International speleological expedition to Madygen Geopark under the auspices of UNESCO, Southern Tian-Shan, in July 2022

Expedition dates 1.07. – 14.07.2022
We invite caving clubs, associations, scientific centers and all cavers, caving biologists to take part in the speleological expedition.

  • Expedition goals:
    – Search and exploration of new caves,
    – Mapping caves,
    – Speleo-biological research

Expedition program:
Day 1. Meeting at the airport in Osh. Accommodation in a guest house. Program discussion.
Day 2. Transfer Osh – base camp in Madygen, about 230 km
Days 3 – 12 Speleological exploration: search for new caves, exploration of hard-to-reach cavities, exploration of canyons and plateaus.
Day 13. Return to Osh
Day 14. Transfer to the airport in Osh.

Project partner: Tian-Shan Geological Society

In any geopark, research should be carried out, including speleological research. The Madygen Geopark is located in the southern Tian-Shan in southwestern Kyrgyzstan. On the territory of the geopark there are karst mountain ranges in which there are caves. Fractured limestones are subject to karst processes.

We plan to focus our research on two karst areas that are compactly located in the northern foothills of the Turkestan Range. These karst areas are confined to the Kozu-Baglan and Madygen canyons. Karst mountain ranges are composed of Devonian and Carboniferous limestones.

The relief of karst regions is represented by grandiose canyons and plateaus. The depth of the canyons reaches 300-400 m. There are entrances or grottoes on the vertical walls. Some entrances are confined to tectonic faults. However, to get to these entrances you need a well-coordinated work of a good caving team.

Until now, these karst areas remain unknown to speleologists and scientists. Rare speleological studies here were carried out locally in separate areas. The locals know several caves. But the size of these caves is not known.

We want to focus our research on two canyons, Madygen and Kozu-Baglan. In 2020, we conducted a reconnaissance of these karst areas. Canyons with beautiful names Kozu-Baglan and Madygen are isolated from civilization and located 50 km from large population centers. This is one of the most remote karst regions in Kyrgyzstan. Good karst features indicate good prospects for finding new caves.

Initially, we plan to organize a base camp inside the Kozu-Baglan canyon on a small plot of land. Here we will explore the canyon and plateau.
An alternative karst area is the Madygen canyon and its Sary-Beles ridge.
These two karst areas are located 25 km apart.

To move between karst areas, we use an off-road car with 15 seats.

Therefore, we invite a team of speleologists who will be able to walk a lot on difficult terrain and look for new caves.
The region is located between the Ferghana Valley and the Turkestan mountain range. From the point of view of geologists, it belongs to the tectonic system of the Southern Tian-Shan. This area is in relatively stable tectonic conditions. It has a sharply continental climate with hot summers and warm winters.
The main sign of karst is the numerous springs that drain at the foot of the Takta-Boz mountain range (the main karst massif).
A large flow rate of permanent springs of 20-30 l/sec indicates karst processes.

During the reconnaissance expedition, the locals told us about the narrow entrances, behind which continue large underground galleries and halls. Due to the lack of an experienced team, we were unable to explore these caves.
In 1975, on the limestone plateau of the Takta Boz Range, geologists discovered several sinkholes (dolines) in the eastern part of the limestone range. The diameter of karst funnels is about 20-30 m, the depth is up to 1-2 m. Some funnels (dolines) end in narrow ponoras, in which water disappears in spring.

Climatic conditions: In summer, the average daily air temperature is + 30, +35 degrees. Winter is warm with air temperature + 10, +15 degrees.

In the Madygen canyon in 2017, during a reconnaissance expedition, a huge entrance was discovered on the western vertical wall of the canyon, which was called “Soaring”. The entrance is confined to a vertical fault that cuts through the entire limestone massif, from the plateau to its 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 m. Therefore, to get into a new cave, a team of professionals is required.

In 2020, our organization received all the necessary permits from the State Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the support of local authorities to conduct research expeditions.
All interested speleologists can take part in the expedition.

Visa: If you need visa support, you can contact us.
We will provide all the necessary equipment for the base camp. We will provide a highly passable vehicle to work in karst areas.
If your club or federation is interested in participating, then write to us by email: info@speleo.kg


 

Photos from the karst region of Kozu-Baglan and Madygen 


 

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