Stegamites a-plenty

We still do not clearly know the reason for the scarcity of stegamites, or the reason why they have only been found in a few caves. Perhaps one of the reasons is that they have not been researched enough until now. In fact, ever since Cueva de las Estegamitas was discovered, and following the dissemination of the findings of these peculiar speleothems in Spain, the research team has discovered or received information about the existence of some caves, located in the southeastern area of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands, where some isolated specimens could exist, currently under study.
Fortunately, in Cueva de las Estegamitas, the opposite happens, they are very abundant. However, the spatial distribution of the stegamites is not homogeneous, they are associated with certain specific places in the cave.
Most of them are concentrated around one of the largest halls of the cave, the so-called Day Hall or Sala de Día. Also, in the farthest part of the current cave entry, in the area known as the Butterfly Gallery (Galería de la Mariposa) and the gallery of the Thorns (Galería de las Espinas), some isolated specimens appear.
One of the fundamental aspects that remains to be researched is whether, in addition to the presence of sediments in the ground, covered by a layer of calcite, there are some environmental conditions that have allowed their genesis and growth in these certain specific places. In this sense, the environmental stability of the cave’s underground atmosphere is essential for their conservation, as well as ensuring that the area where water infiltration from the surface occurs is not altered, which is why the development of a protection perimeter outside and controlling the access to the cave are considered essential measures.

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