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Jan 27, 2004

RICE BOTTOM CAVE 2


Position: WGS84 - 18 23' 30.8" N, 77 54' 26.8" W, +/- 5 m

Field notes: R. S. STEWART

Cavers: R. S. Stewart, M. Taylor, S. McCall, V. Reid

Time in: 11:50 EST, Time out: 12:15 EST

THREAT VULNERABILITY: Low

This was the first of four caves that we would visit this day and the third new, unlisted cave of the expedition.

Our local crew from Roehampton were responsible for us finding Rice Bottom 2; in total, they supplied us with four new caves in the district, all found while searching for Lawson Bottom Cave, (which was never located). All three of the Rice Bottom caves that we would visit this day were similarly oriented, and situated in the same kind of limestone. The limestone is strongly bedded but not as hard as that at Roehampton School Cave, (1.6 km to the north), and there is no sign of chert.

A dry passage, about 5 x 5 m, is found at the bottom of a low cliff and runs for about 25 m to the NW. Although it appears to have originally been a stream passage, it now growing by a breakdown process of the strongly-bedded strata on the ceiling. The floor of the passage has slabs and rocks that resemble building blocks.

There were few formations and biology seemed limited to Eleuths near the entrance and an occasional occupation by fruit-bats. The distance from passage-ceiling to the surface is about 2 metres and the land above has only a few trees mixed in with pasture. This, combined with a large entrance, seems to be resulting in a very dry cave without even crickets or roaches.

After getting a good GPS position for the entrance, and filling in the data-sheets, we moved on to Rice Bottom 1.

By the end of the afternoon, we had three caves within 250 m, in an area that the local men called Rice Bottom, and decided to number them in order of size. This being the second largest, it became Rice Bottom 2.

(Continue to Rice Bottom 1).

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