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Earth of fire

Actualité volcanique, Articles de fond sur étude de volcan, tectonique, récits et photos de voyage


There are 30 million years ago, well before the installation of any volcanic activity, Mt Gambier region was covered by a warm ans shallow ocean.
LimestoneCoastMap-zoomDiverse fossil, crustacean shells and fish bones fell to the ocean floor and  have formed over time a thick layer of limestone that forms the underbody of the region, which takes its name : the Limestone coast .

Karstification of this layer is made by dissolving the limestone by carbonic acid and underground drainage. The erosion has formed, in the basement, interconnected caves .
Karst - geowiki                                                   Karstic landscape type - doc. Geowiki

Engelbrecht cave forms a complex of limestone caves under Mt Gambier and the city of the same name. The exploration and cleaningof the caves now offer 600 meters of boardwalk accessible to all, with a succession of lakes and passages ... other rooms are a delight for divers who can swim under the city.

weblarge P1090636 - RAA tourism
                          Mt Gambier - Engelbrecht cave - photo RAA Tourism

Fossils cave - Cave divers asso. of australia
                Diving in a cave - photo Cave Divers Association of Australia - CDAA

Engelbrecht caves - viméo
              Mt Gambier - Engelbrecht cave - click on the picture takes you to the video / Vimeo

Cave whose roof collapsed and fell on the floor by creating terraces - sinkholes - found another function, after having served to potable water reserve to the first inhabitants of Mt Gambier .

In the center of the city, The Cave gardens , which have two holes and a drainage waterfall, were restored in 2001 in the spirit of the glorious 20s. At nightfall , a sound and light tells the stories of the Aborigines.

Earlier , another sinkhole , the Umpherston Sinkhole, named in honor of its umpherston-sinkhole-1887owner, James Umpherston houses a beautiful garden .
He created in 1884 a Victorian garden, frequented by locals of Mt.Gambier who came cannoter on the small lake covering a third of the sinkhole .

Umpherston Sinkhole - photo archives / via
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After his death in 1900 , the garden almost disappear before being restored in 1976 by ​​the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry .

umpherson sinkhole - Gambier - staticflickr
                        Mt Gambier - Umpherston Sinkhole - photo Statiflickr

umpherson sinkhole 2 - Gambier - loma2010.blogspot
                       Mt Gambier - Umpherston Sinkhole - photo loma2010.blogspot

Repopulated with Hydrangea macrophylla , three indigenous Dicksonia antarctica tree, and ivy cascading on its walls, the garden comes alive after dark , when the possums come to feed .



Sources :

- Global Volcanism Program - Newer Volcanics Province

- Office of minerals and energy resources South Australia - Volcanoes of the Mount Gambier area - link

- Split shots in Engelbrecht's cave - by Liz Rogers Photography - link


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