The past several decades have been a sort of golden age of
cave exploration. New world
records and amazing discoveries have exploded the number, size and complexity
of caves around the world. Along
with this new exploration, there has been a rapid expansion of understanding
about cave morphology, geochemistry and mineralogy. In 1980, there were just 19 list cave minerals; today there
are 319, many of which occur in incredibly diverse forms.
Kevin Downey, owner
of the mineral business he calls “Well Arranged Molecules” is a geologist who
also owns a photographic studio and who, as an offshoot, specializes in cave
photography. He frequently joins
cave explorers who go into the newly discovered caves and newly discovered
passages of familiar caves in their quest for learning about cave
environments. Kevin sets up his
professional equipment, often in areas that are naturally pitch black, and
photographs the formations and minerals that the scientists see and study.
In the presentation
that we’ll see “Mineralization in Caves, Part I”, Kevin takes us on a tour of
several major cave projects he’s been involved with and will show us both
normal and “exotic” speleothems with some of the most spectacular known
examples of cave minerals. Images will
include many of the best caves yet found on earth.
Join us for this
interesting video of a talk Kevin gave at the Rochester Mineralogical Symposium
in 2013. You don’t have to like
minerals to enjoy the fabulous cave “eye candy” and to appreciate a glimpse at
a world few of us will ever get to see or explore.
Our meeting will begin
at 7:30 pm at Meadow Mill.