Earth Sciences
Caverns of the World
Gebihe Cave System
Ziyun Getu He Chuandong National Park
, China
'Supercave' In China Takes Title As World's Largest Cavern, And The Photo Is Pretty Unreal

The Huffington Post    | By  Jacqueline Howard  
 Posted:  09/29/2014 2:08 pm EDT    Updated:  09/30/2014 10:59 am EDT

It's hidden beneath rolling hills, can be reached only via an underground stream, and now it has been named the world's biggest cave chamber: meet Miao Room.

A photographer’s lights illuminate the green-hued Getu He river in the Miao Room -- now ?considered the world’s largest cave chamber by volume. The Miao Room volume measurement exceeds Sarawak Chamber in Malaysia, the past title-holder, by about 10 percent. Credit: © Carsten Peter/National Geographic News

Photo Credit: National Geographic

Yes, a new measurement of China's vast Miao Room cavern shows that the cave chamber encompasses some 380.7 million cubic feet (10.78 million cubic meters). That beats out the past title-holder, Sarawak Chamber in Malaysia. However, the Malaysian cave chamber is still the world's largest by surface area (around 1.66 million square feet).

"To me this is like discovering that K2 is larger than Everest," Tim Allen, an expedition co-leader who studied the Chinese cave, told National Geographic. He was referring to K2, the Himalayan peak that is taller than all other mountains on Earth except Everest.

Beneath southern China’s landscape of cone-shaped peaks, arches, and spires, researchers have discovered some of the world's largest underground chambers. In 2013 a British-led expedition used a laser scanner to measure several cave systems in unprecedented detail, including Gebihe, whose Miao Room (modeled here from the original laser data), with a maximum height of 627 feet. Click on the photo above for a closer look at the map. Art Credit: Stefan Fichtel, Ixtract Gmbh. Scan Data Preparation: Joe Beeching

The Miao Room chamber, which is found within the Gebihe cave system at China's Ziyun Getu He Chuandong National Park, was first mapped with laser scanning surveys in 2013, National Geographic reported. Then researchers reprocessed those scans with help from scientists at the University of Lancaster in the U.K. to determine the volume and size of the Miao Room.

The measurements were announced at the Hidden Earth 2014 national caving conference, held in England from September 26-28.

More photos of China's supercaves are available on National Geographic Magazine
SOURCE: 'Supercave' In China Takes Title As World's Largest Cavern, And The Photo Is Pretty Unreal

A schematic representation of the Miao Room within the Gebihe cave system - Wikipedia

Miao Room

Miao Room is the largest known cave chamber by volume in the world. It is a part of the Gebihe cave system, which is located in Ziyun Getu He National Park, in Ziyun county of the Chinese province of Guizhou. The chamber, discovered by a French expedition called Gebihe'89 in 1989, measures 852 metres (2,795 ft) in length, 191 metres (627 ft) in width, has an area of 154,500 square metres (1,663,000 sq ft) and a volume of 10,780,000 cubic metres (381,000,000 cu ft). In 2013 members of a British led expedition measured the chamber using 3-D laser scanners.

Geology and formation

For more than 600 million years the area, in which the Gebihe cave system is located, was covered by sea and during this time it accumulated miles-thick layers of sediments, including limestone. The uplift of the area and then the erosion of the limestone layer created today's massive cavern system.

The system spreads out in limestones and dolomite of Carboniferous and Permian age. Old cave levels have been cut by erosion and follow the base level lowering caused by Tertiary uplift.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

The cave known as the “Miao Room” has been the most talked about supercave online this year. What classifies it as a supercave you may ask? Well, to put it into perspective, the cave chamber is nine times the size of Houston’s astrodome. - Source

The Colossal Er Wang Dong Cave System

Seems every time someone says that they find a bigger one. Seems there is a little confusion on the net between Son Doong Cave in Vietnam and Er Wang Dong Cave in Chongquing province of China

In fact some images look the same?

Er Wang Dong
The cave so huge it has its own weather system: Explorers discover a lost world with thick cloud and fogs trapped inside. The cave system was discovered in the Chongquing province of China by a team of cavers and photographers. Caver Robbie Shone, from Manchester, said a few of the caves had previously been used by nitrate miners but had not been properly explored. The network, which includes 'cloud Ladder Hall' measuring around 51,000 metres squared, has water sources and vegetation of the floor - By SARAH GRIFFITHS
Adventurers have stumbled across a cave so enormous that it has its own weather system, complete with wispy clouds and lingering fog inside vast caverns. A team of expert cavers and photographers have been exploring the vast cave system in the
Chongquing province of China and have taken the first-ever photographs of the natural wonder. They were amazed to discover the entrance to the hidden Er Wang Dong cave system and were stunned when they managed to climb inside to see a space so large that it can contain a cloud.

The view from a small window in the wall of the vast Niubizi Tian Keng in the Er Wang Dong cave system, where clouds form inside the huge spaces. Three tiny explorers can be seen negotiating the heavily vegetated floor

This opening looked the same as the Son Doong cave but on closer look the trees in back are different and the depth is different 

An intrepid cave explorer ascends a rope hanging from the Niubizi Tian Keng. This photograph is one of the first-ever images taken of one of a cave so large it has its own weather system

Lots more images of both  I will post more 

SOURCE: The cave so huge it has its own weather system: Explorers discover a lost world with thick cloud and fogs trapped inside - The Daily Mail

Er Wang Dong (Chinese; literally: "Second Royal Cave") is a large cave in the Wulong Karst region, in Wulong County of Chongqing Municipality of China.

Current known length of its passages is 42,139 metres (138,251 ft) with a maximum depth of 441 m (1,447 ft). It is large enough to contain its own weather system. The cave starts in the 195 m (640 ft) deep Niubizi tiankeng ( "ox nose sinkhole") and also contains the 295 m (968 ft) deep Qingkou tiankeng.

Er Wang Dong cave has formed in Lower Ordovician limestone and is located close to another very large cave system - San Wang Dong.

Both caves were explored by Hong Meigui Cave Exploration Society. Local people make weather forecast based on the observations in Niubizi tiankeng - if there is a fog coming from the cave, rain is expected.

Er_Wang_Dong - Wikipedia

Source: Shone Photography

The clouds were so thick in places that they completely obscured the caves’ ceilings. First-ever photographs showcase the minuscule cavers navigating unbelievable caverns overgrown with lush vegetation, trees and brush in a scene that looks more like a mystical destination than it does a natural feature of the environment.

Source: Shone Photography

Source: Daily Mail

Cavers also discovered Cloud Ladder Hall, a huge cathedral-like space within the cave system that measures more than 500,000 square feet with a roof at least 250 meters high. Like some of the other large caves, Cloud Ladder Hall was full of thick fog-like clouds that reduced visibility and gave the massive space an otherworldly feel. The cave is one of the largest chambers in the entire world.

Source: Daily Mail

Source: Daily Mail

During the expedition, cavers noted dangerously high water levels on multiple occasions, especially when it rained in surrounding towns. Researchers note that eventually many of the caves will become dangerous and impassible in light of rising water levels. Nevertheless, the size and complexity of the Er Wang Dong system can’t deter the 15-person team from continuing to explore the area.

Source: Daily Mail

Source: Daily Mail
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