Wonder

Teiq sinkhole and cave

WorldBlue  In short

One of the largest sinkholes of the world is Teiq sinkhole in Oman.

4.3 out of 10 stars 42.8%

GPS coordinates
17.1552 N 54.6272 E
Location, address
Asia, Oman, Dhofar Governorate, 57 km NEE from Salalah, north from Tawi Atair
Alternate names
Tiq Cave, Tahik sinkhole, Teeq Cave
Depth of sinkhole
211 m
Volume of sinkhole
975 m3

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Unique formation

At first look in "Google Earth" one might think that Teiq sinkhole is just a widening of the deep canyon of wadi – perennial stream. Such wadis in Oman often have shaped deep valleys and ravines.

Closer look though reveals – here is something unusual. This giant hole is not a part of the valley. It is the endpoint of TWO streams that meet in the deepest point of this sinkhole and… disappear underground.

In the surroundings of the Teiq sinkhole there are several more interesting structures – round collapse dolines (look a bit to north-east!). These are signs of large, collapsed underground voids. Such voids are created by underground streams, flowing through cave passages.

Giant size

The size of Teiq sinkhole is very impressive. Width of this structure in SSE-NNW direction is 1,000 m, in NNE-SSW direction – 750 m. Depth reaches 250 m, average depth is 175 – 200 m. Volume of sinkhole is 90 million m³ – in this respect it belongs to the largest sinkholes of the world (the giant Xiaozhai sinkhole in China though is larger).

Walls around this sinkhole are very steep. In southern side walls of the sinkhole have even 150 m high overhang.

Wadis – perennial streams – enter the sinkhole as very spectacular waterfalls. During heavier rain this should be very impressive, unusual place.

History

Sinkhole was brought to international attention by a team of Slovenian explorers and Sultan Qaboos University in 1997.

It is not clear how this giant pit was formed. Maybe this sinkhole was formed by the collapse of a giant cave room. It is possible that this cave room was not as large as a current sinkhole and that sinkhole was later enlarged by two streams that enter it.

Here is located also Teiq Cave – very impressive cave with six chimneys – openings in the ceiling. In earlier times this giant cave was used by local people as a shelter. Both cave and sinkhole can be visited by tourists.

References

  1. Taiq Sinkhole. Lilian en Jan Schreurs Homepage. (excellent source of information about Oman – highly recommended!) Accessed on August 5, 2010

Teiq sinkhole is included in the following article:

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