Venezuela - Tepui sandstone karst

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Venezuela - Tepui sandstone karst

Postby Martin Sluka » May 13, 2013 2:30 pm

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Re: Venezuela - Tepui sandstone karst

Postby ian mckenzie » May 13, 2013 6:08 pm

Some might think 'sandstone' and 'karst' are incompatible, but my understanding is that the quartzite tepuis, which are amongst the oldest exposed bedrock on earth, are challenging the traditional boundaries of karst definitions. The caves are extensive, and quite interesting - many of their speleothems are formed of opal.
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Re: Venezuela - Tepui sandstone karst

Postby Martin Sluka » May 14, 2013 1:28 am

[quote="ian mckenzie"many of their speleothems are formed of opal.[/quote]

Most of them are formed of opal and they are colonies of living microorganisms metabolise quartz a produce opal. Really another world.

There are another 2 books about tepuis and caves there:
downloadable: http://audy.speleo.cz/bocas.pdf (Czech)
and only printed: Entraňas del Mundo Perdido, authors: Charles Brewer Carias & Marek Audy (Spanish)
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Re: Venezuela - Tepui sandstone karst

Postby gindling » May 15, 2013 3:24 pm

The May 1989 Nat Geo article on the Tepuis was one of the reasons that I got into caving, and I would still love to make it sometime. A helicopter pilot reported that he flew into a vertical pit on top of one of the Tepuis and saw passages branching off the bottom and as a young child at the time I was blown away. Reminded me of something out of Indiana Jones, who was of course my hero at the time, and still is as much as I try to forget the recent movie fiasco.
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