Geologists find rare "cave cloud" in south China's Guangxi-Xinhua

Geologists find rare "cave cloud" in south China's Guangxi

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-07-06 20:54:15

Photo taken on July 2, 2022 shows the "cave cloud" in Xiniuyan Cave, in Wuxuan County, in the city of Laibin, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Chen Lixin)

NANNING, July 6 (Xinhua) -- A joint Sino-French cave exploration team has discovered a rare "cave cloud" -- a special kind of natural mineral deposit within a cave -- in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, according to the Institute of Karst Geology of China Geological Survey.

The geological formation was found in the Xiniuyan Cave, in Wuxuan County, in the city of Laibin. The cave cloud covers an area of 300 square meters and is only the second such structure found in China.

It is distributed in seven pools within a cave, with each pool having the shape of a pumpkin or loaf of bread, according to the team of experts. The cave itself measures 2,754 meters long and features gentle terrain.

"This is the second spectacle of cave clouds discovered in China after Jingua Cave in Danzhai County, Guizhou Province," said Zhang Yuanhai, a senior engineer with the institute. "The formation conditions of cave clouds are very harsh, and the surrounding rock of the cave is mostly dolomite, and karst caves formed by dolomite are not common."

Wuxuan County is a typical karst distribution area in central Guangxi, which is rich in landscape resources such as karst caves, peak forests, wetlands, rivers and lakes.

Located about 20 km from the county seat, Xiniuyan Cave was discovered and developed in the 1990s, but this is the first time that a cave cloud has been found there, according to Zhang.

Liang Lu, deputy head of the county, said the expedition team surveyed the topography and karst landscape of the cave, and investigated the safety situation inside.

Their suggestions on scientific investigation of the cave have provided a strong scientific reference point for its subsequent development, utilization and restoration, Liang added. 


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