Auyan Tepui 2013

After the ill-fated expedition in 2012, in February 2013, 15 days of relatively stable weather allowed a team of speleologists from La Venta and Theraphosa Exploring Teams, to settle a camp in the eastern sector of the Auyan Tepui, on the edge of a large depression that revealed some entrances at the foot of the internal walls. Actually, hitting on the right entrance among that chaos of gigantic blocks was not so easy but, once detected, it revealed an unexpected world.
A few days of exploration on a tight schedule made it possible to explore and document almost 20 km of galleries, 15 km topographed, belonging to a vast labyrinth of horizontal galleries and amazing environments over a hundred meters wide and only a few meters high. A system crossed by several collectors, some of considerable flow (connected by inactive galleries with several entrances).
But what impresses most about this cave, called Imawarì Yeuta - the "House of Gods" in the Pemon Kamarakoto language - is not its size, but the incredible variety of speleothemes, consisting mainly of amorphous silica (opal), gypsum and iron oxides. The scientific interest of these formations is huge, because they are related to very peculiar geological and microclimatical conditions, that may occur only in caves of very slow evolution (several millions of years). Furthermore, the discovery of this cave contributes to the understanding of the speleogenetical processes in the quartzites (quartz sandstone) that, until a few years ago, were based on speculative models not fully validated by analytical data and physical-chemical models.

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