Journal Article

"Al Hoota", ein karst- und hohlenkundlisches Forschungs- und Tourismusprojekt im Sultanat Oman

Kollmann, H., Sattmann, H. and Seeman, R.

Record Number:
3389
Year:
2007
Journal:
Abhandlungen der Geologischen Bundesanstalt
Pages:
107-113
Volume:
60
Abstract:
Al Hoota Cave – A New Touristic Landmark in Oman The Al Hoota Cave is a new touristic landmark in the arid central part of the Sultanate of Oman. The project was scientifically supervised by scientists of the Vienna Museum of Natural History from the feasibility studies to the final realization. The cave system which has a length of 5 km is located within limestones of the Late Cretaceous Natih Formation (Wasia Group). It shows a remarkable wealth of dripstone formations and subterraneous lakes. Hitherto, over 100 species of animals have been recorded in the cave and its surroundings. The cave follows mainly bedding planes and to a minor extent faults which have been formed consequently to the subduction of the oceanic crust NE of the Arabian Plate. Today, the dripstones are mostly inactive. Main phases of sinter deposition have been 5.000 to 6.000 years and 100.000 to 125.000 years ago. Prior to the opening of the cave to the public, road connections and a local infrastructure including a visitor center have been established. The distance of about 1 km between the visitor center and the cave entrance is covered by a cave train. Visitors enter the cave from a tunnel of 130 m length over a climate control sluice. The visitor circuit has a length of 820 m and touches only 7 % of the total length of the cave. For the construction phase and the operation of the cave various protection measures have been imposed. They include among others the seismic surveillance and the protection against dust during the construction of the tunnel and entrance, a minimization of water pollution and the limitation of light intensity and the restriction of lighting intervals. The natural entrances were secured with fences to prevent unauthorized access but secure an undisturbed passage for bats.
Times Cited:
1
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