Cantabria tourism

TOURISMCANTABRIA: Soplao Cave - Cantabria - Spain.

 

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Cave of El Soplao

 

El Soplao is a "UNIQUE" cave


The quality, whiteness and most of all the abundance of its eccentric or helictite formations are beyond all comparison.

The composition of its formations par excellence is aragonite followed by calcite.

 

ECCENTRICS OR HELICTITES


The eccentrics or helictites are all those speleothemes that in section do not have an axis unlike stalactites or stalagmites.

This type of formation is what really makes the cave "El Soplao" unique, since, although they occur in other caves, they are not so abundant or of such a fine quality or spectacular appearance as those in this cave.

These concretions appear on the floor, the walls, ceilings, on top of old stalagtites, stalagmites and even on the shields. They are found mainly in the western part of the cave, where there are no natural entrances (Galería Gorda, Galería del Campamento, el Coliflor y El Bosque).

There are two types of eccentrics depending on their crystallographic composition: calcite and aragonite.

The calcite eccentrics usually have a vermicular shape, without sharp edges and white in colour due to the pureness of the calcium carbonate. These concretions are not usually hollow, but they have a fine interior capillary which ensures that the calcic solution reaches the end. They grow extremely slowly. An specific area has been monitored for fifteen years and has not recorded any growth.

The aragonite eccentrics have an identical chemical composition to the calcite eccentrics but crystallize in a different system and usually have a much more geometric appearance.

The simplest appearance is that of "plume-like" or "rosette-like" extremely thin crystals, similar to thorns, with a length that can range from a few millimetres to more than ten centimetres.

They are usually found on the floor, walls or on any type of concretion that is already formed, even on the bare rock. It grows simultaneously with the calcite eccentrics in the cave.

In Cantabria this is the first cave that has opened to the public which has a purely geological value.

There are caves, even ones that are open to tourists with this type of concretions inside, but there are none with the abundance and grandeur of those in the Soplao cave.

 
Cueva El Soplao - Cantabria.   Cueva El Soplao - Cantabria.
 
Cueva El Soplao - Cantabria.   Cueva El Soplao - Cantabria.
 
Cueva El Soplao - Cantabria.   Cueva El Soplao - Cantabria.
 
Cueva El Soplao - Cantabria.   Cueva El Soplao - Cantabria.
 

 

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