Ledeni ukrasi

Ice decorations at the entrance of lokvarka cave

Prospekt Caves, Worlds

Photo 1. Ice decorations at the entrance of Lokvarka Cave (photo by Patrik Krstinić)

An entrance to a cave is a special place; it is a boundary
between two worlds. Within an area of several tens of metres at the entrance
to a cave, conflicting above-ground conditions (which are constantly changing)
are replaced by the more stable conditions that prevail in deeper and
darker parts. The Polar cold and snow that gripped Gorski Kotar in February
2012 made it possible for these ice stalagmites to form in a part of the
entrance where they could not be seen by the “common” visitor
during visiting hours. These ice formations have taken on a variety of
shapes. They also possess various optical properties, ranging from transparent-crystal
clear forms (Photo 4) to milky-white, opaque, semi-transparent forms (Photos
2 and 3) to non-transparent (Photo 1). Especially intriguing are the meandering
relief structures that have formed on the surface of these ice “stalagmites”.
If we use our imagination, we can see in our mind’s eye that some of these
structures resemble the outlines of continents on an ice globe. The manner
in which these surface structures formed on the ice is still (for now)
a mystery. Are they perhaps the result of some special micro-climate conditions
that control the entrance to the cave? Perhaps, one of our readers knows

M.R., P.K., S.S. and I.R.

Photo 2. An ice egg with an unusually structured surface (Photo by Patrik Krstinić)

Photo 3. An ice globe with the “continents” of South America and Antarctica (photo by Patrik Krstinić)

Photo 4. “A crystal sphere” (Photo by Patrick Krstinić)