Picture in Jan '06 NSS News

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Picture in Jan '06 NSS News

Postby Scott McCrea » Jan 13, 2006 5:28 pm

Did you see the picture on page 11, upper right? The caption says, "One-of-a-kind gypsum spiral in Puketiti Flower Cave." Anyone know how big this thing is? Is it real? Looks like someone took a phone cord in their and faked it. If it's real, it's amazing. Can anyone explain it?
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Postby NZcaver » Jan 13, 2006 6:47 pm

Check with Dave. Puketiti Flower Cave and its neighbors are really amazing... :shocked:
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Dave's weird looking formation in NZ

Postby Ernie Coffman » Jan 14, 2006 12:35 am

A quick look on Google and I found this link:
http://www.geocities.com/john_wattie/cave/acave2.htm
So Dave isn't the first one to ph otograph this, and on top of that, he's a pretty honest guy, so...this wasn't the April-Fool issue. Don't know what will be coming then, though.
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Pukatiti Flower

Postby Hazel » Jan 14, 2006 12:52 pm

The gypsum 'curl' is about 30 cm long (or a foot for you imperialists). It's actually quite a famous formation and has been photographed dozens of times.

As far as how it formed, I figured it's just another gypsum flower. It's pretty thin, so it probably got to this length without breaking off.

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Postby cob » Jan 14, 2006 12:53 pm

Scott... my layman's guess is that on one side of the orifice, there is more friction than on the other side. This would cause more gypsum to flow on one side than the other, making the "inside" of the spiral shorter than the "outside".

Just a guess, tom
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Postby Dave Bunnell » Jan 15, 2006 2:22 pm

There's also a nicely done photo by Werner Janz of this gypsum "spring" in the latest Cave Minerals of the World on page 67. They classify it under gypsum rope, and it has some info about its formation.

Though this formation is thought to be one of a kind, I have it on good authority that a secret cave in the same general region of New Zealand actually has several of these spirals.

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Postby cob » Jan 30, 2006 12:07 pm

While surveying this past wkend we found a soda straw (yes, a soda straw, not a helectite) that does this exact same thing, in a tight regular screw pattern, 3 or 4 (?) full turns. Couldn't take a picture as no one had a camera.

Anybody else ever see a soda straw do this? I am thinking of naming it a "corkscraw" :tonguecheek: gotta come up with a symbol for it tho...

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"Its the real thing"

Postby photophill » Jan 17, 2007 8:08 pm

'Allo 'Allo (':woohoo:')

Yes it is real for sure. The Puketiti Flower Cave exists in the real world. Well known for its "Gazillions" of Gysum flowers and aragonite crystals at the end of the Gypsum Passage. I have taken a number of International Cavers thru this cave over the past 30 years and numerous fotos have been published in caving magazines world wide. We have planted a large rock below the Spring and this helps to ensure cavers do not get too close. Someones breath or even heat from a carbide have caused it to slightly swing. Also we have two signs in the passage to remind cavers to take care.

The latest named feature in this cave is "The Hazel Rock"... heh heh
(':waving:')


A number of cavers over the years rate the Flower Cave at the Lech level!

PhotoPhill New Zealand

http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~photofil/photofil.htm :cavingrocks:

Attached foto is the entrance to Waipuna Cave, Waitomo, NZ..and yep thats a "Yank" caver
These amazing light beams appear around once a day and usually last for only 30 seconds!
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