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Area maps, photos, documents and site positions

Finances &
Details of the accounts and equipment kept by the Matienzo Caves Project.
(Last update December 2023)
Caving permit

A permit is issued by the Cantabrian Government and the FCE. The permit is re-applied for every year. Caving outside the area (both new exploration and "tourist" trips) may result in a permit refusal, as happened in 1989 / 1990.
In 2014, the permit area was altered. Llueva, Secadura and Riotuerto areas are "out" and extensions to the north and northwest are "in". The new permit area and the old are also shown on the Google Map and Google Earth, below.
The 2019 permit area was altered to remove Monte Vizmaya and include Hazas de Cesto north to the N-624.
(The previous permit area is shown on this low detail area map, issued 2006.)
• The MCP permit area for 2023 is the same as 2022. The boundary has been outlined by the Federación Cántabra de Espeleología. In the past, boundaries have been set using mainly administrative borders, e.g. Ruesga, Solórzano, etc. In 2022, a set of coordinates were received which outlines the permit area. Although the 2022/2023 area is similar to the 2021 area, there are quite significant differences in some places. These maps show the 2022/23 permit area within a cyan line and the 2021 area as a red line: updated QGIS area map with caves (large file) : tourist map.

Google Map The Google Map, programmed by Paul "Footleg" Fretwell, displays site entrances superimposed on satellite photos. Descriptions for each site can be shown by clicking on the entrance marker. The computer must be connected to the Internet. Google Maps works best in Chrome or FireFox rather than Internet Explorer.
(No longer updated.Last update: March 2014)
Google Earth The Google Earth section, collated by Juan Corrin, provides a file to download and use in Google Earth. This shows small-scale geology (including the geological map published with the Matienzo 50 book), all the entrances, cave survey lines, cave surveys, rose diagrams of passage directions, and also selections of sites, ie all the digs, archaeological sites, unexplored sites, sites of biological interest, continuing caves, draughting sites, dive sites, sinks and resurgences. Descriptions for each site can be shown by clicking on the entrance marker. Hi-res surface photos can also be downloaded and used over the standard Google Earth landscape. The computer must be connected to the Internet and Google Earth (or Google Earth Pro) installed.
(Hi-res jpgs available from 10/2/09) (Last update to Matienzo file: 21/2/2024)
Area map Area map showing main caves as lines overlayed on a public map. JPG file.
(Last update: 5/10/2022)
Detailed map Detailed area map with roads, surface features, permit area and contours on one sheet. All caves surveyed and with Survex data are shown as pink lines. All site entrances are shown as labelled dots. The 2022-2023 permit boundary is a cyan line, the 2021 permit, red. The Vizmaya area is not part of the permit.
Download 120Mb pdf file   (Last update using datum ETRS89 : 16/2/2024)
Internet maps 1: SIGPAC An Internet site allowing access to maps and satellite photos of Spain.
2: A Cantabrian government site with detailed maps and a range of orthophotos. (Maps, photos and shape files have been downloaded from here as the basis for the Matienzo Caves map with added cave entrances and centre lines.)
QGIS v3 interactive map The map system for the Matienzo Caves Project (from 2017) is a stand-alone application based on a widely-used free-ware programme, QGIS. Satellite photos, digital terrain model, cave passage centre lines and widths and site positions are shown on a map with surface details, contours and geology. There are also links to aerial panoramas and video. From August 2020, QGIS v3 is used.
QGIS allows data to be filtered so that we can immediately see unexplored holes, draughting sites, etc. (The fuller QGIS system, used during expeditions and for updating information, additionally allows input of cave grid references through an Excel spreadsheet.)
Updated information is disseminated every few months. More details and downloads.
(Latest upload 21/2/2024)
Geological Maps On-line geological maps are presented by the IGME as continuous layers through a Map Viewer. (Geological information is also available in the QGIS map and the Google Earth file, detailed above.)
Cave survey lines All the cave sites with Survex data in the (previous and current) Matienzo Caves Project area shown on a single Aven 3d file. The file has been produced using Survex 1.4.5 which is best to have on your computer to view the file.
Download v1.4.5 Survex / Aven from here.
Loch, the viewer component of the Therion cave survey package can also display 3d files. Loch produces red/cyan stereo pairs of the centre line and passage walls and makes an interesting alternative to Aven. Therion can be downloaded from here.
Download Matienzo 3d file. (Last update: 16/2/2024. Amended magnetic declination December 2013 to align with Eur79 grid. Datum for all sites changed to ETRS89, March 2014.)
Also available is a 3d file of the cave survey lines with a partial area surface overlay (resolution of 100m). This is definitely better viewed in stereo mode with Loch. (Last update: 29/4/2020)

Files for use around Matienzo with OruxMaps on a Google Android device, eg a smart phone or tablet with GPS, can be downloaded here. These files contain maps, satellite photos, cave entrances and cave centre lines which move around on screen as the user walks the hillsides. (Latest update: 21/2/2024.)

Documents 1: Reports, Papers and Presentations. Annual exploration feedback reports to the Spanish permit authorities and papers, presentations and reports for journals, external meetings and conferences, eg Hidden Earth. (Last checked / updated: 18/2/2024)
2: A 7 volume pdfs download of all the site descriptions. (Last update: 19/2/2024)
3: A template for writing up trip reports. If access to the digital or written expedition logbook is awkward, please print and fill out this sheet for later sticking in the logbook.
4: For new expedition members, an introduction to the Matienzo Caves Expeditions and expectations. A laminated business card summarising these expectations is available in Matienzo. A next-of-kin form, required for every caver.
5: Surveying. A small library of help documents for Matienzo cave surveyors.
6: Cave entrances - using GPS in the Matienzo Caves Project permit area from 2014.
7: Entrance coordinates accuracy, as reported on site descriptions.
8: Planning meetings agendas & minutes. Available on the Matienzo Caves Project & Minutes page.
9: Miscellaneous documents, including information about surrounding areas.

Aerial photos & videos

These aerial 360° panoramic photos and aerial videos have been filmed using a small drone. The aim is to provide clear views of hillsides allowing features to be compared with maps and, perhaps, spot unexamined sites of speleological interest. Suggestions for more hillside inspections are welcome.
(Latest review: 18th January 2024 - photos & videos from summer 2022)