Dong Nai province found to have SE Asia"s longest lava cave

27/05/2013
In February 2013, scientists from the Institute of Tropical Biology under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and Berlin Cave Association of the Federal Republic of German conducted a survey on the group of lava caves in Tan Phu area, the southern province of Dong Nai, along Highway 20 from the Central Highlands of Da Lat city.
 

In the past, these caves were described by many authors, including zoologist Louis Deharveng during the survey conducted by the Institute of Tropical Biology and Paris Natural Museum, 1955. These caves were formed by the lava stream which flowed from small conical-hat-figure volcanoes in the districts of Phu Tan, Phu Loc and Dinh Quan, Dong Nai province. This process created outstanding tubular cave sections near the surface, which were only found when cave mouth collapsed.

 


The largest area of the Bat cave

 
The longest discovered cave is the “Bat Cave Km 122” separated by a collapse fault, creating two caves known as “Bat Cave 1” and “Bat Cave 2”. In Bat Cave, there are several sections branching off and reconnecting, as well as entrances. The largest area of Bat Cave is up to 4 metres in height and 10 metres in width.
 
In the Bat Cave 1, the longest, continuous and non-fault section is 426 metres in length, called “Bat Cave Km 122”. If this cave were complete (including collapsed section), it would have total length of 534 metres, and it has been considered the longest lava cave in Southeast Asia at present (previously, the longest lava duct in Southeast Asia was Gua Lawah in Indonesia, which is 400 metres in length.)
 
In several lava caves in Tan Phu, there are diverse cave life forms. Thousands of bats live in several caves. There are other animals such as spiders, centipedes, scorpions, flies and mammals such as weasels; along with amphibians in several wet and water containing caves.
 

The longest discovered cave is the “Bat Cave Km 122” separated by a collapse fault, creating two caves known as “Bat Cave 1” and “Bat Cave 2”. In Bat Cave, there are several sections branching off and reconnecting, as well as entrances. The largest area of Bat Cave is up to 4 metres in height and 10 metres in width.

 

In the Bat Cave 1, the longest, continuous and non-fault section is 426 metres in length, called “Bat Cave Km 122”. If this cave were complete (including collapsed section), it would have total length of 534 metres, and it has been considered the longest lava cave in Southeast Asia at present (previously, the longest lava duct in Southeast Asia was Gua Lawah in Indonesia, which is 400 metres in length.)

 

In several lava caves in Tan Phu, there are diverse cave life forms. Thousands of bats live in several caves. There are other animals such as spiders, centipedes, scorpions, flies and mammals such as weasels; along with amphibians in several wet and water containing caves.

 


Rat species, can be cf. Hipposideros Pomona species

 


Images of several animals in Bat Cave

 

The discovery is expected to be published in a full report in English, including maps and descriptions of the caves, in the speleological Berlin Speleoclub (http://www.speleo-berlin.de/en_publikationen.php)

 

Translated by Tuyet Nhung

 

Link to Vietnamese Version



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