|Location:||near Castañar de Ibor, on the road to Arroyo de los Lagares.|
|Address:||Cueva de Castañar, Ayuntamiento de Castañar de Ibor, Tel: +34-927-554002, Fax: +34-927-554300|
|Last update:||$Date: 2011/12/13 08:49:54 $|
|1997||declared a Natural Monument by regional decree.|
|SEP-1999||recognised by the Law of Nature and Natural Area Conservation in the Extremadura, becomes part of the Extremadura Natural Protected Areas Network.|
Cueva de Castañar (Castañar de Ibor Cave) has extraoridinary speleothems, the stalactites are covered by helictites. This rather extraordinary cave is now protected as part of the Extremadura Natural Protected Areas Network. The cave was developed as a show cave cave and a modern exhibition centre was built close to the cave entrance, in a pleasant olive grove. The centre serves both as information center with museum, and as ticket office for the cave visitors. The exhibition explains the formation of karst caves and the typical natural features of the Extremadura. Close to the centre is a camping site with excellent facilities.
The cave has a labyrinth-like structure, a series of irregular passages and chambers. It is located inside very old dolostones surrounded by precambrian or cambrian age insoluble rocks, mainly greywacke. The teconic structure of the area is a series of anticlines and synclines, with karstified dolostones in the anticlines. The tectonic structure runs northwest to southeast, so do the fractures in the rock and this direction is clearly visible in the orientation of the cave system.
The speleothems of this caves are primarly calcite crystals, in the form of dogtooth spars, frostwork which are fine needles of anthodites forming pure white, treelike structures, and moonmilk, which is a porpous white limestone. Often the moonmilk consists of four different minerals: huntite, magnesite, dolomite, and sepiolite. Moonmilk grows on aragonite needles or forms crusts on the walls covering aragonite crystals.
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