Trezza to the Coast of Cyclops A boat trip f rom the port of Aci Trezza to go and see the columnar basalts of the faraglioni up close and see the stretch of coast affected by the 1669 flow. Living on an active volcano Over 150 fixed detection stations (seismic, GPS, infrasonic, cli nometric, extens ometric, etc.) are installed on the Etna slopes, thus making this volcano one of the best monitored volcanoes in the world. Visit of the Vulcanologia) in Catania. The beach of San Giov anni li Cuti Black sand beach with the possibility to see the front of a lava flow. Pa rticipation on some visits could be limited due to logistic reasons; entrance to museums or monuments is to be paid on site and an extra fee might be required to cover transport outside the town.


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 33 Figure 11: Acitrezza port, in background the Lachea isla nd


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 34 OUR SPONSORS


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 35 European Space Agency Appeals for Innovative Ideas to Aid Exploration of Lunar Caves Stephan Kempe has drawn attention to an interesting programme being run by the European Space Agency (ESA). During August 2019 ESA as ked for proposals to explore and study caves, thought to be lava tubes, below the lunar surface. Specifically ESA were looking for ideas to address five themes which I am sure will be all too familiar with most readers of this newsletter, these being; Th eme#1 Robotic concepts for cave access along a vertica l wall Theme#2 Navigation and progression inside the cave on horizontal segments Theme#3 Cave mapping and navigation Theme#4 Communication/power network cave interior/lunar surface Theme#5 Science paylo ad At the time of writing ideas have been submitted, and ESA are evaluating the submissions. It may well be interesting to keep an eye on progress of these s tudies on the ESA website ( https://ideas.esa.int/servlet/hype/IMT?documentTableId=450875833 7181 8598&userAction=Browse&templateName=&documentId=d5e1d96887b7 644587a60ba84f549af3 )


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 36 STOP PRES S! Hello everyone and a Happy New Year to you all I am pleased to advise that the registration page on the 19 th ISV* Website is now fully operational. This means that you can now register to attend the Symposium, which will be held in Catania (Sicily) in August September this year. * 19 th International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology I know the organisers had hoped to have the registration page availa ble from early December, but there were some IT issues to overcome. To find the registration page, go to https://www.19isvetna.com and click on the Registration tab. This will bring up the Preregis tration Form. However, before you do anything else, I suggest you download and read the Registration Gu ide. link just under the Prer e gistration Form heading. If you have already preregistered , as I know many of you have, then the This will tak e you to the online registration form. If you have not alread y preregistered , then you will need to complete the pre registration form before moving on to the registration form. As another piece of advice: If you are planning to do any of the caving tri ps or cultural/ scenic/ scientific excursions on offer durin g the Symposium, then might I suggest that you have a good idea about the trips that are of most interest to you before you start filling out the registration form. This is because the registr ation form will ask you to nominate one trip option for each day. You can read about the various trip options in several places:


UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves Newsletter No.7 5 Page 37 under the Excursions tab on the ISV 19 Website; in the First Circu lar for ISV 19; or in this Issue of the news letter If you have any questions, please ask. If your questions are of a general nature, I may be able to help, but if they are directly related to the ISV 19, then I suggest you contact the organisers d irectly at: contact@19isvetna.com . It may take a couple of days to get a response, so please be patient and bear in mind that the organisers are all volunteers. Regards John Brush Chairman/ Presi dent UIS Commission on Volcanic Caves


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