UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis

A beautiful movie has been published on the http://iyck2021.org/ website, dedicated to the International Year of Caves and Karst:

It tells the narrative about caves and the ways they come to being. There are several very important environmental roles that caves play in the earth ecosystems. For example, 13% of all groundwater is stored in karst areas. There it forms a vast network of underground landscapes, extensive cave systems. Whet it reaches the surface it forms springs. 700 million people worldwide use this water on their daily bases. Even some large cities are sourced by underground water. For example, Rome, Vienna, Damascus.

It is very important to protect these landscapes because they are threatened with destruction and poisoning. We do this because our ignorance. We just don't see what is lying beneath our feet. Cavers and cave and karst scientists are those who brings the knowledge about the caves to other people. The do it in spite of the fact that very often caves present significant risks and dangers to their researchers. They are full of deep abysses, bottlenecks, huge halls, underwater passages, crashes. These systems can extend to hundreds of kilometres and the deepest of them are more than 2000 meter deep.

More than 90 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and more than 70 Global Geoparks are in cave and karst areas. Every year hundreds of millions of people visit the world show caves.

While conducting research underground cavers measure various cave parameters and take samples. Tens of thousands of kilometres of underground passages has been discovered, documented and mapped so far. The methods of study include for example dye tests to track the course of the water.

One of the valuable resources' caves store the significant amounts of climate data. Also, in the cave sediments the traces of ancient life can be found.

With the ascent of man or ancestors were using caves extensively as shelter. In many caves there are paintings on the walls that date back as far as forty-four thousand years.

Surprisingly, caves contain a variety of diverse and rare underground life, highly specialized to living in dark, cold and wet conditions. These animals are called troglobionts. One of the most important animals are bats. They alone help to produce more 450 products in food, medicine and industry.

Coordinated by the International Union of Speleology, thousands of cavers worldwide will promote understanding and protection of caves and karst with events around the world.

Everybody is invited to join and learn more about the fascinating world of caves and karst!

Fore more information visit http://iyck2021.org/