The expedition is planned for July 2021.
Kozu-Baghlan is a vast karst area that has never been explored by speleologists. The karst area is located isolated from civilization. This is one of the most remote karst areas.
Therefore, we invite a team of speleologists who will be able to walk a lot on difficult terrain and look for new caves.
The Kozu-Baghlan karst area and its canyons are composed of Carboniferous (C) and Devonian (D) limestones. Limestones are a monolithic massif with many tectonic faults and cracks. The length of the mountain range is over 50 km. In 2021 we plan to explore this area.
The region is located between the Fergana Valley and the Turkestan mountain range. From the point of view of geologists, it belongs to the tectonic system of the Southern Tien-Shan. This area is in a sharply continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Despite the fact that this area is surrounded by a desert landscape, it is a large accumulator of moisture in the autumn, winter and spring periods. There are large karst springs that drain at the foot of the mountain range and form several oases. These springs have an almost constant flow rate in winter and summer. The flow rate of the springs reaches 30-40 liters per second.
A classic karst landscape can be seen on the northern slopes of the mountain range. During a reconnaissance expedition in 2017, local residents told cavers about narrow entrances, behind which large underground galleries and halls continue. Due to lack of time, we were unable to conduct research on these entrances, leaving them for future expeditions. In the gorges and on the plateau of the massif, there are many signs of karst in the form of grottoes, niches, arches and other karst forms. In 2017, cavers explored only a small karst area in the Madigen oasis area.
An important geological feature is that this karst region is located along the zone of influence of the South Fergana hydrothermomineral belt. Therefore, caves of hydrothermal karst must form in its limestone strata. Some of the most beautiful caves in Kyrgyzstan are confined to the hydrothermal belt. But geologists say classic caves can form here.
The karst region occupies the area of low and medium mountain climatic zones. The southern and northern slopes of the ridge are a classic karst landscape. In 1975, geologists discovered several dolines in the eastern part of the limestone ridge. The diameter of the karst funnels is about 20-30 m, the depth is up to 1-2 m. Some funnels (dolines) end in narrow ponoras in which precipitation waters disappear in spring.
This karst area is completely unexplored. It has never been examined by cavers. Three caves were found here in 1975. In 2017, small caves up to 100 m were found.Local residents can show several entrances, from where, according to them, a stream of warm air is felt.
On the vertical walls of the canyon, several promising holes are visible, confined to tectonic faults. For their research, you must have special training and equipment. Some of the easily accessible entries are small in diameter, requiring special methods and tools to expand them.
The climatic conditions are not very contrasting here. In summer, the average daily air temperature is + 30, +35 degrees. Winter is warm with an air temperature of + 10, +15 degrees.
The Madigen and Kozu-Baghlan canyons
For the first time, the canyons were discovered by speleologists in 2017 and 2020. They are confined to Carboniferous limestones (C), along tectonic faults. The vertical walls of the canyons reach a height of about 300-350 m. In some places the width of the canyons barely reaches 1 m wide. Therefore, the narrow width of the canyons does not allow visually seeing the entrances on the high vertical walls of the canyons.
Rivers flow in the canyons all year round, their sources are karst springs that drain the northern slopes of the Takta-Boz massif. In summer, the canyon bed fills with water, which creates excellent conditions for canyoning. In order to walk the entire length of the canyon, you will need several pieces of rope, from 5 to 20 m. Therefore, several vertical ledges and flooded places make the canyon difficult to pass, especially in spring.
In 2017, during a reconnaissance expedition, a huge entrance was discovered on the western vertical wall of the canyon, which was named “Soaring”. The entrance is confined to a vertical fault that cuts through the entire limestone massif, from the plateau to the foot. The thickness of the limestone layer above the entrance is about 150 m. The height of the wall between the entrance and the bottom of the canyon is about 150-200 m. Thus, in order to get to the entrance, you will need special equipment and a team of professionals. In our opinion, a rather large cave system should develop behind the promising entrance.
In the summer months, the air temperature reaches 35-40 degrees. Where karst springs drain, there are small oases that are the only water sources in the surrounding rocky desert. In 2020, our Foundation received all the necessary permits from the State Environmental Protection Agency, as well as support from local authorities for conducting research expeditions. In this regard, speleological research is planned in 2021.
All interested cavers can take part in the expedition. The most optimal option in terms of logistics and cost, the team should be at least 8-10 people. The most effective period for expeditions and exploration of new caves is two weeks in July.
Targets and goals
- Exploring known among locals caves
- Search and exploration of new caves
- The study of entrances at hard-to-reach walls of canyons.
- Search and research of sinkholes on the plateau.
- Geological exploration
- Hydrogeological studies
- Speleo-biological studies
Expedition route, location of the karst region