The new season of indoor meetings got underway last night with Andy Kendall talking about ‘The Volcanos and Wildlife of Tenerife”.
The last eruption in Tenerife was in 1905 – a blink of the
eye in geological time – and the island’s landscape is dominated by its
volcanic past. Andy talked in particular about two caving trips, one with a surveying
team and one with a group of artists (from the International Society of
Spelaeological Art), to explore lava tubes on the island. In particular, they
explored the extensive Cueva del Viento - Sobrado system in the north-west of
the island. This is the fifth largest lava tube in the world; the top four
being in Hawaii. Lava tubes are distinctive caves formed by lava flowing below
The lava inside the tubes is not all black as you might
expect, but coloured, often yellow, by minerals and bacterial growth. Tree
roots grow down from the roof of some of the caves, giving a surrealistic look
to the photos. The rock is hard and jagged, with characteristic features including
shelves, bubble bursts and, more rarely, stalactite forms.
The talk was illustrated with some spectacular photos, both
above and below ground, with a few sequences set to music. Andy also showed sketches
that the artists did underground, giving a different perspective to the caves.
On the second visit, Andy and his party got to the top of
the 3,718m peak of Mount Teide. The photos looking down at the caldera wall and
the distant coastline certainly made me want to revisit the otherworldly beauty
of the volcanos of Tenerife.
Before the talk, the Cardiff Naturalists Society held its
The next indoor meeting, which is about Antarctica, is on
Monday 14 October, is at the same place: The Cardiff School of Management
building on Metropolitan University’s Llandaff Campus (Room 0023) at 7.30pm.
The new program can be found elsewhere on this blog: http://cardiffnaturalists.blogspot.co.uk/p/programme.html