UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
P. Audra, S. E. Lauritzen and P. Rochette
  PDF: /pdf/seka_pdf9528.pdf

Abstract: Muruk is the deepest cave in the Southern Hemisphere (1178 m of depth). It gives an access to go through the Nakanai Mountains and across large galleries, sometimes more than 50 m wide. Considering the important rainfall, the very active uplifting and the presence of a rainforest, Papua can be regarded as a hyperkarst, with large morphological forms evolving very quickly. U/Th and paleomagnetic dating on cave sediments confirm this point of view, assigning a very recent age to this cave system (100 to 200 kyr). Muruk is a model of juvenile systems with a regularly inclined profile and with a monophase evolution excluding any old perched level, unlike usual cave systems. These characteristics are essential for understanding notonly the first speleogenetic phases, but also the more evolved systems found throughout the world