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Minerals and colors in an underwater cave

0 votes


I am writing from Antiparos island in Greece. We have a diving center here. One dive site is an underwater cavern (called Paderonisi). I have attached some pics :). The cave is accessible only from underwater, but once inside, people can stay on the surface and breathe, and look around, there are various air chambers...

I have been trying to find internet information about what minerals cause these different colors... Can you please help me or send me some links to references and info sources? Thank you so much!! Albena PS Please see pics below...


asked Aug 7, 2015 by urika (140 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Beautiful pictures. I don't know much about the local geology, but I would start by asking local people about rocks and minerals. Next, the nearest university should have local knowledge and finally, close up pictures of rocks and minerals you want identified posted here.
answered Aug 7, 2015 by Weasel (55,650 points)
Thank you, Weasel! Antiparos is a very small island with mostly fishermen but I will contact the Greek/Hellenic Speleological Association, they might be able to help, and I will send them close-up pics, as you advise! Thanks!
+1 vote
The cave growths are usually calcite/aragonite. The brown color is often caused by iron oxide staining on the calcite/aragonite.
answered Aug 13, 2015 by hershel (51,320 points)
Dear Hershel, thank you very much for this answer! I have also found some very useful info in Hill & Forti 1997 "Cave Minerals of the World" (pp 239-243) where colour is also contributed to humic substances derived from overlying soils, very interesting :). I have these pages scanned and if you are interested I can send them to you... Thank you again and have a wonderful day!