With Tav and Nick.

My turn to dig, Tav clearing back, and Nick on the haul and shuttle. Monday’s blast had the desired effect and there was a good pile of rock, gravel and finer sediment to be removed. The new skip was put into immediate use as there is quite a distance between the dig face and up the slope to the skip loading position, Tav has renamed this ‘haul and shuttle 2’, there are no easier positions now.

There is an interesting deposit of calcified sediment filling a narrow fissure. The sediment filled the fissure and carbonate rich water seeped through the sediment becoming calcified. Looking closely it is possible to see that the sediment was slowly oozing down the fissure before solidifying.

Filled about 30 bags of gravel and finer sediment, shifted a lot of rock and eventually cleared the dig ready for another midweek trip to create more rubble. There is some fractured rock that will need some encouragement to bring it down too. At the end of the clearance session both Tav and Nick came to inspect the way ahead. There is a narrow rift going down perhaps 0.7m depth from where the draught is emanating, the gap seems to widen below a block of conglomerate. This opening appears to align north/south.

Unfortunately, we had spent so much time clearing the end there wasn’t time to clear the entrance. Perhaps we can get this out during the week when I am applying rock engineering techniques at the end of Merlin’s.

Another interesting bit of rock. The calcite bands at lower end of this sample are beginning to degrade while the upper bands are still competent, the mid section is a mixture of degrading and competent bands. the bands are very thin and many of the layers upper surface stained red probably from sediment flow.