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Interesting landscapes are not only found on the Earth’s surface, but also in the depths of the Earth. We are speaking of underground cavities, caves, that are very important for various aspects. All the changes that take place around the cave, such as tectonic movements, climatic changes, changes in the topography, cause changes inside the karst systems, that tend to find a new balance with the new situation. Therefore, caves are not characterized by stable features, that do not change in time and space; it must always be borne in mind that they were formed in topographic and climatic situations that were greatly different from the current situation. The study of the sediments that are carried inside the caves, with their characteristics, their composition, their contents in fossils, enables us to reconstruct the variations in the environment and in the climate on the Earth’s surface. Karst aquifers account for a very important source of water in a large number of regions of the Earth: in fact karst areas are, by nature, without water on the surface and all the water circulation takes place underground. However these resources are very delicate to use and to protect. In fact karst aquifers, due to some of their characteristics, are particularly vulnerable to pollution and excessive exploitation.

subjects dealt with in Caves

terra_400x225_0000_conoscere le grotte

Caves knowledge

Most rocks have pores and cavities within them. Generally, however, these are not large enough for a person to explore.…

terra_400x225_0018_grotte

How caves form

Most of the longest and deepest caves in the world are formed by chemical corrosion processes in rocks particularly water-soluble…

terra_400x225_0015_paesaggio carsico

Karst landscape

A large number of factors influence the formation of cave systems : chemical factors and climate control the dissolving capacity…

terra_400x225_0016_lo studio delle grotte

Studying caves

There are many different reasons that drive some men and women towards speleology: for some it is the sporting or…

terra_400x225_0017_le grotte e l'acqua

Caves and water

Water that is normally present in porous rocks, such as sand or gravel, fills all the voids in a continuous…

terra_400x225_0019_gli abitanti delle grotte

Cave inhabitants

Cave environment, dark and mysterious, has always stimulated man’s fantasy, provoking a mixture of curiosity and fear. Man has envisioned…

special reports

  • pipistrelli_immaginario

    11 June 2012 / Life

    Bats, facts and fiction

    Legend or fact? In ancient Rome, bats were nailed to the door of the house as a protection from witches…

    pipistrelli_signori

    16 April 2012 / Life

    Bats, The Lords of Darkness

    Year of the bat The UNEP Convention on Migratory Species and The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European…

    alpi

    7 January 2010 / Earth

    Alps and Appennines

    How a mountain chain is born The term orogeny was born from the Greek words oros (mountain) and genesis (origin);…

  • uomo_montagna

    10 January 2007 / Earth

    Man and the mountain

    Life on the mountains The antique populations that used to live at the bottom of the mountains didn’t face them…

    piccoli_passi

    13 May 2013 / Earth

    Small steps, great footprints

    Which one takes up more space, an apple or a steak? Have you ever wondered how much space is taken…

    rischio_idro

    2 October 2011 / Air

    The hydrogeological risk

    On the sides of  watercourses are plains known as flood plains, that get flooded only occasionally after large amounts of…

  • terremotol

    20 March 2011 / Earth

    The earthquake in Japan

    In-depth on the earthquake in Japan Japan is one of the countries in which earthquakes occur most frequently. The reason…

    sauropodi

    18 May 2009 / Earth

    Sauropods

    40 meters long and 17 high, huge but peaceful, the Branchiosaurus were a masterpiece in genetic Engineering. Survival machines in…

    frane

    10 November 2011 / Earth

    Landslides

    Water and gravity in action Very punctually, with the arrival of the spring and autumn precipitations, the topic of landslides…

  • pipistrelli_immaginario

    11 June 2012 / Life

    Bats, facts and fiction

    Legend or fact? In ancient Rome, bats were nailed to the door of the house as a protection from witches…

    pipistrelli_signori

    16 April 2012 / Life

    Bats, The Lords of Darkness

    Year of the bat The UNEP Convention on Migratory Species and The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European…

  • alpi

    7 January 2010 / Earth

    Alps and Appennines

    How a mountain chain is born The term orogeny was born from the Greek words oros (mountain) and genesis (origin);…

    uomo_montagna

    10 January 2007 / Earth

    Man and the mountain

    Life on the mountains The antique populations that used to live at the bottom of the mountains didn’t face them…

  • piccoli_passi

    13 May 2013 / Earth

    Small steps, great footprints

    Which one takes up more space, an apple or a steak? Have you ever wondered how much space is taken…

    rischio_idro

    2 October 2011 / Air

    The hydrogeological risk

    On the sides of  watercourses are plains known as flood plains, that get flooded only occasionally after large amounts of…

  • pipistrelli_immaginario

    11 June 2012 / Life

    Bats, facts and fiction

    Legend or fact? In ancient Rome, bats were nailed to the door of the house as a protection from witches…

  • pipistrelli_signori

    16 April 2012 / Life

    Bats, The Lords of Darkness

    Year of the bat The UNEP Convention on Migratory Species and The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European…

  • alpi

    7 January 2010 / Earth

    Alps and Appennines

    How a mountain chain is born The term orogeny was born from the Greek words oros (mountain) and genesis (origin);…

from the Multimedia section

curiosities

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    A walk underground

    The longest caves in the world are in Kentucky, the caves of Mammoth...

  • black mole hungry

    And in underground tunnels?

    There are groups of terrestrial animals that eat insects, worms and other invertebrates...

  • Ghiaccio_nelle_grotte

    Ice in caves

    In high mountain or high latitude environments, many caves can contain ice deposits...

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