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Info about Mt. Durmitor

Jama na Vjetrenim brdima

Jama na Vjetrenim brdima, after re-survey in 2002 and 2004
Jama na Vjetrenim brdima, after re-survey in 2002 and 2004
Large survey of  Jama na Vjetrenim brdima Large survey of Jama na Vjetrenim brdima, (2480x3189 px, 404 kb)

Position of Jama na Vjetrenim brdima, on the 1:25.000 topo map

Position of the cave on the 1:25.000 topo map (945x945 px, 335 kb)

Elevation of the cave, surveyed on expedition of 1985
Elevation of Jama na Vjetrenim brdima, made by the 1985. expe surveying team

Sketch of Jama na Vjetrenim Brdima published in 'Atlas des Grandes CavitÚs Mondiales' (1986)

Sketch of Jama na Vjetrenim Brdima published in "Atlas des Grandes Cavités Mondiales"; (1986)

Jama na Vjetrenim brdima (Mt. Durmitor, Montenegro)

Mt. Durmitor

Among all Montenegrian mountains, Durmitor has always been the one attracting most attention of visitors and explorers. For scientists, artists and all nature-lovers, this is a must-go if they travel through Montenegro. Considerable altitude (Bobotov kuk, 2523 m) makes Durmitor one of the highest Dinaric mountains. Together with the Tara River Canyon, it is a National Park, inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Speleological explorations of this area have started during the sixties of the 20th century, and reached their peak during the eighties. In 1984, 1985 and 1986, International Speleological Expeditions were organized, with participation of many clubs from former Yugoslavia (ASAK – Beograd, DISKF – Zagreb, SOB – Beograd, D.I. "V.M.Manda" – Valjevo, SD Istra – Pazin, BH Krš – Sarajevo, Atom – Zavidovići, SD Ponir – Banja Luka, SD Ursus Spelaeus – Foča, SD Proteus – Beograd and SD "Zelena brda" – Trebinje), as well as from Poland, France and Great Britain. The deepest caves of Mt.Durmitor were explored on these expeditions: Jama na Vjetrenim brdima, Jama u Malom lomnom dolu, and Jamski sistem u Obručinama, as well as many other caves.
During the nineties, there were no new explorations, but only a few trips, aimed to visits to the caves or collection of biospeleological samples. Only starting from the year 2002, new systematic exploration work has started, organized by ASAK Belgrade, with numerous participants from abroad (Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Russia, Great Britain, Poland and Bulgaria).

Southern slopes of Durmitor are of greatest interest to cavers. Most of the already known caves are situated in that area. The easiest approach is from the Sedlo Pass (1900 m a.s.l.), on the road Žabljak-Trsa. Entrances to all deep caves are situated in the formation of so-called “Durmitor flysch”, with high carbonate content. The flysch is of Cretaceous-Paleogene age, and about 400 m thick. From the north-east, it is covered with a nappe of Jurassic and Triassic limestones. However, due to tectonically crushed zone at the front of the nappe, the caves explored so far are few, and completely choked with boulders and rubble at small depths. Durmitor is encircled from north-east and south-west by deeply incised canyons of the Tara River (580-520 m a.s.l. in the zone north of Durmitor) and the Komarnica River (permanent flow from about 1000 m a.s.l. downstream). The groundwaters drain to either of these two directions. Regarding the great difference in elevations between the speleologically interesting locations and these canyons, hydrogeologically, there is a great potential for very deep caves in this area.

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Jama na Vjetrenim brdima (-775 m)

The cave Jama na Vjetrenim Brdima was discovered in 1984, by the cavers from the club KKS from Katowice, Poland, who have started the exploration. The entrance is situated at the altitude of 2170 m. In 1985, the cave was explored to the siphon, and the results showed the depth of –880 m (published in: Krešić, 1988). Before the results were finally processed, the depth of –897 m (retrieved from the draft sketch) was published by mistake, and usually cited later on.
During the international expeditions organized by ASAK in 2002 and 2004, the cave was re-mapped, using more precise instruments and methods. This re-mapping showed that the previous mappings had a considerable mistake, about 120 m. The correct depth is –775 m. This was checked by various digital altimeters (on different occasions, and at various depths within the cave).

In the first 300 m, the passages are mainly vertical, with occasional percolation waters. Hydrological continuation of this part is the lateral passage (Bočni kanal), which collects the waters from the pit Mokra vertikala and ends in a siphon at the depth of –437 m. The main passage (leading to the deepest parts) continues through the cascading dry horizon which becomes a structurally-guided meander stretching in the direction 225º-45º. Below the depth of 550 m, the passage is permanently hydrologically active. Some parts of it are formed in bedded and folded limestones, cherts and sandstones of various colours, which is both attractive and geologically interesting. For now, the siphon at the depth of 775 m has not been bypassed nor dived (the water is murky, and the siphonal passage is of relatively small dimensions).

Nevertheless, the hydrogeological characteristics point to the fact that the siphon is of hanging character and that the passable channels continue downstream. Therefore, the continuation of explorations should  be encouraged.

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