Video science ✅ Exploring the deepest known accessible cave in Qatar – Musfur Sinkhole! Musfur, the deepest accessible sinkhole ever discovered in Qatar, provides experts with information on geological history. ✅ MUSFUR SINKHOLE | AR RAYYAN, QATAR

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Less than an hour’s drive west of Doha, near Salwa Road, there is a large chasm in the middle of the desert, about 100 meters underground. This is Musfur, the huge ancient hole believed to be the deepest accessible sinkhole (or sinkhole) ever found in Qatar.

The Musfur crater is surrounded by a protective fence. However, explorers can still go to the bottom of the pit to explore. Light from the entrance dims as we climb downwards, while pleasant winds blow through layers of limestone and plaster. Although there is almost no vegetation, explorers can catch small birds building nests in the rock crevices.

The sinkhole is a typical feature of karst terrain. This particular environment is formed by slightly acidic water acting on soluble rocks such as limestone. As water seeps into the rock, the rock gradually wears away and creates cavities. Over time, these cavities are filled with sand. When they become large enough and the dome collapses, the sinkhole appears.

“Most of the karst topography in central Qatar was formed by the breakdown of carbonate and sulfate deposits below the surface due to humid climatic conditions and subsidence in the mid-Pleistocene (325,000 – 560,000 years ago). “, geologists Abdulali M. Sadiq and Sobhi J. Nasir write in the journal Cave and Karst Studies.

“If you know how karsts form, it’s like stepping back in geological time, observing how water circulates and creates holes in the rock,” said Aspa D. Chatziefthimiou, senior ecologist at the Qatar Natural History Foundation, shared with CNN on December 30, 2021. Chatziefthimiou has visited Musfur several times over the past decade. The study of the sinkhole will open the door to the distant past, she said.

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