British Cave Research Association Cave Science and Technology Research Fund
The British Cave Research Association has kindly agreed to fund a competition to help find cryogenic cave calcites (CCCs) in the UK. The UK has been split up into six regions, and the group or person that finds the most caves with CCCs per region will win 200m of rope, or £240-worth of caving equipment. For hints and tips on what to look for and where to find CCCs, see here
WHY DO WE CARE?
Permafrost occupies 24% of the Northern Hemisphere land surface but is under threat of degradation from increased surface temperature. This is a major issue because permafrost is estimated to contain twice as much carbon as the atmosphere, thus as thawing proceeds, greenhouse gases are further released in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Understanding more about permafrost dynamics is thus highly important for improving future predictions of climate change.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE RESULTS?
Once the CCC finds have been validated and the winners announced, the results of the competition will be reported to the BCRA and published in the Annual Review as well as in Descent. If a significant numbers of sites with CCCs are discovered, the data will be used to support a larger research project that will aim to date the CCCs and map the presence of permafrost in space and time during the last glacial period.
RULES OF THE COMPETITION
 Cryogenic cave calcites are further referred to as CCCs.
 Six prizes of 200m of rope or £240-worth of caving equipment will be awarded to the person or group that find the most caves per region with CCCs.
 Individual regions are defined as:
- a. Southern England (Mendip, Devon & Portland)
b. South Wales (incl. Gower, Carmarthenshire & Pembrokeshire)
c. North Wales and the Forest of Dean
d. Peak District (all sites in the 'Caves of the Peak District' guidebook including Magnesian Limestone
e. Northern England (Dales and outlying areas)
 To submit an entry to the competition, a post must be made on the relevant regional thread of this forum. The following information is required:
- a. cave name
b. location within cave
c. general description of CCC finds (e.g. brown breadcrumb-type crystals, white concave/convex bubbles, raft-like formations). Further information on CCC types are here
d. general description of cave environment in which CCCs are found (e.g. angular boulders and breakdown, ‘fluffy’ mud, dry passage that doesn’t flood)
e. photos of the site both showing the wider scene as well as close ups. Individual photos should be maximum 1000 pixels wide, be in JPG format, and compressed to have a file size of no more than 200 kB. Information on how to upload photographs is available here.Note that photographs will be visible to anyone, therefore to help protect images, it is recommended that a watermark is applied.
f. further information that may be useful, e.g. depth of CCCs below surface, or the CCC location marked on a survey. Note this is not an essential entry requirement
 It will be the first reportage of CCCs in a particular cave on this forum that will count in the competition. For an entry to be complete, all five entry requirements (point #5) must be met by the closing date of the competition.
 To aid early reporting of finds, photographs may be submitted at a later date. All required information must be complete by the closing date of the competition for the entry to be considered.
 Photos do not need to be of a high standard, but features should be recognisable. Since the photographs will be visible to anyone, watermarks may be included to help protect images. Note the size limits (point #5).
 It is recommended that potential CCC sites are protected where possible, either by taping or with a notice, especially those found to be in vulnerable locations on major routes.
 Once the competition has closed, the CCC sites will be validated by the judges before the winners are announced. Validation may take several months, so please be patient with us whilst we visit all the sites!
 The competition closes 30th June, 2018.
 The judges’ word is final. Judges: Prof. John Gunn, Dr. Andy Farrant, Dr. Marc Luetscher, Dr. Gina Moseley.
 This competition complies with the Artists' Bill of Rights. Photographs will only be used to aid verification of CCCs and the BCRA retains no right to use the photographs for other purposes.