Abismo Guy Collet
In one of the most legendary, remote and beautiful places of Brazil is located the deepest known cave in South America – Abismo Guy Collet.
Map of the site
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Serra do Aracá
This cave opens on the summit of Serra do Aracá. This is one of the famous tepuis – plateaus of Guyana Highland surrounded by very tall, vertical walls. Its walls are up to 1 kilometer tall and the plateau is approximately 25 by 17 km large. Serra do Aracá is the only tepui which is located entirely in the area of Brazil.
This is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Some 4 – 5 kilometres to the east from the cave are located two great waterfalls – Eldorado Falls (Brazil’s highest, 353 m) and Desabamento Falls (approximately 200 m tall).
This area is linked also to the stories about El Dorado – according to some legends somewhere in this area was located Lake Parime with Manoa city – the city of gold at it. According to legends, this lake dried out some centuries ago and now the lake bed and the golden city are covered with forest.
This remote tepui was one of the least explored areas of South America until the late 1980ies.
Serra do Aracá is formed from Proterozoic sandstone (quartzite). This rock is an unlikely candidate for erosion and karst processes – it is very hard and almost insoluble. But geological stability and lots of time (approximately one billion years since the formation of these rocks) can make wonders and it has happened here. On tepuis of Venezuela and Brazil have formed extensive caves and sinkholes, such as the fabulous Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel sinkholes on Sarisariñama tepui (Venezuela) or the exotic Sima Aonda sinkhole (Venezuela) not too far from the world’s tallest waterfall.
World’s deepest quartzite cave though is located in Brazil.
Deepest quartzite cave
Abismo Guy Collet was discovered and explored recently – in 2006 by a joint Brazilian (Pesquisadores da Sociedade Brasileira de Espeleologia) – Italian (Akakor Geographical Exploring) expedition.
Cave was named after French – Brazilian scientist and caver Guy Christian Collet (1929 – 2004), one of the founders of the speleological movement in Brazil.
This cave is located near the rim of the tepui, 1,138 m above sea level. The cave is 670.6 m deep, but as it is not entirely vertical and has shorter side branches, the total length is slightly larger – 896.4 m. The bottom of the cave ends with a small cave lake.
It is the deepest cave in South America and the world’s deepest cave in quartzites.
Exploration of Abismo Guy Collet continues – there have been made attempts to find connections to other nearby caves.
- Dra. Soraya Ayub. A ONG Akakor Geographical Exploring Descobre A Caverna Mais Profunda Do Mundi Em Quartzito: O Abismo Guy Collet Com 670 Metros De Profundidade. Relacao Preliminar. ANAIS do XXIX Congresso Brasileiro de Espelologia, 2007.
There is little doubt – South America is one of the most spectacular… maybe the most spectacular continent of the world.
There is located the second-highest mountain chain in the world, the largest rainforest, the tallest volcanoes, and the tallest and largest waterfalls. The highest biological diversity in the world is reached somewhere near the eastern ranges of the Andes in Ecuador, Peru, or Colombia.
Brazil is an enormous, diverse country with many amazing and unique attractions. Especially impressive are the diverse natural landmarks – many surprising geological monuments and areas with unique and endemic plants and animals. Few know it outside the country – but there are many beautiful historical cities. Many great monuments of architecture have been created in Brazil in the 20th century.
Every year there are reported exciting discoveries of new caves and discoveries of new qualities such as cave paintings in the ones known before. But there still is a feeling that our knowledge covers just a small part of all these monuments of nature.
Though, those which are known to us, offer a surprising diversity of unusual features and impressive sights.
A companion volume to the new IMAX film offers a sumptuously illustrated, close-up look at the world’s great cave environments, capturing the wonders and perils of caving and describing the unique characteristics of these underground habitats.