SPECIAL PROJECT - RESEARCH OF KARST AND THE CAVES OF MOUNTAIN BASUN-TAU

Special project - a study of the karst and caves of the Baysun-Tau mountain range

The Baysun-Tau mountain range in Uzbekistan is the south-western spur of the Gissar Range. The length of the range is about 150 km; the maximum height is 4424 m. The range is composed of limestone, sandstone, and clay of the Mesozoic age. Most of the carbonate "pie" is composed by carbonate limestone. On the slopes of the range originates the river Ak-Darya. The lower parts of the slopes are covered with semi-desert vegetation; above, there are forests of juniper and alpine meadows.

Despite previous studies of the karst region by speleologists from different countries, the vast karst area is still poorly studied today. For the first time, English speleologists visited the area, discovering the famous Dark Star cave.

The complexity of speleological research lies in the geographical farness of the karst area, complex logistics and a significant absolute height of more than 3,500 meters above sea level, where the entrances to the caves are located.

On the mountain range are known large cave systems Boy-Bulok, Festivalnaya-Ledopadnaya (length 13 km, depth 625 m), Ural (length 2500 m, depth 565 m), Zaydman (length 1500 m, depth 506 m) and others.

The Boy-Bulok Cave is the deepest cave in Asia, formed in the limestone of the Baysun-Tau mountain range (the southern continuation of the Gissar Range in Uzbekistan), with a depth of 1415 meters, and a length of more than 14 km. The entrance is located almost at the very watershed of the range (below the ledge of the large plateau ledge). The cave is formed along a stratigraphic contact of limestone layers that are inclined to the north. The cave is complicated by shallow narrow wells and eventually ends in a siphon.

According to geological conditions, the depth of the caves in this area can reach more than 2500 m.

The Baysun-Tau Range is located in the very south of Uzbekistan. The natural conditions of the area are caused by a sharply continental climate. In the flat part, summer is very hot, dry and sunny, as you get closer to the mountains the temperature lowers. Winter is warm and short. The closest populated places are: Dinau, Sherabad, Termez. The average air temperature in July in the area of Dinau is +28 ° С, in Sherabad is +32 C. In summer, the temperature in Termez can reach + 50 ° С.

The amount of precipitation in the foothill part ranges from 500-650 mm per year, and up to 800 - 900 mm per year in the high-mountain part of the range.

This karst area became so popular in the media because of the “Dark Star” cave that was discovered here. The entrance was first discovered in 1984 by Russian geologists, but the first speleologists were the British who visited the entrance and a part of the cave in 1990. The entrance is located on the Khoja-Gur-Gur-Ata massif, which is part of the Baysun-Tau range.

The entrance to the cave is located at an absolute altitude of 3,700. The entrance height is 60 m; width is 7 m, which is located at a height of 160 m from the base of the wall. The cold walls of the cave are covered with icy crystalline forms almost throughout its length, there you can also see many frozen lakes and the air temperature goes from 2 to -5 degrees.

Many cave systems, discovered in previous expeditions, formed in limestone massifs, united in the Baysun-Tau mountain system, can be combined into complex underground labyrinths. During the exploration of the Dark Star Cave, speleologists combined several previously known caves into a single 4.5 km underground system.

But besides the Dark Star cave, the karst region of the Baysun-Tau mountain range remains mostly unexplored and very promising for new speleological discoveries.

The huge area of the Baysun-Tau range, consisting of several mountain massifs, hides the most inaccessible and deepest caves of Asia. The entrances to the caves are located on vertical stone walls that cut off the mountain plateau with an amazing five hundred meter cliff on one side and deep canyons tearing off a plateau on the other. Link for the used photos (https://mr-shor.), as well as (http://good4seasons.ru).

Our Foundation, together with our colleagues from Uzbekistan, plans to explore the limestone karst areas of the Baysun-Tau range. This requires a good and physically trained team of speleologists. The high absolute height of the area requires considerable physical effort and good organization to ensure the safety of the speleological studies.

Currently, the political situation in Uzbekistan has become very favorable for visiting, as well as the border areas of the country.

It is possible that it is in this part of the Euro-Asian continent and the whole world where speleologists will study the deepest, longest and most interesting cave system.

The caves of this region are not only of scientific interest, but also of interest from the point of view of the possibilities of being and working in extreme physiologically difficult and harsh underground conditions.

Objectives and goals:

- Search and research of caves in the Baysun-Tau mountain range.

- Biological research

Interested speleologists and scientists can contact our foundation at: info@speleo.kg

View the location of the area in GoogleEarth