Ritsumeikan University Exploration Society, last summer carried out a greatly cherished investigation of caverns in China.
The investigation included a variety of carverns but focused mainly on the deeper and greater ones.

Under a mammoth karst terrain lies many yet to be explored caverns, which is 4 times wider than Japanese Archipelagos.
The reason is because the study of vertical carverns was still primitive until today, but on the other hand investigation of horizontal caverns has done quite well. Nowadays there are expedition groups from all over the world exploring there.
Through this expeditionary investigation we can contribute geographically to China.

The following is a newspaper report of The Sankei issued on Oct. 7, 1999 and are some parts of pictures photographed during this expedition.

These pictures, stalagmites and stalactites, made the world first debut on this home page.

Captain: Ryouji YAMADA & Photographer: Hajime KUBOTA

Our Expedition Area

Guangxi Zhuangtze Zizhiqu is a western state of the Southern Funan region of China with Vietnam to the west and the Gulf of Tonkin
to the south. The area is a basin with many rivers surrounded by mountains.

The Zhangtze tribe lives in a small plains and basins in the central part of the state. Several other minority races such as the Myao and the Tong also live here. There are 8 big cities including Nanning (the capital city), Jilin and Bose.

Water resources are abundant here. The largest river is the Pearl River which is also known as the Haoshui River in the upper reaches.
Strata of limestone are widespread totaling half the area.

Above all, a limestone table called Jilin and Yangshou is famous for it's many eccentric rocks and peaks. The scenery has born famous landscape paintings.

The vertical carvern "Dashiwei", our attack point of this expedition lies on the southern side of the Haoshui River.
Dashiwei located 1 hour 10 minutes by car from Boso City. It is 400 ft above sea level. The low is an estimated 130ft. The entrance is huge covering a span of about 100ft x 150ft width. It is encircled by a steep mountainous terrain and many beautiful trees.


Joint Survey By Ritsumeikan University Expedition Society & Chinese Institute Of Karst Geology


Amonk a cluster of caves located in the Zhuangtze Self-Governed Province located in the southern province of China, the existence of one of the world largest scale caverns was confirmed jointly by the explorers of Ritsumeikan University Exploration Society and Chinese Jilin Institute of Karst Geology.
"The entrance area of this giant cave discovered is 5 times larger than Koshien Diamond and 7th largest scale of funnel types."
In terms of "funnel type cave" which tends to develop vertically, the cave is judged to be 7th largest in terms of scale measurement. However, on the basis of measurement at this stage, the scale of its side cave is not included and therefore could be larger. The structure of the underground water channels so far unexplored is now clear and its active utilization for water-power generation and by the industry is expected.

The survey of the caverns took place from the last ten days of August to the second ten days of September and was carried out by 6 members from Ritsumeikan USE and  specialists from Chinese JIKG, or in a total of 10 members. The survey was focused on caves and underground water channels.

The large scale cave acknowledged this time is called Dashiwei there and in the shape known as a funnel type. The chamber of its entrance stretches about 500m at maximum having a breath of 190'000, and being about 5 times as large as Koshien Baseball Ground(approx.39'600屐. The shaft of the caves has reached the depth of approximately 400m under the ground.
According to an estimation made by China, a funnel type cave discovered this time comes to 7th place in the world on terms of measurement scale, next to No.6 cave located in the basin of Yangtse-Kian river. Nobody has ever explored the cave by going down to this bottom. Thus the cave in question has never surveyed nobody to date.
Members of Ritsumeikan UES joined the survey this time because of their experience and techniques in survey recognized by Chinese party concerned.
Inside the cave explored, many kinds of wild birds were flying and many plants were growing . At the cave being explored, the fact that no electricity is available in addition to the setting-in of the rainy season made the progress of the joint survey team difficult. However, the survey team has surveyed for the first time existence of four side caves and also, the large-scale underground vein running at the lower level of the cave ground. The joint survey team also confirmed that the large scale underground water vein is a tributary which will join Hungshui River.

Large Scale Underground Vein, Its Active Industrial Use Expected

At present, electricity and gas supply facilities have not yet been made available to colonies in this area. However, the construction of a dam is now in progress. By the survey carried out this time, the flow direction of underground water stratum and its volume were estimated almost to satisfactory extent. In addition, its utilization for paddy fields is also said to be possible.(The Sankei issued on Oct. 7th, 1999)

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