ICE DECORATIONS AT THE ENTRANCE OF LOKVARKA CAVE
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 more?
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)