Georgian Underwater Reconnaissance Expedition Finds Potential
Two new potential cave systems were found and partially explored during a joint Georgian-Lithuanian reconnaissance expedition to central Georgia in September 2013.
Led by Ph.D. Kukuri Tsikarishvili (GE), the team — Tamaz Qobulashvili (GE), Amiran Jamrishvili (GE), Igor Pichkhaia (GE), as well as cave divers: Ph.D. Vytis Vilkas (LT) and Donatas Zvicevičius (LT) — investigated 20 potential karstic springs and cave siphons in Georgia’s Semergelo, Imereti and Racha karstic regions.
During exploration of Sakharbedio4 cave on September 19th, divers were able to venture 100 meters into the system, reaching a depth of 30 meters (98 feet), before turning around. With visibility of 10-15 meters (33-49 feet), the gallery appeared to continue.
The next day, on September 20th 2013, the team had more success with a visit to Tshaltubo cave.
Following an unexplored sump in the cave, divers resurfaced 50 meters (164 feet) later in a new virgin gallery. It was explored for 70 meters (239 feet) and continues further. Temperature of the water during the 5 meter (16 feet) deep siphon was 15°C (59°F) and the visibility was 1 metre (3 feet).
Further exploration of potential cave systems in the Central Georgia is planned in 2014.
[via Aidas Gudaitis]