20 Oct 2022
In October 2022, Tanguy Racine, Yuri Dublyansky and Pavel Herich (Slovak Caves Administration, Liptovský Mikuláš / Comenius University, Bratislava) performed a lidar survey of several complex underground mines and hypogene caves in the Tyuya-Muyun massif in southern Kyrgyzstan. While the previous Quaternary Research Group expedition to this massif in 2019 focused on the mineralogy and geochemistry of this unique karst U-Ra deposit and its associated hypogene caves, this time we addressed the complex morphology of the subsurface cavities. In a full-scale test of the new GeoSLAM ZEB Horizon hand-held scanner recently acquired by the Institute of Geology, the team completed several kilometres of lidar survey, documenting the 3D morphology of the Main and Akademicheskaya Lodes as well as of Baritovaya, Azhiadar-Unkur, and Surprise caves. We also scanned parcels of land surface above caves to better understand the relationships between the underground and the surface topography. Additional orthophotos and photogrammetric data were obtained using a drone. Alexey Dudashvili's team provided excellent on-site support during this expedition.