New cave with large pool discovered in Al Hamra

The Speleological Team of Oman surveyed yet another major addition to the Oman’s geological and natural masterpieces. The Kittat Al Suwairat Cave is located in the Wilayat of Al Hamra. The cave, as others in the area, enables scientists to study the properties of rocks and groundwater in the area, in addition to being a destination for potential tourist adventure in Oman. The cave is located about 15 km west of the Al Hota Cave, about 2 km west of the village of Hail al Shas, in the southern flanks of Jabal Shams. The cave’s paths run southward parallel to the inclination or dip of the rock units at the foot of the mountain, at a dip angle of about 20 degrees to the south.

The Speleological Team of Oman has surveyed Al Suwairat Cave since its first descent on November 3, 2017. The survey was completed only on January 25, 2018 due to heavy rains in the area and runoff in the wadi where the cave is located. During the geological survey, the team developed a series of cross sections of the cave, in different orientations, as well as a complete map of the continuous part of the cave, before the final water pond. The cave ends with a large water pond about 1 km from the beginning of the cave. The cave’s ceiling is in continuous contact with the pond and there is no clear outlet through the roof.

The team plans to dive into this pool using specialised equipment in the next days to complete the cave survey. There are three main areas in the cave that require the use of ropes. The first is located at the beginning of the cave and is about 80 metres deep. The second is located immediately after the first and is about 30 metres deep. The third is located about 200 metres inside the cave, after the second drop, and it is 12 metres deep. The passage of the underground cave follows a path similar to the valleys and the shafts above, and its path descends from an altitude of approximately 1,300 metres above sea level to the south. At the bottom of the first vertical hole there is a small cave room, followed by a series of vertical tunnels.

Beyond the vertical shafts, a wide and long cave tunnel extends to hundreds of metres and features wonderful cave deposits, isolated cave rooms and shallow water lakes, which represent the main part of the cave. Although the passage generally does not require the use of ropes and climbing equipment, walking through it requires attention because the floor and boulders here are generally wet in many places. The adventurers may be exposed to slide or fall a few metres. The cave ends with a lake in direct contact to the ceiling of the cave. The trend of the cave suggests that it still continues for hundreds of metres beyond the lake.

It is worth mentioning that the Speleological Team of Oman has completed the survey of the cave path that precedes the last water pond. This map was superimposed on the mountain’s surface to predict the effect of various geological features obvious from the surface to the cave geometry. The Speleological Team of Oman is affiliated to the Ministry Tourism and the Geological Society of Oman.