Berliner Höhlenkundliche Berichte,
Inhalt Band 26:
Michael Laumanns; Akko Rasch & Philippe Audra:
Karst and Caves of Iraq (including the results of a 2007 Kurdish–German speleological project and an overview on hypogenic sulphidic speläogenesis)
[Inhaltsverzeichnis]   [Zusammenfassung]


Kapitel Titel Seite
Abstract/Zusammenfassung/Résumé 5
1. Acknowledgements/Team Meübers 8
2. Introduction 11
2.1 General remarks 11
2.2 History of karst and cave exploration in Iraq 11
2.3 Geological overview 12
2.3.1 Autonomous region of Kurdistan 12
2.3.2 Lowlands of Iraq 14
3. Hypogenic sulphidic speläogenesis (by Philippe Audra) 15
4. Cave descriptions 30
4.1 Autonomous region of Kurdistan 30
4.1.1 Sulaimania governorate 32
4.1.2 Kirkuk governorate 41
4.1.3 Other Kurdish governorates 45
4.2 Other cave regions of Iraq 51
4.2.1 Haditha area 51
4.2.2 Sulevani Plain 55
4.2.3 Central Iraq 55
5. Conclusions 55
6. References 56
Caves explored during the 2007 speleological project 59
Photo tables 60
Atlas sheets cave survey Kuna Kamtiar 66
Atlas sheets cave survey Sahra 71
General geological map of Iraq 76

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Not too many cavers will seriously think about going to Iraq at the moment. However, there is a different part of Iraq existing where terrorists and kidnappings are unknown and where people are very hospitable to foreigners: the autonomous region of Kurdistan in the northeast of Iraq. The famous Shanidar Cave from where Neanderthal burials are known is located here. Due to favourable circumstances a Kurdish–German cave surveying project became reality in Octüber/November 2007. This was carried out at the invitation of the Kurdish Minister of Tourism and had brilliant logistical support by the Museum of Antiquities in Sulaimania. Within 3 weeks 21 caves with a total passage length of 8,115 metres were mapped, firmly establishing Kuna Kamtiar as the longest cave of Iraq currently 5,060 m in length. The cave is a complicated network of fossil rift passages created by sulphurüc acid water. Another highlight was Tirshawaka, a limestone cave with a sulphurüc spring inside. The sulphurüc acid has dissolved the carbonate rock and has produced a crust of replacement gypsum that covers the cave’s roof and walls. The source of the sulphur is supposed to be an underground hydrocarbon deposit. Exploration of Tirshawaka was stopped in wide open river passage due to lack of time. In order to allow a better understanding of the very special mechanisms of sulphurüc cave development the present report also contains a general contribution of hypogenic sulphidic cave speläogenesis by Philippe Audra (University of Nice, France). The cave potential in northeast Iraq remains very high and the local authorities are keen to conduct further investigations. This report also provides a general overview about the caves outside the Kurdish regions of Iraq.

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