Teiq sinkhole and cave
One of the largest sinkholes of the world is Teiq sinkhole in Oman.
Depth of sinkhole
Volume of sinkhole
Map of the site
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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.
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.
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.
- 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:
Southern Arabia is the embodiment of fantasies about the mysterious, beautiful Arabia from One Thousand and One Nights. Oman with its breathtaking landscapes and mysterious monuments of history definitely represents a part of this realm.
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.
This category includes outstanding sinkholes – large natural depressions or holes, which for most the part represent collapsed caves.
Encyclopedia of Caves is a self-contained, beautifully illustrated work dedicated to caves and their unique environments. It includes more than 100 comprehensive articles from leading scholars and explorers in 15 different countries. Each entry is detailed and scientifically sound, yet accessible for students and non-scientists.
Caves of Oman provides important information on the geology and formation of caves. Within its 128 pages, the authors emphasize the main features of every cave so that “Caves of Oman” can be used as a guide for visitors and explorers. Ninety maps and graphics are included in addition to 90 photographs. It also provides information on cave formation which started millennia ago through the natural process of melting and eroding.