Jaskyna Silická ladnica - Silická ladnica Cave
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It is one of the most important natural phenomena of the Silická Plateau in the Slovak Karst. It is located 2 km westerly from the Silica village.The cave is 1,100 m long and 110 m deep.
The Silicka ladnica Ice Cave is situated in the Slovenske Rudohorie Mts., geomorphological whole Slovak karst and subwhole the Silicka planina Plateau. The geographical coordinates of the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave entrance are 48o32'58'' N.g.latitude and 20o30'18'' E.g.longitude. The cave is counted in a land-register of the village Silica in Roznava district.
The Silicka ladnica Ice Cave and the Gombasecka Cave are part of the large underground hydrologic system based on the underground stream Cierny potok. The system covers a western part of the Silicka planina Plateau in the Slovak karst. The great portal of the sheer passage opens an large ice chamber with a sinking glacier and ice stalactites. The glaciation of the entrance chasm is very young phenomenon what was happened by the roof falling around two thousand years ago. The Silicka ladnica Ice Cave is a static ice cave with the maximum volume of the floor ice about 340 m3. The cave continues along the underground stream Cierny potok by a sequence of the shallow siphons alternated large domes. In the first, Archaeological Dome, a rich primeval settlement was discovered. Finds of the pottery is counted to
• Bukk Culture from the Late Stone Age (Neolithic)
• Hallstatt Period (2nd millenium B.C.)
• La Tene Culture (the Late Iron Age, begin of our era)
The dripstone decoration is little distributed, mainly as sinter crusts and wall cascades. In the remote domes very long spaghetti stalactites can be found.
History of the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave exploration
The entrance portal (on picture) of the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave was attractive for the tourists and a cave ice was being used inhabitants for a foodstuff storing in the summer. From these reasons the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave was the first nature object of the Slovak karst, about of the scientific society had heard. The report about the cave was given by the Slovak polyhistorian Matej Bel in his letter to the London Royal Society of Sciences in 1744. The nature condition of the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave has been studied by more of the scientists, as A.A. Schmidl (1856), B. Schwalbe (1882), H. Sztereyi (1883), K. Siegmeth (1909), and so on. Their reports are listed on pages Bibliography about the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave and Historic bibliography about Slovak karst.
At the November 4, 1931 J. Majko successfully penetrated from the chasm bottom into the lower parts and to discover the recent Archeologicky dom (Archaeological Dome) with the underground stream Cierny potok Brook and primeval settlement. There was realized an archaeological investigation in following years. Short results are shown on page Archaeology in the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave.
In 1988 the speleodivers from the group Speleoaquanaut Praha were successful in the penetration from the Archaeological Dome due the outflow siphon (dimension 0.5 x 0.6 x 65 m) of the Cierny potok named Kufor (The Suitcase) into the following cave chambers. In last time the microclimatic and glacial researches of the entrance chasm were realized.
Archaeology in the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave
In the prehistoric times the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave looked like colossal tunnel what led into ground by portal with the width of 40 m and the height more 60 m. An easy access into the cave with an underground brook made the cave attractive for prehistoric man. More part of the settled area was buried under a massive debris cone from the gigantic roof fall about two thousand years ago.
In the Archaeological Dome with dimensions 60 x 35 x 10 m was found a great quantity of the clay potsherds in the course of the archaeological investigation of the cave in the 1931 and the following years. There were determined two main types of the settlement pottery. Pottery from the settlement layer, what is timely older, is counted to the Bukk Culture from the Late Stone Age (Neolithic). The second wealthier settlement came from the Hallstatt Period (2nd millenium B.C.). Youngest settlement layer has an origin in the begin of our chronology and the finds represent the La Tene Culture (the Late Iron Age). The interrupt of the cave settlement helps to determine a time of the entrance fall into this culture epoch. There the human skull and the animal bones were found in the cave.
Protection of the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave
The reasons for protection of the cave
Two significant caves with the stable ice formations (Dobsinska Ice Cave and the Demanovska Ice Cave) are situated in the Slovak Republic besides the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave but the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave is the most low placed ice cave (503 m above the sea level). From the speleoclimatic point of view the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave is a unique phenomena and it is probably representing the most lowly placed ice cave of the world to this geographic latitude.
The impairs of the original status
The Silicka ladnica Ice Cave is finding just outside the frequent tourists routes and is visited only by peoples known the circumstances. Unfortunately, undisciplined persons are frequent abroad them. They are damaging a temporary trapdoor from an ice chasm to a warm part of the cave for a looting of the archaeological finds. Accessible works in entrance (an outlook terrace and an access path construction) opened the ice chamber to a sunshine and to an easier air circulation. These are main reasons as well as a precipitation deficiency for a significant decrease of the floor ice and ice stalactites in last time.
The protection steps
The Silicka ladnica Ice Cave is Nature Protected Phenomena, what was proclaimed by the Amendment of the Ministry of Culture of SSR No. 6176/1982 - 32 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 6176/1982 - 32 end_of_the_skype_highlighting from the September 30, 1982. From 1995 the Act on Environment Protection took effect that all caves are the National Monuments. Protection of the cave is ensuring by state organizations The Management of the Slovak karst Protected Landscape Area and The District Administration for the Environment of the Roznava district. Unfortunately, the state budget for environment as well as purses of the cavers hasn't enough for the effective protection of this phenomena. A protection of the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave and all cave system are providing also through the Protected Landscape Protected Area, what is the international network of the biosphere reservation part.
The Silicka ladnica Ice Cave represents a short section of the central part of large cave system based on the hydrologic system in a vadose zone. The underground stream Cierny potok (Black brook) is axis of this system. There is an unknown upper part of the cave system between the ponor Fararova jama and Silicka ladnica Ice Cave in length more 1.5 km. The Gombasecka Cave as an end of all system is situated up foot of the Silicka planina Plateau in altitude of 244 m a.s.l. The passages between the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave and the Gombasecka Cave are also unknown in length about 2 km.
Entrance of the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave lies on 503 m above sea level. The impressive portal of the sheer passage is turned to the NNE. The passage inclined with angle about 30o has 30 m average width and 10 to 15 m height. The debris floor is covered by an ice (on picture) with a stately ice-chute in the bottom part of the passage. Genetically it is very young phenomenon, with origin in the roof falling down of the entrance portal around two thousand years ago. The Silicka ladnica Ice Cave is a classic static ice cave with three genetic types of the ice formations:
the floor ice origined from frozen flowed water,
vertical ice formations from penetrated atmospheric waters,
ice hoarfrost from humid cave air inflowed from warm part of the cave.
During the summer season the temperature of the ice surface is at about 0oC and the floor ice volume is reaching the minimal state (213 m3 measurement from the 1970). The maximum ice volume had been represented by the 340 m3 volume of the floor ice. In last years the significant decrease of the floor ice was observed.
A junction to warm parts of the cave goes through a debris layer into large Archaeological Dome (dimensions 60 x 35 x 10 m) with a rich primeval settlement. A short information about results of the archaeological investigation is placed on page Archaeology in the Silicka ladnica Ice Cave. The underground stream Cierny potok flows through the dome and continues by a sequence of the shallow siphons interrupted large domes. The manual digged corridor outflanks first and second siphons. Today only speleodivers can penetrate through next three siphons into domes the Africka chyza (African Shanty), the Hlinity dom (Clay Dome), the Dom Karina (50 x 30 x 40 m) and the Hribikovy dom (Mushroom Dome). The stream continues to the Gombasecka Cave through the unpenetrable wall of the fault massive stone block.
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1.Make a picture of your self by an entrance to the cave with GPS in your hand. Voluntarily.
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2.In what altitude above sea level si the entrance?
3.Why is the ice in the cave droping off?
4.Which brook flows trough this cave?
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum