Hidden Earth 2019 Session Abstracts

Below are some of the confirmed lectures, films and workshops for Hidden Earth 2019. Keep checking back here as new sessions are being confirmed right up to the conference.

Hidden Earth 2019

Forest of Dean Round Up

Paul Taylor

A Round Up on the work that has been going on over the last two years in the Forest of Dean Gloucestershire . From Water Tracing in both the Slaughter and Ban-y-gor Resugence Catchment Areas. Surveying, Aven Climbing in Otter Hole the ongoing Otter Hole Filming Project. Cave Digs and the Re introduction of Pine Martens to the area. The Forest of Dean Caving Area may not be the largest in the country but it certainly has plenty to offer visiting cavers.

Hidden Earth 2019

From snow to past alpine climate: what ice caves tell us.

Tanguy Racine

The infall of snow in open pit caves in an alpine environment sometimes leads to the perennial accumulation of ice underground. These 'cave glaciers' usually also contain macro-fossils, whose dating suggests the preserved ice reaches up to 5000 years old locally.

With the help of an international team of researchers based in Innsbruck, Austria, Tanguy, currently a student at the local university, has visited several of these 'sag-type' caves to investigate their potential for reconstructing a record of past historical climate in the European Alps. The research sites are mainly situated in Austria but also include a Slovenian ice cave.

Tanguy will... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

Medusa's Maze - CUCC unravels the mysteries of Austria's second longest system

Rebecca Lawson

Cambridge University Caving Club returned to Austrian's Dead Mountains (the Totes Gebirge) in 2019 to be greeted by the biggest snow dump for years. This blocked our top camp bivvy to almost the roof, buried 3m deep the entrance to one of our main caving objectives and, combined with relentless rain, it hammered moral. Plans were laid then re-laid until we hit pay-dirt, deep under the northernmost extent of our main, Schwartzmooskogel system. Here, we extended Balkonhoehle into a whole new horizontal level. Meanwhile, far out in the wilds of the Plateau, our new cave, Homecoming, romped off into empty... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

CHECC Roundup 2019

Botch

It's the question on everyone's lips: What have those crazy students been up to this year? Perhaps something revolutionary like hosting an event in a Peak District school? Maybe they also had two smaller events as well? But did they go caving? You bet they did. They probably did some drinking too. And you can be sure they went abroad and found some new caves.

I'm sure you have a general idea of what we've been up to, but come have a sit and look at some pictures of young cavers having fun, and we'll have a chat about what we... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

Photoshop Workshop

Jerry Wooldridge

Photoshop workshop, looking at using layers; layer masks; adjustment layers.

Suitable for a small number (6 – 9) of people who have some experience with Photoshop, but find the concept of layers difficult. The workshop would be for about 2 hours (Saturday). Using layers particularly to combine a number of images & using layer masks in that process. Using adjustment layers for ‘non destructive’ editing of a photograph. Adjustment to the image itself is destructive as information is lost.

he idea of the workshop would be to bring your own laptop with PS on, & preferably a couple of your images to... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

Fairy Holes - Weardale. The history and continuing exploration of a cave that was almost lost forever.

Adele Ward and Andrew Hinde

Fairy Holes - Weardale was first entered prior to 1882. The main exploration took place in the 1950's and 60's before quarrying operations denied access to the cave for nearly 50 years. This classic North Pennines stream cave was described during exploration as "second only to Mossdale in its severity".

The cave is a salutary lesson in what can happen when Statutory Protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act bumps up against Big Business and the economic future of a local community.

Recent explorations by the late Ian Cummins and Adele Ward have added over 600m on unrecorded and new passage to... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

Greenland Caves Project 2019

Dr Hazel Barton

During July, 2019, the Greenland Caves Project returned to Northeast Greenland for a three week interdisciplinary research and exploration expedition. The 9-person, 7 nationality team, included researchers from the Universities of Innsbruck, Akron, Oxford, and Sheffield. Four areas were worked and explored from three base camps, and with the availability of a helicopter, the team were able to cover significantly more ground than they would have otherwise done on foot. Still, the going was often tough, with steep scree slopes and exposed ledges needing careful navigation. Over 30 holes/caves were documented and explored, of which 5 yielded significant cave passage.... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

Becoming French - 4 Years of Exploration in the Vercors with the SGCAF

Jeff Wade

To many the Vercors is seen as the ideal place for classic caving, but go on a few caving trips with the locals and it is clear that it is not an area for just holiday caving. After four years of living in Grenoble and caving with the SGCAF, Jeff gives an insight into some of the discoveries that have been made in recent years in his club and what caves may become the new classics. Now virtually French, he will also give an understanding into how French clubs function; what is the drink of choice? do they... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

Veryovkina -2212m : A trip to meet Harios the fish at the bottom of the deepest cave in the world

Jeff Wade

Come for a journey to the bottom of the deepest cave in the world with Jeff, as he learns to speak some Russian badly, appreciates the delights of raw garlic underground, gains a better understanding of the Russian sense of humour when you think all is lost, and helps Robbie Shone in taking a few shiny photos but who then looses all his gear to ´Harios´ the fish at the bottom of the cave...A tale of woe and joy, but mainly joy, in what can be said is one of the most varied deep caves in the world, which is... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

2018 Expedition to Ha Giang, Vietnam

Paul Fairman

Paul, Adam & Laura go on the first official recce to the Ha Giang Province, taking in 4 districts & exploring 18 caves in 10 days. Just enough time to unpack in between but not really sober up.

Hidden Earth 2019

A film presentation of the Nenthead Mines Complex, Cumbria

Andy and Antonia Freem

This film was produced to use in the Mines Visitor Centre to members of the public who would not be capable of visiting the long and complex passages of Smallcleugh and Rampgill lead mines, including a descent of the spectacular Brewery Shaft. The film is a fact-filled and detailed presentation, contributed to by mine expert Peter Jackson and several others in the Nenthead Mine Conservation Society, and incorporating Lidar imagery by Roo Walters.

Hidden Earth 2019

The Buried Treasures of Fairyland

Andy and Antonia Freem

The caves of Fairy Cave Quarry, in Mendip, are a national treasure. This film presents the whole complex of caves, and focuses on a variety of important aspects, including-
their discoveries, with many first-hand accounts,
their characters and evidence of the processes that formed them,
their biological significance,
and current methods to conserve the unique and vulnerable features of each of the caves.
The film was created for both covers and the general public to show the unique nature this site of special scientific interest.

Hidden Earth 2019

Cryogenic research in Water Icicle Close Cave

Andy Freem

This session is will present 2018 examination of cryogenic evidence in Water Icicle Close Cave, Derbyshire, the first in the region to be identified as having cryogenic calcite deposits.
The range of other landform evidence is also full presented. The film shows the sample collection process by Dr Gina Moseley. dating results from some of the samples will be presented in the lecture. There will be an explanatory introduction before the film and time for discussion of the implications of the evidence at the end of the session.

Hidden Earth 2019

Video Salon presentation of entries and feedback .

Andy and Antonia Freem

This will be an opportunity to watch the full entry of films in the Salon. Judging (with the exception of the delegates vote) will already have taken place so awards will be announced to entrants at the end in this session and feedback from the judges will be available to entrants. The session length will be adjusted to cater for the number of entries.

Hidden Earth 2019

Capturing Video of the Longest Caves in the World

Derek Bristol

Camera and LED technology has advanced enough in recent years to allow high quality video production with a one-person film crew, working in extremely remote locations. This talk will include a brief overview of the gear and techniques for capturing video underground during exploration and survey trips to many of the world's longest caves including Mammoth, Jewel, Lechuguilla, and the caves of Mulu.

Hidden Earth 2019

Northern Round-up of Cave Exploration

Dr Frank Pearson

All year round cavers are digging into new caves and passages, diving into 'fresh' sumps and carrying out conservation work above and below ground. This lecture brings together all of the new exploration and conservation work in the north of England over the past year - in Lancashire, Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland and, let's not forget, Yorkshire! Diggers and divers of the wild north are relentless in their efforts to extend existing caves and find new ones. The search for the unknown on such a crowded isle is all about being down to earth and deep within it. Have a glimpse... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

BCA: what next?

Hellie Adams

A short presentation on what we been looking at after the past year and the current thing looked at the an open discussion session about cavers feedback idea opinions ect.

Hidden Earth 2019

3D modelling of Ironstone and Jet workings in Cleveland

Chris Twigg

Ironstone mining which took place in Cleveland between 1848 and 1964, generated an impressive paper trail of mine abandonment plans and company records. In sharp contrast, the death of Prince Albert in the early 1860s triggered an explosion in jet mining, which generated no plans and virtually no written records. The Heritage Lottery Funded 'Our Industrial Heartland' project generated 3D models of these two sets of geologically adjacent workings. In the ironstone via geo-referencing of historic plans in GIS software, whilst in the jet workings, local mine and caving clubs used a DistoX paperless surveying system and Survex software.... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

The Weird Microbiology of Mulu

Dr Hazel Barton

Exploration throughout the caves of Gunung Mulu National Park has revealed a host of deposits of unknown origin. During the Mulu ’19 expedition we examined some of these deposits to determine whether they were formed through geologic processes, or whether microbiology could be involved. Our results, based on preliminary field observations, suggest that there are a number of formations that are created by microbial processes. In addition, the temperature, high humidity of the caves, and extensive deposits of bird guano throughout the caves are possibly driving microbial processes that have not previously been described in caves. ... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

Shannon Cave, Ireland: High level explorations 2017-2019

Petie Barry

Shannon Cave is an 8.5km long cave system straddling the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. A magnificent system, it consists in the main of a huge river passage which can be followed for over 3.5km. It is also notable for significant quantities of high-level passages which effectively duplicate the stream passages below

First discovered in 1980, explorations between 2005 and 2010 doubled the known length of the cave to over 5km in length. A new phase of exploration from 2017 onwards has seen another 3km of passage added to the system, largely due to the systematic surveying... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

Land Down Under: Anglo-Irish Caving Expedition to Tasmania 2018-19

Petie Barry

Mount Field National Park in Tasmania contains many of Australia's deepest and most dramatic caves. Typically active stream caves with much vertical development, they approach depths of 350m+ and up to 20km in length. With many of the sinks in the rainforest of the Florentine Valley, and a single major rising at the Junee Resurgence over 10km away, there is potential for a huge cave system to be discovered. Despite decades of exploration by local cavers, little of the low-level master-cave conduits has been discovered, and large breakthroughs can be made with relative ease. With expedition leader and former Australian... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

Independent Documentary Making Underground

Elise Freshwater-Blizzard

A 15 minute documentary about Winnat's Head in Derbyshire will be shown, following a look at some of the struggles of being an independent creator who ventures underground. This documentary is part of a series: 'Deep Down Under', which can be found online.

Hidden Earth 2019

Reasons for, and perceptions of access restrictions to caves and recreational mines within the mainland Britain

Robert Middleton

Access to caves and recreational mines has been a divisive issue in mainland Britain since the growth of caving as a pastime following the end of the 2nd World War. The subject has been further heightened in recent years by the campaign to include caving within the Countryside Rights of Way Act. This lecture highlights the results of masters dissertation research which used a mixed methods approach including interviews, questionnaires (advertised on UKCaving thanks) and case study analysis to increase understanding of the myriad of access restrictions present to caves and mines in Britain, and cavers’ perceptions of these restrictions.... read more

Hidden Earth 2019

Youth and Development: Getting involved

Dr Rostam Namaghi

An update of what the BCA's Y&D team have been doing over the past year, what's planned and how to get involved in keeping our community vibrant by supporting young cavers coming into the sport.

We will also be holding a meet the members session: an ideal opportunity to find out what your club could be doing to make it easier for young people to join up and get caving.

Hidden Earth 2019

The Rednecks and Redcoats Expedition: Mapping Mountain Eye

Dr Rostam Namaghi

Last year we gave a lecture on Mountain Eye, a system Paul Fairman and I began a survey and totted up 6 miles of cave. We managed to lure 24 cavers to experience Tennessee with the promise of fabulous (if not necessarily virgin) borehole.

Come along if you fancy hearing a little geology, some tales of adventure, some 'touristing' (karstic and carbine), some survey geekery (check out our survey in the competition) oh and the dive rescue of Sir Josh Bratchley MBE that hit international headlines.

Hidden Earth 2019

Expedition: Overlooked Armenia

Alex Ritchie

We will report on our expedition to Armenia (July 2019). This small ex-USSR country in the Caucasus has a number of Karst areas and a small number of excellent known caves, but very little history of speleology. We will have investigated a number of previously unexplored Karst areas in Armenia, working together with the Armenian Speleological Association. Depending on what we have found, we will launch a much larger expedition in 2020 to explore the on-going passages that are measureless to man? Well we best make sure the disto is charged!

Hidden Earth 2019

Cutthroat Caverns, a new 2.4km discovery in the North Pennines

Chris Scaife

Cutthroat Caverns is a phreatic maze cave, with a vadose entrance series, that has recently been discovered in the North Pennines AONB, and surveyed to a length of 2,425m. This lecture will give an entertaining account of the discovery and exploration of this significant find.