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

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    16 July 2013 / Earth

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    13 May 2013 / Earth

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    2 October 2011 / Earth

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    20 March 2011 / Earth

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    16 July 2013 / Earth

    Van Allen belts

    The spectacular phenomenon of polar auroras The Van Allen belts are responsible for polar auroras, one of the most fascinating…

  • 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…

    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…

  • 2 October 2011 / Earth

    The hydrogeological risk

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

    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…

  • 8 November 2013 / Earth

    Magnets and superconductors

    The phenomenon of magnetism Which one of us has not played at attracting small pieces of iron with a magnet?…

  • 16 July 2013 / Earth

    Van Allen belts

    The spectacular phenomenon of polar auroras The Van Allen belts are responsible for polar auroras, one of the most fascinating…

  • 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…

from the Multimedia section

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    Subsoil resources

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    earth

    Subsoil and rocks

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    Activities in the subsoil

    Look

    earth

    Subsoil structure

    Look
  • earth

    Soil health and sustainability

    Look

    earth

    What are caves?

    Look
  • earth

    Subsoil resources

    Look
  • earth

    Subsoil and rocks

    Look
  • earth

    Activities in the subsoil

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curiosities

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    A small domestic experiment

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  • The climate underground

    Going down deep in the Earth’s crust, the temperatures increase gradually (about 3°C every 100 m): this phenomenon is well-known…

    A walk underground

    The longest caves in the world are in Kentucky, the caves of Mammoth, which are 560 metres long. Other long…

  • The most populated cities in the world

    In the last 50 years the world population has passed from 2.5 billion to 6 billion, and estimates say that…

    The most spectacular waterfalls

    The highest waterfalls in the world are located in Venezuela. The famous Salto Angel is 979 metres high. The widest…

  • Mountains on the Earth

    The different landscapes that we analysed in the previous section are distributed in the five continents of the Earth. Observing…

  • A small domestic experiment

    In order to understand the number of factors that make a water undersaturated or oversaturated, there is an experiment that…

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    Going down deep in the Earth’s crust, the temperatures increase gradually (about 3°C every 100 m): this phenomenon is well-known…

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