The Gaia Exploration Club in cooperation with the Protected Area Management Board and Palawan Speleological Guild (PalSpeg) continued its annual Cave Management Planning and Expedition in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park last 27-31 December 2019.

One of the activities conducted was the photo-documentation of the 150 Year Gallery to the Magellan Chamber including La Carlita Branch through macrophotography. This technical type of photography allows the documentation of cave formations deep in the PPSR so that it can be shared to cave enthusiasts, geologists, and biologists, among others.  Macrophotography inside the Magellan Chamber was challenging because of the extremely dark cave environment. The photographer must have the technical knowledge of how to manually operate the camera to capture vivid photographs of cave formations.

Below are few examples of what GEC President Mark Dia photographed during the December 2019 expedition:

A gour pool with colorless to amber-orange scalenohedral and original trapezohedron calcite crystals, including closer views of the macro crystals. ©Mark Dia /GEC
Standing pools of water allow the formation of this trigonal trapezohedron calcite lily pads. © Mark Dia /GEC
A cave wall along La Carlita Branch filled with aragonite needles and a closer view of the acicular aragonite needles with distinct, globular hydromagnesite atop. ©Mark Dia/GEC
Acicular aragonite needle with surrounding globular hydromagnesite masses. © Mark Dia /GEC
Clear colorless to amber colored calcite crystals of scalenohedron form. © Mark Dia /GEC
Mono-crystalline helictite overgrowths on stalactites and cave walls. © Mark Dia /GEC
Black crusts, morphologically and mineralogically yet to be identified, oozing from the cave walls and encrusted as lily pads on pool edges. ©Mark Dia /GEC
Black crust encrusted on a sand patch. Dipyramidal and botryoidal calcite ingrowths as a result of ponded water from drippings above. ©Mark Dia /GEC
Clear to opaque calcite crystals of scalenohedron form. ©Mark Dia /GEC
Soda straws with overgrowths of mono-crystalline helictites. ©Mark Dia /GEC
Radiating, bladed buff-orange colored mono-crystallines (red arrows point to scalenohedron growth of crystals). ©Mark Dia /GEC