EuroSpeleo 2016 Sessions

Karst Landscape and Caves in China

Session code: OS2

Oral / Science, Main EuroSpeleo Conference

Prof Weihai Chen


China has approximately 3.4 million km2 of karst, including about 0.91 million km2 dominated by outcrops of carbonated rocks. The ‘South China Karst’ with Guizhou as its centre and ‘North China Karst’ with Shanxi as its centre cover the largest area. The karst landforms of China may be subdivided into humid tropical and subtropical (South China Karst); humid, semi-humid, tropical-subtropical; arid and semiarid temperate; and plateau-alpine karst landforms. To date over 100 tiankengs have been identified worldwide, of which 75 are located in China. As of 2010, there were about 100 caves in China with surveyed length exceeding 5000m, 25 caves exceeding 10km, and 400 show caves had been opened to public. The longest cave in China is the 183km-long Shuanghe Dongxuexitong in Suiyang, Guizhou. With a vertical range of 1020m, Tianxing Dongxuexitong (Qikeng) in Wulong, Chongqing is China’s deepest cave and also the deepest cave in Asia. The largest chamber in China is Miao Chamber in Gebihedong, Ziyun, Guizhou, which has floor area of 140,540m2, and volume of 10.57 million m3.


Prof. Chen Weihai is the Secretary-General of the Chinese Geological Society’s Committe on Speleology and a researcher at the Institute of Karst Geology. Prof. Chen majored in the Quaternary geology and has engaged in survey and evaluation of caves and applications for world natural heritage status for 20 years.


Zhang Yuanhai, Zhu Xuewen, Luo Qukan
Institute of Karst Geology, CAGS