On
Saturday I gave a poster presentation at the BCRA Cave Science Symposium,
University of Bristol.

Evidence
for frost and ice damage of speleothems in Hallowe’en Rift, Mendip, some
initial observations.

Abstract:

Recent discoveries in Hallowe’en Rift, Mendip
Hills, Somerset, UK during 2018 have revealed some interesting morphological
features and an abundance of shattered speleothems. It had been suggested that
this damage was caused by earth movements. However, after a close examination
of the speleothems, it is apparent that the cause of the fracturing and damage
has been through the actions of frost and/or ice during the Pleistocene.

Tav, Nick, Jonathon and a big welcome back to
Brockers, went to Hallowe’en Rift and continued the downstream dig (west-side of the entrance). Tav sent the following account of the
activities:

Brockers was
pushed up front to enlarge the way ahead, Nick was deepening the trench, while
Tav hauled and smashed up the odd rock too big to fit in the skip. Jon earned
the clear distinction of ‘digger of the day’ for hauling a gargantuan 102
non-stop skips out to the surface (65 rocks, 37 bags). Then off to the
Hunters’ for well-earned refreshments where we were joined by Jake and Matt and
showed a bit of old bone to a couple of good-looking young women on their way
to G.B.

Rock of the day
had to be the ‘old bone’, which subject to a clean-up we decided could be rock,
bone stal or metal!

Unfortunately,
when the ‘bone’ was scrubbed clean of the attached sediment it was found to be
a speleothem masquerading as a bone. Fooled me too!