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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Gas Stalagmite??
keithwn

Joined: 16/11/2017

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Gas Stalagmite??
Posted: 15/11/2019 17:20:03
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Found what looked like a stalagmite in Ratgoed Mine - but there was no water dropping down onto it. Instead it had gas bubbling up every few seconds (the 2 occasions in this video were very weak - most of the gas bubbles were stronger than this.)

Any ideas as to the origins of this formation and what might be called?

See https://youtu.be/TUn8mIMdhEg
IP: 86.131.220.83
John_Smith

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Joined: 09/07/2017
Location: North Wales

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Gas Stalagmite??
Posted: 16/11/2019 07:24:23
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You can't form such features from gas/ You have to have a fluid (water) which contains dissolved minerals which are picked up through the rock because rainwater is slightly acidic (carbonic acid from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere). A gas can't hold minerals.

It is most likely that it could be an older formation that had water flow in the past that doesn't exist now.
IP: 82.19.43.126
50shadesofgreen

Joined: 17/11/2013

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Gas Stalagmite??
Posted: 16/11/2019 09:23:09
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I thought stalagmites always occurred due to mineral laden fluid dropping from above. That means there always needs to be a corresponding stalactite above it?

Is it possible that the gas bubbles were not really drips falling into a pool? I would have covered it for a while to see if that stopped it.

Does gas come up from deep underground, other than volcanic? Natural methane perhaps? Which would suggest a detectable odour? - (Just been to Rotorua).
IP: 114.23.235.21
keithwn

Joined: 16/11/2017

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Gas Stalagmite??
Posted: 16/11/2019 11:28:56
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Absolutely certain there was no water dropping down into it. There were gas bubbles (often much stronger than those captured in the video) which displaced mineral-laden water over the lip of the formation presumably causing it to build like a stal.

From the colour, it's been suggested that the mineral might by sulphur dioxide which I think is often associated with rock faulting and that these formations were essentially fumaroles (or solfatara). However, they only seem to be associated with volcanic activity which is of course not relevant here.

Nearby there were deposits of iron pyrites which is iron sulfide and associated with sulphur gas I believe.

There was at least 1 other smaller formation close by
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dtyson

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Joined: 17/11/2008
Location: wirral

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Gas Stalagmite??
Posted: 16/11/2019 13:32:58
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It's an interesting structure! The presence of Iron pyrites in the mine could produce sulphur dioxide, but hydrogen sulphide is much more common (and dangerous). It is possible the water contains dissolved calcium salts which could react with sulphur dioxide to produce gypsum (calcium sulphate) which is insoluble in water and so would accumulate and could build such a structure. The colour is probably due to traces of iron.

I have seem something similar in Garreg Boeth mine, the structure looked like a mini-volcano and was just under the water surface. The mine water was rich in calcium salts and I think dripping water & periodic dry spells when the water pool started to evaporate resulted in a sort of gour pool formation, but perfectly circular.

Dave
IP: 92.27.142.161
keithwn

Joined: 16/11/2017

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Gas Stalagmite??
Posted: 16/11/2019 13:48:42
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Thanks - really interesting
Someone tells me they are known as 'shitatites' and are concentrations of earth salts and ochre etc
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Ty Gwyn

Joined: 30/10/2009
Location: Lampeter

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Gas Stalagmite??
Posted: 16/11/2019 16:22:02
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Methane is odourless. IP: 91.84.93.149
joso

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Joined: 28/07/2018
Location: Mid Wales

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Gas Stalagmite??
Posted: 16/11/2019 20:29:05
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I saw this two weeks ago, and I've seen an identical one (or several, rather) in Pantmawr. They seem just like the hours/rimstone formations you get in Pantmawr. IP: 86.144.122.119
keithwn

Joined: 16/11/2017

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Gas Stalagmite??
Posted: 16/11/2019 23:41:32
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Thanks
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