Croatian Speleologists Discover a Cave System Longer Than 52km Below Velebit

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Copyright Romulić and Stojčić
Croatian speleologists discover a cave system below Velebit / On the photo: Cerovačke špilje
Croatian speleologists discover a cave system below Velebit / On the photo: Cerovačke špilje

November 10, 2020 – The speleological department of the Croatian Mountaineering Association Željezničar from Zagreb reported that in speleological research of the Crnopac underground on the southern Velebit, the connection between the Crnopac cave system and the Muda Labudova Pit was found. With this discovery, the length of the Crnopac canal exceeded 52 kilometers and 236 meters.

As the Croatian Mountaineering Association reported, until this weekend, the Crnopac cave system, located in the area of southern Velebit near Gračac, was 43 kilometers and 570 meters long. By merging with the Muda Labudova pit, it grew to 52 kilometers and 236 meters.

In this weekend’s action, a team of speleological department members, Nikola Hanžek, Stipe Maleš, Tomislav Kurečić, and Sara Anđela Perić, with their colleague Dino Grozić from the Estavela Speleological Association connected the Crnopac cave system with the Muda Labudova pit through the entrance named Oaza. The team burst into the Pi canal in Muda through the Pisoar canal.

“This is one of the greatest successes of Croatian speleology. Because of its length, the system has moved from 89th to 68th place in the world and that’s a big deal. This is just proof of the dedicated work of Croatian speleologists, who are at the top of the world in terms of systematic research. This system has been under investigation for the last 16 years, since Kita Gaćešina, the largest cave system in the Dinaric Karst, was discovered. Now there are a total of four entrances,” said Damir Janton, head of the Commission for Speleology of the Croatian Mountaineering Association for 24sata.

By the way, by merging the Oaza with the Kita Gaćešina cave system (or Draženova puhaljka, how it is also called), speleologists recently decided to change its name, so the longest Croatian speleological system is named after the mountain under which it is located – the Crnopac Cave System (Jamski Sustav Crnopac – JSC).

“It is easier to remember that name, it is more recognizable and shorter. The system has three entrances (Kita Gaćešina, Draženova puhaljka, and Oaza), and the name changed because its dimensions expanded significantly over the ridge of Kita Gaćešina further below Bijeli kuk and the plateau below the ridge of the top of Crnopac,” speleologists wrote before the historical discovery in Croatian miraculous underground.

This is another in a series of exceptional successes of Croatian speleologists organized in the Croatian Mountaineering Association. The research is carried out within the project “Speleological research of Croatian karst” of the CMA Speleology Commission.

Therefore, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Croatian Mountaineering Association “Željezničar”, despite all the global adversities, was marked in the best possible way!


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