Fieldtrips

Hintertux - Spannagel Cave & Nature's Ice Palace

natures_ice_palace_robbie_shoneLeader: Christoph Spötl and colleagues (Institute of Geology, University of Innsbruck) 

Description: Spannagel Cave and Nature's Ice Palace

 This pre-conference excursion leads to the Central Alps of Tyrol and includes a 1.5 hour bus ride to the village of Hintertux located at 1,500 m a.s.l.. We then take the cable car to Spannagel Cave, which has its entrance about 1,000 m higher. Spannagel cave is located near a rapidly retreating glacier and has yielded a series of benchmark speleothem records covering the Holocene and Middle to Late Pleistocene. We will visit the touristic part of this alpine marble cave and discuss its origin and mode of speleothem depositon. Another cable car will take us up to about 3,200 m a.s.l., where the entrance to a remarkable glacier cave is located. Known as Natureispalast (Nature's Ice Palace), this system of crevasses offers amazing insights into the interior of an alpine glacier, including an underground lake.

Good hiking shoes and warm cloths are recommended; helmet and head-lamp are optional. Note that the return walk from Spannagel cave to the cable car is up 130 altitude metres and takes approximately 20 minutes. Each participant is responsible for determining whether he or she is capable of this exertion.

Date: Sunday 12th July - Full Day

Participant Limit: 100

Fee: € TBC (includes transportation in buses, cable car and entrance fees, exclusive of lunch) 

Eisriesenwelt

Leader: Christoph Spötl and colleagues (Institute of Geology, University of Innsbruck) 

Description: Eisriesenwelt

Eisriesenwelt, south of Salzburg, is a 40 km-long cave system where the first 500 m hosts perennial congelation ice. Regarded as one of the largest ice caves on this planet, Eisriesenwelt can be conveniently reached using a small cable car followed by a 20 minute walk to the large entrance. We will visit the impressive ice-part of this cave along the tourist path (many stairs!), learn about the seasonal cycle of cave ice, visit cryogenic cave carbonate deposits, and discuss recent work on the age and chronology of the thick ice layers.

Good hiking shoes and warm cloths are recommended; helmet and head-lamp are optional.

The Eisriesenwelt management provide the following information about physical exertion. In summary, 134 altitude metres are covered in the cave. Each participant is responsible for determining whether he or she is capable of this exertion. It is not recommended that people with severe walking impairments or cardiovascular diseases visit the ice cave. Access to the cable car and the path from the cable car to the cave also require about 20 minutes of walking. Unfortunately the Eisriesenwelt is not suitable for persons in wheelchairs.  

Date: Thursday 16th July - Full Day

Participant Limit: 100

Fee: € TBC (includes transportation in buses, cable car and entrance fees, exclusive of lunch) 

Caves & Karst of Austria

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Leader: Lukas Plan (Natural History Museum Vienna, Karst and Cave Group) 

Description: This post-conference excursion starts in the afternoon of the 1-day excursion to Eisriesenwelt and ends in Innsbruck (with an option to end in Vienna). It provides a cross section of caves and karst in Austria, known for its high density of caves (some 16,000) and its long tradition of speleological research. The following regions and caves will be visited: the Dachstein region and its alpine surface karst as well as the famous Dachstein-Mammuthöhle, Kraus Cave formed by sulphuric acid speleogenesis, as well as Katerloch and Obir Caves, two highly decorated caves on the southern side of Austria where recent palaeoclimate and earthquake-related studies have been carried out. 

Besides show caves also non-touristic cave parts will be visited that require surefootedness. Caving equipment is not required, but a helmet, head-lamp and good hiking shoes are recommended.

Date: Thursday 16th July - Monday 20th July, 2020

Participant Limit: 14

Fee: € TBC (includes transportation in small buses, accommodation in double rooms including breakfast (single room option at extra charge upon request), cable car and entrance fees to show caves, exclusive of meals) 

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