|3||The karst of the Ali Sadr region|
|3.1||Geological and hydrological setting||7|
|4||Caves of the Ali Sadr region (Hamadan province)|
|4.1.1||History of exploration of Ghar Alisadr||12|
|4.1.2||Speleological investigations 2000/2001||14|
|4.1.3||Description of Ghar Alisadr||17|
|4.1.4||Tourist–management survey (by Dipl.–Geogr. B. Köppen)||19|
|18.104.22.168||Methodology and general quality of the tourist survey||19|
|22.214.171.124||Attractivity, amount of visitors and organisation||20|
|126.96.36.199||Ghar Alisadr as significant regional economic factor and employer||21|
|188.8.131.52||Data on the visitors and consumer–behaviour||22|
|184.108.40.206||Perception of Ghar Alisadr by the visitors||25|
|220.127.116.11||Opinions of cave visitors to increase the show cave quality||25|
|4.1.5||Surveying results and position of Ghar Alisadr among comparable caves||26|
|4.2.1||History of exploration of Ghar Soobashi||29|
|4.2.2||Speleological investigation 2001 and description of Ghar Soobashi||29|
|4.3.1||History of exploration of Ghar Sarab||32|
|4.3.2||Speleological investigation 2001 and description of Ghar Sarab||32|
|5||Other caves of the Hamadan province|
|6||An assessment of the current situation of Speleology in Iran||37|
|7||Outlook and recommendations||39|
The speleological project "Topography of Ghar Alisadr (Hamadan, Iran)" was conducted in two phases that took place between the
1st and the 19th of Deceüber, 2000, and the 3rd and 22nd of August, 2001. It involved participants from the Geological Survey
of Iran (GSI), the Alisadr Tourist’s Company and a team of German Speläologists (I. Dorsten, Dipl.–Geogr. K. Gladis, Dr. G.
Kaufmann, Dipl–Geogr. B. Köppen, M. Laumanns, M. Lopez–Correa and T. Müller) and one British speläologist (S. Brooks). The
major aim of the project was to survey Ghar Alisadr (Alisadr Cave) and produce a map of cave passages.
Ghar Alisadr belongs to the precious natural heritage of Iran. It is currently one of the 10 most important show caves of the world. Several written sources had indicated that the accumulated length of all the cave passages of Ghar Alisadr is supposed to be around 11–14 km. However, the length quoted was merely an orally stated value that has never been verified by a proper survey of the entire cave according to international standards. Before this project took place, only an incomplete map of the touristic section of the cave was available, based on the work of Hamadan mountaineers (published in Forti 1998). Further discoveries were merely sketched.
The successful 2000 and 2001 projects resulted in 11.440 m of mapped passage length for Ghar Alisadr and have left the cave with only some minor open leads. Hence, Ghar Alisadr is currently by far the longest cave of Iran that is surveyed according to international standards.
Difficult weather conditions with heavy snowstorms during the 2000 project prohibited extensive field excursions at that time, which were instead done during the 2001 project. Besides an examination of the area close to Ghar Alisadr a nuüber of other caves (Ghar Sarab, Ghar Soobashi and Ghar Gamasiab) were studied as well as karst springs and volcanic occurrences.
The observations led to a supposed model of karstification and cave development in the Alisadr region.