New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

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New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby caverx » Mar 28, 2010 11:00 am

A local we know has found what we think to be a cave in his front yard.
Originally there was a small crack he found while digging a foundation for a shed. The crack was blowing air.
Recently we contacted him and re-generated his curiousity in the crack. Well he went off the deep
end and brought in a back hoe and opened the whole thing up. When he removed a large boulder a huge
rush of cool air hit him and six others in the face like a smack! He requested we come check out the site
and WOW this guy ripped his front yard up like you wouldnt believe. Our issue is....as we surveyed
the site it is very dangerous in our opinion. It appears to be a large sandstone cap that had been severely up-heaved
and fractured at some point. There are several breakdown pockets creating small rooms. I could not feel the air the day we were there. We did cautiously explore as far as we felt it was safe to but it just kept going down through the sandstone fractures. We never saw any solid limestone which was our biggest worry with no solid rock for support.I know sandstone caps are very common above cave formations. Currently we have closed the site until we can gather further geologic information.We are having the landowners well specs checked over to see where they stopped using casings because they had hit limestone, hopefully giving us a clue as to how deep the sandstone may go before reaching solid limestone.
My question is how safe is it to explore this new cave? I know sandstone is week and we want to be safe.
How would one proceed to verify cave existence or not?
I have some pictures of the existing sandstone breakdown pockets.
Obviously a new cave excites us but we arent fools!
Thanks for any help!


Image

Image

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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby caverx » Mar 28, 2010 12:34 pm

Heres a surface shot of the site.
Image
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby tncaver » Mar 28, 2010 8:14 pm

Looks like a cave in the pictures but you really should contact your closest NSS grotto to ask for them to come and check it out for you.
They will likely know if it is safe and whether or not it qualifies as an official cave.
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby Teresa » Mar 28, 2010 8:33 pm

tncaver--

The person who posted cited MVG and Daedelus Grottos -- both are St. Louis area caving grottos. MVG is NSS, and Daedelus is putting on the next MVOR. He's already in touch with NSS cavers.

Caverx if you are still out there...bring some photos to the next MVG meeting. Approximately where is the cave? (nearest town?) It looks like it is in the Roubidoux Sandstone from the look of the sandstone. The Roubidoux is over the Gasconade dolomite in most of Missouri, and the Gasconade is the most cavernous strata we have. Most caves are at the contact.

It looks like you already have a cave. Now, whether the breakdown is stable or not...that's entirely another matter. Sandstone is not necessarily any weaker than dolomite. In this case it looks like there may have been some blasting nearby, maybe in connection with homebuilding.
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby caverx » Mar 28, 2010 8:55 pm

Yes we are experienced but this hole is a little different as No Blasting has been done... they did all that with the Back Hoe... in one day...there was a grass front yard there 3 weeks ago and the original crack was only 6 to 12 in. then.. below the little shed..needless to say the WIFE IS NOT HAPPY WITH HIM...haha.....I have been reading up on Sandstone Caves this evening..but not much help for this. Obviuosly we are wanting to keep the location quiet until we can verify things. The area is Steelville. Actually when first contacted we were told it was a 100' passage by the EXICITED landowner.....not so....we are about 40' below the grass and 20' below the visible entrance on the right.
we plan to let the Spring rains do a little work on it.
I will bring some more pics to the next MVG meeting.
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby Evan G » Mar 28, 2010 8:55 pm

Teresa wrote:The person who posted cited MVG and Daedelus Grottos -- both are St. Louis area caving grottos. MVG is NSS, and Daedelus is putting on the next MVOR. He's already in touch with NSS cavers.


Dang, you beat me to it. Actually it looks to be a great spring MVOR in Steelville, MO ...........

caverx wrote:Heres a surface shot of the site.
Image


Your not kidding that the owner ripped up his front lawn, Wow!



Link to

:bat sticker: >>>>> 2010 MVOR Website<<<<<< :bat sticker:
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby caverx » Mar 28, 2010 9:00 pm

Thanks !!
We have put alot into the event and expect a nice turn out...
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby Evan G » Mar 28, 2010 9:10 pm

caverx wrote:Thanks !!
We have put alot into the event and expect a nice turn out...


:kewl: :calvin: :kewl:


I'm going to try and get out there for it. I drove thru Steelville going to the spring MVOR on the Black River, it looked like a interesting little town. I might have to bring my kayak down and do some paddling! Come to think of it I was camped right next to you guys (MVG-Daedalus) with KCAG at the spring 2009 MVOR.

caverx wrote:needless to say the WIFE IS NOT HAPPY WITH HIM...haha


LOL, maybe she should think of it as getting a new basement.... :big grin:
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby caverx » Mar 28, 2010 9:45 pm

Wish I Had One!
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby Spike » Mar 29, 2010 1:23 pm

Cavex,

PM sent.
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 29, 2010 2:40 pm

caverx wrote:Wish I Had One!

Wife, basement, or cave?
:question:
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby caverx » Mar 29, 2010 4:38 pm

:laughing:
Cave of course! The other two are easy!
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 30, 2010 1:04 am

Wow dude, thats awesome. IF I lived closer, as if an hour away isnt close enough, Id be diving in there and bring the rest of the SEMO crew with me. Is this in wentzville as well? So cool to find new stuff, especially in that fashion. My wife would kill me if I did that in our yard, but if I hit a crack with air blowing out of it....................... my neighbors would really hate me ;)
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby Chads93GT » Mar 30, 2010 1:06 am

Evan Gehring wrote:
caverx wrote:Thanks !!
We have put alot into the event and expect a nice turn out...


:kewl: :calvin: :kewl:


I'm going to try and get out there for it. I drove thru Steelville going to the spring MVOR on the Black River, it looked like a interesting little town. I might have to bring my kayak down and do some paddling! Come to think of it I was camped right next to you guys (MVG-Daedalus) with KCAG at the spring 2009 MVOR.

caverx wrote:needless to say the WIFE IS NOT HAPPY WITH HIM...haha


LOL, maybe she should think of it as getting a new basement.... :big grin:


Yeah Evan you were right next to them, I remember becuase when I came over past yoru tent in the morning, I remember seeing the Daedalus group looking pretty hungover in the morning, drinking water bottles, lol. I got a good laugh, they were hitting it HARD the night we had rob zombie in concernt till 4am.
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Re: New Cave? Sandstone Breakdown-Need Geologist opinion

Postby Martin Sluka » Mar 30, 2010 3:45 am

caverx wrote:A local we know has found what we think to be a cave in his front yard.


There was a large article in NSS News several month ago about the "Poseidon system" created in sandstone: http://www.podzemnisystemposeidon.cz/. For translation use translate.google.com - czech-english.

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