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All cave photographs are by John Wattie.
Peter Lambert Level, Gardners
Limestone was deposited on the sea floor as billions of shells fell to the bottom over millions of years. Horizontal layers formed as the shells dissolved, compacted and recrystallised...
A soft layer has been dissolved from the sedimentary limestone. Cave formations have developed in the low, horizontal chamber which results.
|The Bodkin. St Benedict's cave.|
|The Madonna and Child, Self Respect cave.
Self respect is near Virginia cave, both named from the difficulty getting into them.
They have vertical shafts as entrances (tomos).
|The Madonna and Child, Self Respect Cave, closer view.|
|Mini "Forest", Waipuna Cave. The "trees" crystallised in the bottom of a shallow pool which has since drained.|
|"Leaning Tower of Pisa" and "The
This chamber has a hollow floor - you can hear it reverberating as your boots clump across it. The thin floor seems to have partially collapsed under the leaning tower.
|A pool in Waipuna cave.
When the photographer first saw this pool, the surrounding formations were pristine white. On returning a month later, the walls had the brown water level stain.
There had been heavy rain in the interval and the pool filled as it had done for thousands of years. This time though, somebody paddled through it, stirred up the mud, and left this stain. Probably it will last another century, until the mud is covered with calcite once more.
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