The international expedition to one of the deepest caves in the world, Sarma, was launched with the support of the RGS in Abkhazia. The project involves 12 explorers of caves from Russia and Lithuania. Their goal is to find the horizontal part of the cave, the so-called floor, and also to find out where the branches previously discovered lead.
Sarma Cave is located on the Arbaika mountain plateau in Abkhazia. It was discovered and first explored in the 1990s. At the moment, Sarma is the third largest in the world in depth - 1,830 meters, but its potential depth is more than 2,000 meters. Sarma is located near the Verevkin Cave, which is considered to be the deepest in the world - 2212 m. The second deepest cave in the world - Krubera (2199 m) and it is also located in Abkhazia.
"We are looking forward to news from this expedition, because our colleagues have every chance to descend deeper than two kilometers. Thus, a third cave in the world deeper than two kilometers may appear," said an explorer of caves, head of the speleoclub "Perovo" Alexei Barashkov.
According to Barashkov, there is the possibility that the Sarma Cave and the Verevkin Cave are interconnected - the Sarma Cave is located near the Verevkin Cave. “Thus, it turns out that in speleology is called a traverse - when you can go into one side and exit on the other”, Aleksey Barashkov explained. “This will be a unique case. And most likely, a grander traverse will not be found in the world for a long time”.
The expedition began in the winter not by chance - in the cold season there are no floods and parts of the cave are not flooded. But now there is a lot of snow in the mountains, and explorers of caves will have to dig up the entrance for a long time.
Let us recall that thanks to the RGS grant, the electronic Atlas of the Caves was created. It includes data of Russia, the CIS countries and neighboring countries.