> Wowo system topography <
an activity at the frontier of sport and science.
> Caving consist in discovering, exploring and surveying the underground world.
For the cavers, Papua New Guinea is one of the most interesting countries because there, exploration is at its best. The caves are exceptionally big and beautiful. To progress along the powerful underground rivers is hard and dangerous.
> It is a real challenge to be able to explore them !
These underground cave systems are hidden under the surface of far away and difficult of access mountains, covered by one of the remaining cloud forests. Such an expedition requires a complex logistic; it is necessary to set up a base camp, then advanced camps in the middle of the forest; tons of equipment and food have to be transported. Once the last city is left, autonomy is compulsory. Underground, the teams’ involvement is real because we are far away from civilization, and the cavers can count only on them..
> The results of this type of expedition are rich for the knowledge of our planet’s extreme territories. They also contribute to its protection.
JANUARY - FEBRUARY - MARCH 2012 <
Our motivations: to discover unknown underground passages, to have the rare privilege to be the first humans to walk e.through them, to follow the water secrets passages from the mountains’ top to the resurgences, located at the bottom of narrow canyons. The objectives of the Wowo expedition will be to reveal a major underground network and so to understand better the hydrology of the Matali catchment. We are also very likely to discover Papua New Guinea’s second 1000 meters deep cave.
> A BRIEF HISTORICAL ACCOUNT :
In 1980, a team reached for the first time the Matali area. They discovered two important caves: Bikbik Vuvu (- 414 m, 2.6 km) and Liklik Vuvu (- 293 m, 6.8 km).
In 2010, thirty years later, we came back to resume the explorations; after two dives, we succeeded in connecting the two caves. Downstream, two siphons were dived, enabling to explore three kilometres of galleries. A climb enabled to follow the strong draft and explore an upper level of gallery until the base of a 73 m shaft which will be climbed during the next expedition.
Now, the underground system is 13.6 km long and 539 m deep.
Other caves have also been discovered in the area, like Maare which develops 3 km and reaches the depth of 340m.
> Wowo System:
The Bikbik Vuvu sinkhole is one of the most important known in the world. Its vast entrance has a diameter of around 150 m and is 140 m deep. In 1980, the explorations stopped on a sump cluttered with big tree trunks, proof of the violent wet season floods. During the rainy season, the highest flow rate of the river has been estimated at 100 m3/s.
Liklik Vuvu entrance is not so impressive, but the underground network is more complex. The cave develops 6.8 km of galleries; in some part, they are beautifully decorated. One of its siphons needs to be dived.
> Expédition 2012
- Nous espérons poursuivre le collecteur vers l'aval le plus loin possible jusqu'à sortir à la résurgence avec un peu de chance !
Ces explorations se font après le passage de 2 siphons à plus de 400 mètres de profondeur dans le gouffre.
- Nous allons poursuivre les escalades vers l'amont à la poursuite du courant d'air.
- Nous allons atteindre la résurgence perchées dans les gorges de la Matali et tenter de remonter le réseau et la rivière souterraine par cette entrée inférieure.
- Nous allons prospecter les hauts du massifs pour trouver des entrées supérieures.