中文English
current position:Home > NewsThe Union Internation…

The Union Internationale de Spéléologie confirms the world class value of the cave chambers in Leye-

Sources:    Time:2018-10-12

During October 4th and 15th, 2018, cooperating with the Institute of Karst Geology of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, the honorary president of Union Internationale de Spéléologie (UIS), Andy Eavis, coordinated an expedition team to have 3D scanning of the Hong Kong Haiting chamber, which was discovered in 2017 in Leye-Fengshan Global Geopark P.R.China, and confirmed that its volume is 3.53 million cubic meters, ranking the 10th largest chamber in the world; Its floor area is 77600 square meters, ranking the third largest one in the world. At the requirement of the Leye-fengshan geopark Management Committee, the expedition team re-scanned with the high-precision of the Maoqi Dong chamber, and it displayed that its volume is 6.77 million cubic meters, ranking the third largest chamber in the world. The height from the underground river to the roof of Maoqi Dong chamber is 450 meters, which is the highest in the world. According to the previous scanning data, the Maoqidong chamber, the Hongmeigui Chamber, the Hong Kong Haiting Chamber, the Mawangdong Chamber, the Marco Polo Chamber, and the Chuanlongyan Chamber in Leye-Fengshang Geopark have a volume of more than 1 million cubic meters respectively. Among the world's top ten cave chambers, three of them are situated in Leye-Fengshan Geopark, including the Maodidong Chamber, the Hongmeigui Chamber, the Hong Kong Haiting Chamber; Hongmeigui Chamber has a volume of 5.25 million cubic meters.

Hong Kong Haiting Chamber is located in Haiting Village, Pingle Yaozu Township, Fengshan County, southeast of Leye-Fengshan Geopark. It was discovered by the Hong Kong Cave Expedition team in July 2017, so it is named as Hong Kong Haiting Chamber. The chamber is formed in the peak cluster depression, under a Tiankeng, the Tiankeng is 100×200 meters in diameter and the maximum depth is 118 meters. At the bottom of the Tiankeng there is a virgin forest.

Last year, Leye-Fengshan UNESCO Global Geopark reported this discovery to the large cave committee of the Union Internationale de Spéléologie. The committee paid great interested in to it. The president Andy Eavis personally led a team to the site to check it. There are nine members in this group, including Professor Peter Smart from Bristol University, UK.

The experts used the single rope technique to descend to the bottom of Tiankeng. They found that the bottom of the Tiankeng slopes toward the southeast to form a huge cave with a depth of 400 meters and a height difference is 110 meters. One side of the cave bottom is a collapse block, while the other side is a well preserved stalactite landscape. They also found through a 3D scanning that there is a aven with 60 meters in diameter, extending 150 meters high. The roof of the aven is only 15 meters to the surface. This cave chamber, which is closely connected with Tiankeng, provides a lot of vivid evolutionary evidences. The cave collapsed and exposed to the surface, and formed great doline (Tiankeng), which also leads to the release of rock stress, forming strata deformation, curved joints and cracks around cave walls wall of the chamber, as well as a large number of new and old collapsed blocks. There is a shalft at the bottom of the chamber linking with the underground river, which is the result of the tectonic uplift of the regional structure.

How is such a large cave formed?These huge caves are natural ones and are the result of long-term dissolution and transportation by underground rivers; Later, due to the crustal uplift, most of the collapsed rocks were eroded and transportated by the underground stream and some left piled up at the bottom of the chamber. Zhang Yuanhai, an expert from the Institute of Karst Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, explained, Tiankeng is a very mature landform that underground river cave develops. It forms a cave chamber underground, and then collapses to expose to the surface, usually as a Tiankeng.

The formation of all caves is not a one-step process. They basically have a history of more than 2 million years.Zhang Yuanhai said,“These caves are important evidences to study the evolution of the earth, an important media to study the evolution of karst landforms, a valuable resource for tourism exploitation and geoscience education, and a paradise for explorers and brave people.

 

                                                 A corner of Hong Kong Haiting Chamber


                                                            Experts show 3D scan results to Geopark leader


                        3D scanning results show


                                           
Expert team uses advanced equipment to carry out cave 3D scanning

Expert is going to the bottom of the Tiankeng


Experts use the cave single rope technique to descend to the bottom of the Tiankeng for inspection