Lectures

Hong Meigui members have given numerous talks about caving in China. Below abstracts and in some cases power point files are given for some of those talks.


Five Weeks in China: Houping 2008-1 and Mengzi 2008 by Andrea Croskrey
Colorado Grotto meeting
Over New Year 2008 a Hong Meigui team of American, British, and Chinese cavers explored a number of caves in Huolu and Er Wang Dong, Wulong, Chongqing. This was followed by a joint Hoffman Institute-Hong Meigui project with Southwest University of China. Several Chinese scientists were trained in SRT and surveying techniques. This was followed by an expedition to Mengzi, Yunnan where the techniques were put into practice.

Houping 2007 by Becka Lawson, Dave Loeffler, George North
Hidden Earth 2007
During the first half of 2007, Hong Meigui CES expeditions to northeastern Wulong, China mapped over 26km. In February varied passage ranged from flat out crawls to a 40m diameter borehole, with a magnificent 90m pitch thrown in for good measure. In April finds included Shang Hetao Wan Dong, the town dump, which was connected to nearby Leng Dong, forming a 249m-deep, 4,865m-long system; and Quan Kou Dong, a 116m-tall entrance with a 3.5 cumecs/sec stream and amazing airflow. In May exploration yielded sporting streamways, massive breakdown, and dozens of skylights.

Tianxing 2006 by Si Flower
Hidden Earth 2007
In 2006 an international team of Hong Meigui CES cavers continued exploration in the Tianxing, China. A few suprises were in store, with the discovery of a 491m shaft and a major connection which formed a 19km long, 983m deep system.

Cave fauna inventory for the Hongwawu and Zhamushui reservoir areas, Jianshi, Hubei, China by Erin Lynch, Duncan Collis, Wu "Chocolate" Yuexia
National Cave and Karst Management Symposium 2007
An inventory of cave macro-invertebrates was performed within and adjacent to the proposed reservoir areas of the Hongwawu and Zhamushui dams which are being built in Jianshi County, Hubei Province, China as part of the Hubei Hydropower Development in Poor Areas Project financed by the World Bank. In total 41 caves were identified in the project area, of which 13 were surveyed and sampled yielding 280 specimens. Collaboration in the field with an in-country scientist trained in cave surveying techniques as part of the USAID-funded China Environmental Health Project helped minimize costs to the local proponent while meeting the required BCRA Grade 5 standard of surveying. Difficulties exporting specimens have prevented identification to species level, but preliminary studies indicate 168 of the specimens are likely troglobites, stygobites, troglophiles or stygophiles. These include species of diplopod, collembola, and, gastropod which are probably undescribed. Per the World Bank's Operational Policy on Natural Habitats (OP4.04) recommendations were made to mitigate the loss of habitats due to inundation.

Six Years of Exploration in China by Erin Lynch
NSS Convention 2007

Since its formation in 2001, Hong Meigui Cave Exploration Society has mapped over 270km of cave and recorded over 1,000 entrances throughout south-west China. Expeditions have explored karst areas of Chongqing, Guangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, and Yunnan. Highlights include:

  • Extensive vertical development in Tianxing, including numerous 200m+ vertical shafts, the second biggest natural underground vertical drop in the word - a 491m-deep shaft in Miao Keng, and the four deepest caves in China: Tianxing Dongxue Xitong (19,025m, -983m), Dong Ba Dong (7,646m, -649m), Da Keng (4,273m, -775m,), Miao Keng (1,039m, -681m).
  • Over 80 kilometers of complex, multi-level passage in Houping-Tongzi-Jielong, including the fourth and fifth longest caves in China: San Wang Dong (28,892m, -300m) and Er Wang Dong (25,320m, -241m).
  • Over 65 kilometers of classic cone karst and river caves in Nandan and Leye.
  • The 200m x 300m Hong Meigui Chamber and some of the largest tiankengs in the world.
  • The search for 2,000m+ depth potential along the deeply-incised Jinsha Jiang (upper Yangtze).
  • The longest and deepest conglomerate cave in China, Longmen Dong (13,190m, -355m).
  • A new species of blind loach, Triplophysa rosa, and numerous likely-new undescribed species of springtail, millipede, and so on.

With over 100 members from 13 countries, HMCES embraces high survey standards and openness with regard to data. Survey data, surveys, cave descriptions, and photos are all available at http://www.hongmeigui.net.


Tantalizing Tongzi, Wulong County, Chongqing China by Andrea Futrell
NSS Convention 2007
In April 2007 a British and American expedition of the Hong Meigui Cave Exploration Society explored the karst and caves near Tongzi and Jielong in Wulong County, China. The team surveyed 15 kilometers and identified numerous newkarst features, caves, and springs. Highlights of the discoveries include: Yan Tang Ping Dong, a tortuous, Charco-esque cave explored to -154m; Lao Chang Dong (Old Factory Cave), a 3,146m-long and 98m-deep cave complex, including old trails and miner's artifacts; Shang Hetao Wan Dong (Upper Walnut Bend Cave), the town dump, which was connected to nearby Leng Dong (Cold Cave), forming a 249m-deep, 4,865m-long system; and Quan Kou Dong (Spring Mouth Cave), a 116m-tall entrance with a 3.5 cumecs/sec stream and amazing airflow. Reconnaissance of a several kilometer long, closed-valley in Jielong township yielded beautifully decorated Xiniu Dong (length 846m, depth 56m), San Cha Dong, (length 1,391m, depth 74m), and many more cave entrances and shafts that were not entered. The team also continued dye tracing efforts in the Houping/Tongzi/Jielong area to delineate groundwater flow paths. Excellent leads and caves remain to be explored during expeditions planned for spring 2008.

Houping 2006 by Anthony Day, Andrew Atkinson
Hidden Earth 2006
Since it was first visited by western cavers in 2001, over 50km of cave passage has been surveyed in the Houping area of Chongqing municipality. The main cave systems are characterised by large relict phreas on several levels connecting the numerous large dolines in the area. There is a large resurgence in the southwest of the area, but so far only a few immature streams have been discovered. A primary aim of the two expeditions in 2006 was to go in search of the underground drainage in the two principal systems - Er Wang Dong and San Wang Dong.

Caving in the land of the Yi: HMG Liangshan 2006 by Fleur Loveridge
Hidden Earth 2006
During July and August Hong Meigui CES checked out three potential new caving areas, all in south-west China. Of these the area around Yanyuan, home of the minority Yi people, in the 'great cool mountains' of western Sichuan was particularly interesting. There is lots of evidence of karst development here, including shafts and horizontal fossil passages, with many square miles of limestone and significant depth potential. The lecture will describe the work done by the expedition and the possibilities for the future.

Hongchiba 2006 by Phil Rowsell
Hidden Earth 2006
The April trip to further explore the Hongchiba area of northern Chongqing municipality in China hoped to find another deep vertical system/area. While a number of 'new' caves were found, the deep vertical system wasn't forthcoming.

Yunnan 2005 by Steve Whitlock, Alys Mendus
Hidden Earth 2005
Yunnan 2005 continued the search for deep caves in Zhongdian, a Tibetan region of China's Yunnan province. The potential is fantastic, with huge resurgences at around 1900m and continuous limestone up to a karst plateau above 4000m. Even when assisted by welly-wanging yak herders, searching for caves at altitude is not easy, and the area doesn't give up its secrets readily.

Nandan 2005 by Thomas Matthalm
Hidden Earth 2005
Nandan is a cone karst area with multiple levels of large, often well-decorated, fossil phreas intersecting sporting stream passage. It is also home to China's colourful Baiku Yao minority nationality. This year's expedition mapped over 10km, bringing the area's total to 30km and continuing the downstream exploration of the Nandan River.

Tianxing 2004 by Ilya Boiko
Hidden Earth 2005
In pursuit of China's first 1000m deep cave, a team of Brits, Americans and Russians caved through misery and squalour, down 200m+ shafts, and still found time to film the world's first ever international subterranean bellyflop competition. Plus: the latest news from the ongoing Tianxing 2005 expedition.

Houping 2005 by Becka Lawson
Hidden Earth 2005
Mystery frogs, surprise connections, barefoot footprints, and kilometres upon kilometres of passage heading every which way... the latest Hong Meigui CES expedition to Houping overcame beer rationing and wet weather to map 15km of mostly large horizontal passage, bringing the area's total to 42km with no end in sight.

Tianxing 2005
Hidden Earth 2006
Gnarly rifts, a hammered squeeze, and lots of bolting in China.

China 2001-2004 by Erin Lynch
Royal Geographical Society

Houping and Zhangjiajie 2004 by Erin Lynch
Hidden Earth 2004

Yunnan 2004 by Hilary Greaves
Hidden Earth 2004

Tianxing 2003 by Chris Densham, Bill Miners
Hidden Earth 2003

Yunnan 2003 by Rich Gerrish
Hidden Earth 2003