THREE NEW CAVES DISCOVERED IN OMAN

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MUSCAT –

A group of speleologists has discovered three new caves in North Sharqiyah and Dakhliyah, adding to the number of new caves discovered in the recent past.

Oman is home to a massive network of caves and underground passageways filled with limestone carvings making the sultanate one of the most sought-after destinations for spelunkers and speleologists. The new finds by the Speleological Team of Oman adds to the growing list of recent discoveries.

Speaking to Muscat Daily, Dr Mohammed al Kindi, a geologist and one of the team members said, “It took three days to reach the caves. The first cave Khashl al Shia is located in Al Shia village in the wilayat of Dima Wa al Taien in North Sharqiyah. It is more than 175m deep. Explorers must exercise caution before entering it. It runs deep in the mountain passing through narrow paths. People will have difficulty in breathing due to high humidity and carbon dioxide levels.”

The second one which the team discovered is Al Quyut Cave located near Qayut village at Jebel Akhdar in Nizwa, Dakhliyah. “It is located at an altitude of about 1,450m. It is more than 30m deep and has beautiful cave deposits. We surveyed the main cave rooms using a 3D scanner.”

The third cave is located near Tawi Aqaba village in the wilayat of Al Hamra, Dakhliyah. “It has several entrances and narrow passages. The cave is more than 70m deep. It has ponds and many beautiful cave formations. However, access to the ponds is difficult,” Dr Kindi said.

Talking about the team’s goals, he said, it aims to explore caves and document them. “We used geological maps to discover these caves. Our teams calculate the age of cave deposits and the level of water in some of the ponds. The whole process is scientific.”

About future, Dr Kindi said, “We hope to publish a book on our research work in cooperation with the Geological Society of Oman. These caves can be marketed among adventure tourists. Cave tourism is a big industry in many parts of the world. Adventurers love to explore such caves.”

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