Niugini Caver

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Niugini Caver

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Niugini Caver
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Niugini Caver
Papua New Guinea Cave Exploration Group
Port Moresby, PNG: Papua New Guinea Cave Exploration Society (PNGCEG)
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Regional Speleology -- Newsletters
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New Guinea -- Papua New Guinea -- Oceana

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Australian National University
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NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 4 102 Caver is the publication of the Papua New Guinea Cave Exp oration Group, an informal association of persons engaged in speleology in Papua New Guinea. Volume 5 Number 4 Price Editor Secretary Production of Last Issue December, 1977 K1.0D per issue. K4.0Q per annum Malcolm Pound, P. o. Box 3824, Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New A li.s.on Pound M • D • and A • A • Pound N • S t e wart , . N. Burrows ' _. . :, Muller '76 Julia James, Randall King, Neil Montgomery Introduction ••••••••••••••••••• ,. •••••••••••••••••••••••••• Exploration at Okaparu and Horatio •••••••••••••••••••••••• 105 Exploration at Mamo •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••• 10? Exploration of the Atea Kanada.•••••••••••••••••••••••••• Description of the Atea Kanada •••••••••••••••••••• ••••••• 111 Around the Atea Ooline ••••••••• ; •••••••••••••••••••••••••• 122 The Atea Resurgsnce ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 1Exploration at Geroro•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Conclusion •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 126 New Contributors •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 128 Editor•s Note••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ' Cover Photograeh . Tfie shows a caver crossing the Crucible, a large rock mill in Grindstone Alley, a section of the Atea Kanada. A description of section of the Atea Kanada in which this formation is found occurs on page 113.


\ . 103 N IUGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 4 MULLER 176 Julia James*$ Randall King+9 Neil Montgomery* * INTRODUCTION . •' . :,=. Sing s ,197j) Kevan Wilde and I have been to return to the Muller (James et al. 1974). The aims of thi s return visit were (see Map 2): 1 • . to locate and explore any shafts that could be found on,."the )3car.p .,edge of ( The Chee$e of 1973). 2, to locate and descend a black hole visible on photographs we s t of Hor at i o • I n addition to pros pet t-t hc-f$"( region for further deep caves hidden by the rain forest.' 3. to locate a river? smaller the Atea sinks in a v a 11 e y to the west of 0 k a par u • . 4. to explore the Atea Kanada. For various reasons9 we decided that 1976 was not the ye,ar for the Atea Kanada. It would have required far too much organisation to obtain and transport the necessary equipment for , safe exploration of the cave. The members were Handel (SUSS)9 N. Hi a ksoci (SSS), J . R ... .King (SUSS)9 .S, McCann (SSS),. N. Montgomery (sss)'t d}" Rothery. (MUSIG) K . LJilde (PNGCEG) 9 R . LJillson . (MUSIG). The advance expedition of Peter and Neil H . arrived in Mount Hagen a week befora the rest they food and equipment, Then with the help of Neil Ryan of TALAIR they obtained charter aircraft to fly to J ulia and Randall were t he next to a rrive joining the others at Kelabo. A carrier line was organised and m a ny of equipment were carried top of Muller Range. '( . . . st/c1'Ckty Abbreviations suss SSS MUSIG PNGCEG Sydney University S peleological Society Sydney Speleological S o ciety Macquarie University Speleo. Investigation Group Papua New Guinea Cave Exploration Group * Scho61.of themistry, of Sydney, NSW, Australia; ' I <} '=' ' .. . • . • + 9 Llyong 2088 8 First -Avenue, 'f\fSlJ A\i s tra u.:a, 21 21 • '\ .. 'lfit ... .,,, .St :. ' ' ; .. "' . .. " .., J! .., z In . QUJ I C> 'd' I 0::: <( CW) I ...J <( a.. 0::: >< c C'll UJ I 0::: <( LU UJ ...J 0::: 5 ::?! :;\ ! f l . • . '


105 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 4 EXPLORATION AT HORATIO AND OKAPARU On the 9th August, a party left Lumbi for' Camp Horatio. Leading the party were Peter and Uri. Uri, the local head man, was able to follow the overgrown line of the NSRE 73 track. Considerable track cutting and detours in some sections were necessary. After six hours they arrived on the Okaparu ridge. There was some doubt as to their location because the long sweeping Okaparu Valley corresponded to the perspective shown for the Horatio valley on the aerial photographs. Randall and Peter diqn1t speak pdgin and they were without an inter preter. consulation with Uri they decided that they at Camp Horatio, several days later they established their correct position, 10kaparu1 • ; Two days . . were spent cutting a track eastwards along the southern ridge of the Okaparu Valley. The terrain was steep in sections, and the vegetation was thick tropical Track cutting finished 2 3km east of the Okaparu/Horatio track junction. At this yellow track marking tape was pronounced a failure as it blended too well the vegetation. I Twenty or thirty dolines of various sizes were inspected along the track. However all the dolines had silt bottoms with no cave development. Some of the dolines required half of track cutting to reach the bottom so this type of can prove extremely frustrating. In the Okaparu Valley half a kilometre east of the main ridge a stream was crossed, its flow was less than 20 •• It sank in the valley bottom. This str8am was the source of water seen in ths section of the Okaparu explored, even after heavy rain. The stream sink is located amongst an impenetrable jumble of boulders. Time allowed only a brief inspection at first. Later Randall solo for a full inspection, stripped completely to the skin, he searched all the cracks between the boulders without success. He next searched the area for other possible entrances but found none. Later in the expedition, another party returned to Dkaparu and on the 17th August Neil M., Kevan and Uri cut a track north Okaparu to Camp Horatio. They found five holes on the way, two of which looked particularly promising. After one days cutting they were within sight of the old 1973 Horatio carnpsite but two track cutting away. The promising holes were later examined by Neil and Dave but nothing over 25m was found. Previous reports (Caffyn, 1974) that the limestone around Okaparu is of a poor quality were confirmed. NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 MN I '----L-'----' km 0 0 () Oo f 0 0 0 0 0 0 -, ... ")' .... _,, '"'"'' 'II\.,,_\, . ;llf\\\\ 'l'A\"' /f't-.' 'tot'' SCARP cE lOOm ) sketch b'i M .Handet NUMBER 4 to Nomad River . ! MAIVID map 3 MAMO II map4 '\.' 106 . .


107 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 4 EXPLORATION AT MAMO (MAP 3) On Monday 9th August, Julia anrl Neil H. started to cut track from the Nomad River-Okaparu track junction to Mamo. The first day was productive and the intervening dry valley was easily crossed. The ease of crossing must be credited to Gilera Kitane who designed a neat route. The dry valley floor is a series of dolines with open holes at the bottom. Ten of these were examined9 MR221-231. These holes which take small streams when it rains were all shallow rifts descending a few metres and then blocked with silto The valley was prospected for about 200m from the track in the upstream direction. Mamo I campsite was established about 10Dm up the Mamo side of the dry valley. A permanent9 miniscule stream could be collected and a sleeping area was carved out of the rainforest a few. metres away. Around the campsite were some impressive karst mainly deep grikes. In the shallow valley above Mamo I were four shafts MR234-38, the deepest was MR238 at 35m. All these shafts appeared to lie on the same joint. The method employed for their exploration was simple. Gilera would fell a large tree across the entrance1 its trunk making the perfect belay for a free drop down the shaft. One small hole in the ground bdlow Mamo I was explored by one trapped tree kangaroo, two hunting dogs and two Ouna. Judging by the sounds that were emitted from the hole, it was not of speleological I significance. I The track from Mamo I continued past a massive silt blocked doline (MR239) and on to the top of a cliff. From this lookout it was possible to get a rare view of the dry valley angling down to the Nomad River and the mountainside below which flows the Atea River. The track then followed the crest of a ridge parallel to a fault controlled valley. One day was spent exploring the dolinGs MR240-2479 all of which could be reached from this ridge. Neil and Julia alternately examined each one? looking particularly at tho bottoms which were usually silted up stream sinks and at the cliffs which formed part of the doline sides and contained many small holes, In several of the dolines water accumulated on the limestone outcrops and could bo collected in sufficient quantities to drink. An important observation for future workers in the extremely dry conditions of Mamo. Next the fault controlled valley was explored for several kilometres. A new method of prospecting was employed. This was to force one's way through the undergrowth and leave a marked track behind. Richard and Peter forced the track and Julia marked it. This allowed much more ground to be covered than the US'.tal, approach of Ouna track cutters ahead$ cavers behind. The fault controlled valley contains a series of dolines MR248-254. All of these have well developed dry stream courses and finish in the now familiar boulder and NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 5. NUMBER 4 108 In the largest doline which was walled with m c i s_ was a stream. In the cliffs there were several caves which contained cave coral speleothems a multitude o insects and many spiders. It does not take realise of cave development in this valley ate ere is ar much silt available for blocking any' cave • passage that exists. TheH.:'.ickso.n-Handel Highway was cut t across this valley and straight __ bamboo. It wound its way round dolines a point it the direct route and crosses the typical Mamo MR255. The combination of bamboop qreas slippery slopes makes this difficult coUntryyto e a heavy pack. Finally the highway arrives at amo I. Mal returned from this area with rep6rts of good cave\ potential9 streams lots of comfortable The Mamo II campsite is on siltstone and the water this on it forws small streams. Map 4 shows the" holes the camp. rR256 was the camp water the cave could be entered from the floor of the In one corner the water seeped down a shaft and then fell 3 m through a narrow rift into a deep pool. Such perched pools and are common in thi area of Mamo. s fiR..,257 • This hole promising as the surface water could be; flowing .. dmm an elegan:t p.pen sided 50 m shaft. The. shf1ft .. be entered through a. side rift halfway down. A ' 88FJ.e.s of climps led a further 25 m down to a series of lo .. i I. '.•' wet crawls. Explpred by Mo w This was a walled doline 30 m long by 20 m wide? it was by a 20 m pitch on the east side. A stream of 10 litres/sec flowed across the floor of the doline and into a cave entrance 3 m x 3 m. The cave had two levels and could be followed for 100 m to a bouldAr fall Th d t . . • ere were some ecora ions in the cave. Explored by N. Hicksoh. MR259 ;s a classic solution doline in.the shape of an inverted c?ne a 30 m shaft its tip. The shaft was blocked silt.and debris. 1t was named-the Hole in the Bamboo (with a translation into Ouna) because of a certain it has to Spluga de la Preta Italy. Explor:fftj_ QY\: :So Mc Cann. .. MR260 •. rhi'-s!is an 80 m shaft which the roof of a underground chamber. A cross the floor of the chamber flowed . ': ' a of about 20 l/sec ... The stream passage could be negotiated both up and down stream for about 100 m to boulder chokes. Explored by P. Ruxton and So McCann.


NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 4 and These two open holes appear to be part of the same solution development which has occurred along a joint. MR262 requires a 20 m rope for entry and then it is an extensive rift which can be negotiated at several levels. There was no free flowing surface stream in this cave. MR263 and 264. Again this hole has the appearance of a large grike which has developed along a joint. MR264 requires a 5 m tape and the rift can be descended for several metres. Explored by. M. Handel and N. Hickson. MR265 •. is at two consecutive shafts of about m. The hole is still going but the prospects are not favpurable for.a deep cave. Explored by M. Handel. A perched lake below a lime stone arch. An water supply for a camp in this : : Mamo still is the same difficult region to explore . scarp side as it was from Uliwapo in 1973. (NSRE fault controlled valley was a disappointment. On this south of Mamo the siltstone is as expected shallower and dolines are smaller hence the caves found were signiflcantly better than those found near to Uliwapo in 1973. The area of Mamo, the sinking streams shown on Map 4 have not yet been reached. Llith the exploratio.n we carried 1976 we feel that these can be two days 1 from'.,Lumbi using the route that follows. the fau'it valley. EXPLORATION OF THE ATEA KANADA August saw the return of Dave and Richard to the Atea They 1ntended checking out the holes on the NE side of and above the Riverway entrance, Richard ... foTded the just before it entered the cave. They found that 'the highest entrance closestto the waterfalls led into a high wide dry passage, which was still going after m. They were forced to turn back because they only had carbide lamp between them. The" next day started at Okaparu with a bonus. The 20 of carbi,de left there by -NSRE ,was found intact and in good condition, That day Dave, Richard and Nail M. and , . Randall were back at the At.ea 11 a.m, -:',Randall describes trogging up in !the new entrance as an .. .1n6r'edibl y eerie . .exp er ieric.e, with a backdrop of the far side of the doline and the toar of the that veils the entrance. This time they wsll equipped with all their SRT gear, NIUGINI CAVER_ VOLUME 5 NUMB 11 0 Following through the cave the .. (Ugwapugwa) • 150 m dowrist .J y came. upon. a 20 l/sec tributary They rapidly retreated this tributary was a sump. cave. At the junction of unpleasant part of the . two exploration parties. Neil M steam they split into nearby shaft and passages in checked out a . Dave and Randall followed the "'u e wa irection of the A tea Riverway. upstream expecting it to d g pugwa streamway. They raced 30 h. h en round every b m ig passage continued f corner? ut the 20 (survey 1.3 km) in one hour. or what they estimated to be 3 km Neil and Richard descended streamway down t shaft which led into the ing earlier. ,s ream rom where they had been Upon ascending from this. hell hole . phreatic passages7 one of wh" h inspected some high level a large river probabl th ic ended in a balcony overlooking corner in downstream of the not negotiable At this stage it was decideh th t should be and the and Mamo II campsites and survey the Atea. group return Lumbi to explore The next three days were spent in c • • notable occasions were th d various passages and Grindstone Alley and th el.escending of the pitch into This climb is all the e c himb around the Crucible by Neil M , T b" more azardous th •. ur ine prevents communicat -0 0scause e roar of the break through when he i ave Rothery.made another another approach to th R. nto the Beeline and found yet e iverway at the Ship Canal. During this time the Atea River Q • • • the at the Entrance at but in the later stage 'n Y impossible for Julia almost antirely. s we used the Escape Series entrance' A handline was put . the M . across a slippery traverse on the rou te l Series and Ugwapugwa. to In these few days 4 km of cav i and Kevan found it was os . e were Richard? Neil Neil even went for a 15b swim in the Riverway and useful to observe howthemc:wim own Ship.canal. It was the storm that to rain. Even after shown in plate I t•h . . e increase in volume of the Atea • 9 a cave was still t• b in Ugwapugwa remained'clear a d J, nego ia le and the stn;3am . . ' n on_y roso 20 cmso


111 NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 4 DESCRIPTION OF ATEA KANADA For the purposes of description the Atea Kanada (see 1A, 1C and isometric diagram) can be divided into five 1. The Riverway 2. Older Atea Passages 3. The Ugwapugwa 4. Older UgwapugWa Passages $., '.The Slot Sti:'eam Passage "_. .. : ... ' .\ . 1. The Atea Riverway The water Flowing into the Atea Kanada entrance doline is . believed to be the Atea Rivsr. kanada is the word for in Quna, the local language. The doline is a collapse feature about 75 m in diameter and the river drops into it via a series of majestic, 20 to 30 rn waterfalls. These span 50 rn of the_ north doline wall and pour into a boiling then' over rapids into the cave. The average dry seasbn flow of the river at the ca'Je .entrance is estimated at 12 cumecs. The (MR300) is 15 rn high and 20 m wide, and is. farmed in the overhanging lowe:r face of the 150. fl1 high c;liff forming the southern doline rim. This entrance is a on the0north-8estern side of the doline. The tradk . traverses a 30 to 40 slope of blocks? covered by dense shrubbery up to 1 m high. The Riverway Entrance' can be negotiated by traversing a ledge hh the right-hand side df the rapids. An entrahce, MR302, is a small hole on the south side of a large boulder and is 15 m south of the Atea The Atea Riverway lies in chambers 40 m wide and up to 25 m high; the river occupies cut along the eastern A stream enters the chamber from the west and passes through a series of rimstone pools to join the riv'sr. The Atea covers this chamber during flood, since sand has been deposited in the southern end9 and a 13 rn tree trunk rests within the cav(B). The river .flows as rapids through the chamber, cascading over the waterfaJls, of\-2',; 6 and finally 10 m to enter a',,', canyon 30 m high and 7 m, wide_.', >A= $lippery 9 slopfng ledge conf;nues for some 2Q,jm abb0e the finally 9ut above a f\orbidding sectfon of ri verway. This' was the limit of in 1973. This section of the Riverway has not been however, the 1976 Expedition found a new route by-passing this corner via high level passages of the tributary Ugwapugwa stream. These passages lead to a balcony 10 m above and overlooking the river 80 m downstream of the NIUGtNI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 4 112


113 NIUGINI CAVER IDLUME S NUABER 4 i r here the river halts its limit of 1973 Explorat on. or:mlon ool, giving yay to gentle steep descent to flowna$j 5 here tha river channels rapids. The "Beeline 010• 1 over a 10 m waterfall, into "The passage is i high-roofed •The furbine•. At th .a ur)ac iradin . doun to 20 m at The canyon (approximat!ly 30 impasse, but oncet Turbine. The Turb ne was . ead around it vla a. windoY, "fl. again abandoned into the main riverway. The Turbine (Duna for Ateat doorif't 1 M or so wide (see plate 2). then flows in o a r . .. somewhere at the bottom of this Pre•umably, the rive! via a through the rlrt, for the next d Alley"; it emerges from a sump older Atea paasage,tt lr n 20 m high chamber. It in ttConfluence ,fa dbefpre :attling into the deep and feeds a oE stopped in this section about quiet "Ship Cana • 8 The water is consistently over .110 m from confluence om ''1 generally 8 m wide and 10 m high, 1.s m deep and the passage; s &, 1 w onl 4 m high. At the although the inlti11 !:ndob:nk where the t10 m point there si a.snimth t change for at least another 30 m. can be seen w . ou . 2. Older Atea Passages • . . f d . here a former of ttAtearegett is a balcony canyon, -just dm.mstream of Ugw•pugwa Turbine makes the Atearage an the Turbine. The 0 • houevar a 18 m pitch offering awesome and Atea'River level ends not in a of the of Grindstone Alley, a m white water, but on 8 dwa of the Atea. It is mostly long old routed ts superb examplets of 3-10 m wide an . ) all-rounded grindstones up to 1 m rock mills (see pli;e 3 the passage, but accumulate in across are strewn. f the milia. Perched logs large numbers at tne regularly by flood waters. indicate that this pa 1 9 the floor slopes up briaf ly Downstream in the The Turbine in flood) and then (presumably due to aros on Ydr mills are passed before a becomes horizontal. "fhe Crucible• a peanut shaped delightful obstacle s and.over 9 m It has mill, 12 rounded walls and there is a 5 m beautifully smoo 6 an . over 4 m deep. The Crucible drop from the tff!' right onto abe'!e it., waa paa9ed by c im ng around to the far sidet down into 2 m above the (see plate 41. and cl1mb!n9 onto ; ge both full of the second mill Two amalletr mills o it h The passage is only 2 m Yide ending at the top of mb beyond into a chamber 1 m at the edge of the drop, u NIUGIII CAVR WDLUME 5 NUMBER 4 114 wida and 25 m Ahead tha roar or the Ataa 1$ now heard dist!nctlJ• pitch ende in a poal and a 20 m awim across this pool gaina aacmss to a bank. A 3 • cli•b over a Ja•med lag the and af Grindstone Alley in Confluence A slight in the pbol may indicate a connection with in the activa Atea riwarway. •The At•a canyan about 30 m above the praaeAt river upetr@•m of tha and winds its arD•nd in a bow •hape to rajain tha main rivaruay several hundred downatrea•1 abaut 20 m above river level in tha reef of Confluence It aaama likely that, at onB stage, the alaa uae major course of tha Atea althQugh pr1ar ta Crlndatana Allay, foi a much shorter time. The laeliaa 1taalf cGnaiats a phreatic tube 2-3 M in with an lnci••d tlaor canyun up ta 10 m deept lt a ah•P•• Tha taba ia probably the 9arliest Ynder1round eourea ar the A • Tha roof canyon in the main Ataa Riw•rway, which cauld not reached, may be a a1,ilar f satur•. The 98eline dascanda to the soath moat of its lungth, 1taeponing tauarda the and to about 20 • The floor coneiata of and af $Bnd alzm and smaller. The latter is dariwad from back flooding af the Atea River. throwghout the paeaaga ara little heaps of rotting as wall as logs thare by the Atea River. At it• end north for • few metres to join Confluence Dama, a , v•dasa and joint control-led paaaaga 2 • high, BJP••••• cantinuas southwards to fln!eh in tha 5 m 8Glap which laada down into tha Ship In ltf!J of 90 mfl Rapld Bypai"Jrn falls 30 m, much of this ia achiavad in a m drop and a 5.7 m pitch. Th$ U1wapugwa aection at Jmint Junction* Upstream it 1tarte as a canyan with tha remnants of a phraatic in ita raaf, and carries • af about 20 litrea/eecond. After 1DD •1 this half tuba disappears beyond the teach of light and tha bedrock roof of the paaaaga ia not seen again. The firet D.5 km of thi• asage is narrow, with a width of between 1 • and 2.s •; it ia a canyon having classical mciuu-u:le1rs Ylth an of about 13 S:inca the stream as it cut down, in parta these meandera are This tha i.e 11u:all•decorrated with atal•gmitaa usually on the walls plata 5). Where tha epsleothem tips are low enough to be cowered by r•gular floods, they develop as twisted fingers, all pointing downstraam, Tha colours of this section


I (r I I I \ I I \ I I I I I I I I joins MAP 1C : ... I MR 300 ATEA KANADA MULLER R ANGE PNG ' 410 i s,o ' 810 , ' 1tO by M. Han d e l , N Hi c k so n , J . J an;es , R. Kin g , S. McCa nn , N. Mont-omery, D . Rothery, P. Ruxton, _K. 1v ild e and R . Wilso n. A u g u s t 1976 usm g a Suunlo KB / 4 compass and P_,M 5 clzno m ete,. ( n eares t degree) and a :>Om f 1 b re tape (nea r es t J Ocm) . Dra w n b y J . N. Mont go m e r y 1 9 7 6 . m n PLAN NIYGINI CAVER VOLUME S NUMBER 4 1 1 6 of the passage are i ntense, a n d vary throughout the spectrum from the crystal white of the rac$nt to the reds, browns1 and blacks o f tha older decorations coloured by organic and mineral matariale At some stage$, the rlowstona has greed ily covered entir e passage, causing the caver to stoop and crawl in the water. Three ht.mdred matres upstream of Joint Junction, a small stream enters from a flowstone covered crack in the lett-hand Immediately after, anathar uery small tributary etream,.. fiThe Sh#)YS l ... w,. in from t;fis roof" More follows a sat of noisy Noisy Waters", and then coma s a 2 m climb inta a dty oxbow Yhich is the old vadasa paeaage, whose roof hig h a bove is still unseen. Th• stream takes a y o ung a r roufat which sumps a t its upstream end. Just after this oxbow, widens to 4 m and becomes filled with water from to wall. There ara convenient gravel banks and the passage can be negotiated without swimming. These WLanguid lakes• are quiet and poorly decorated, the canyon above being of the same netura as that previously ancountered. Yhan the ueig Noisy Yater" is heard• the eave takes a eharp left turn and again the passage narrows to 1 m. A large stream emerges from a 1.s the left hand wall. This slo.t can only with flow conditicma, and in slight ly higher tlow the from t w o other slots upstream in the same wallo Thie is the saurca of most of the water in Ugwa pugwa •• Thirty metres further upataam there ia dry oassage 4 m up the wall which may lead into tha stream. clearly the Ugwapugwa ia taking a new routa, while the main passage, with the same vadosa canyon character, now has only • small stream trickling through the boulders on its muddy Floor. There tends ta be more braakdoun on the floor here, but this may be becauae has not bean washed away as in the section or the passage$ A is reached 1.3 km upstream f rom the.Joint Junction; it can ba climbed on the stream aide, but a 5 m hand lina ror a safe descent on the other side. Beyond' this,. the passage cont.inutH l s the same roofless vadose canyon till it disappears. It ua not furtharo tar its whole length the paaa ga is . n m ,assive Oarai trandi.n g NNE and s teadily procaed !ng upwards at he of the completely oMnstream of J un c t ion. The high canyrn e age outh west, Mhi Hua follows a youngC$, ,.. ro ,ta. i h e p aoaga which continues This atraam g ia 1.s m high 3 m wide at its atart. It 1am breekdown on he flo'ott and oxhibita a bedding plat'le root'. After 30 m, a 11age of similar dimenaiona ia passed on the right , the ttMill r!esff, Mhich again run s aouth-uest, and for the s e cond time,


(r I I I I I I \\ \I \I \I \II I MAP 18 I t l I I ATEA KANADA . DEVELOPED LONG SECT IONS . (: ,._ :,; : . . ..... _ F 4 0 1: 4 0 60 ,._ ;,, 118 the cut a younger routa to the south. Now the passage becomes a clean crawlwmy 1 m high and wide which after 20 m into a narrow, 5 m deep joint rift. This can be wall awt or the watar. The ns1ot Stream• jofns the the combined f 1.ow, $n •nplaa•ant crawlway up. ta 1 m high and 0.3 m wide and halr-rall or A change in th• from fairly a. probably. accounts. for tha in Finally the stream sinks into a . $lot 40 m fI'Ofij 5 m chiflney" Spines of vary abE•P and decaptlwely weak rock, tagather with the crawl in and the chance of rapid flmading. this short length of dangerous. The maza of the Ataa Kandda is a result of a number of af tha Ugwapwgwa atraam during ite history. They yield an array of parallel and joint controlled on levale6 wpparmost contains large phreatic which auggaata that the stream flowed here for a long time, or had a volume than is observed at preaant. Thl$ aarly acana cantains •thaouck Yalk", ttrury Tube", •The Sarias• and All or it {s about tha -10 m level (using MR304 aa a datum). It is just possible that tha Ataa farmed this aeri9s (and not the Ugwapugwa but this imply a formar sink for the Atea upstream of the present antranQe doline. In this section typical f are a phreatic raor with rock pendants or a breakdown tlaar cavared in mud and silt from flooding. The sediment till can ba nearly complete as in tha "Duck Walk" or it May ba nsarly ab1ant as in parts of nrury Tube". Leading from Entranc$ MR3D6 plata 6) the upper lava! is at its best, a larg e ? • wida and 4 m high Bedding plane cantrol of p aesaga prof ila seams probable for the entire sarias. The ancient water flou &aems to have bean from the "Duck and than through rury Tuba and Series to join th A in what uas a large phreatic,chambar, but is now tho coll d entrance dolina. Also, may hawa flowed through Be Conn$ctian to join tha Ataa in the Bee l i ne in its ph ti phaas. At thq end af thle etaga Ugwapugwa prob ly the Beeline Connection and et ttoran pitch of 13 m and jainaa the Atea vie Entrnca RJ o y H 11" down stream. At abou t thm , th nt 1,3 qgwapugwa streamway was initiated, tog th "Th Alley•, an older route Mhich took the atream until roe ntly.


MAP1C PLAN -+-MN UGWAPUGWA . STREAMWAY ATEA KANADA MR300 20 4 0 60 00 JOOm I I I I I I I I I ' joins. Map 1A ' . A (a) Low flow. J . . 1111 1 -Waterfalls in the A tea Kanada Entrance Doline. (b) After a heavy thunderstorm. photos: D. Rothery


121 .. NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME S NU"BER 4 The A11ey is a winding canyon about 1.5 m wide which reaches 10 m in height at "Joint Junction" when it was abandoned by the stream. A similar height 18 attained where it anda in Roary Hall. The raof is virtually horizontal and it anly a deap fill af and flood which r•ducQm roof height ta its minimum of 6 m .near "Brus nie f-loor. elopes down staadily in both ditect!one r. :rom junction and a. pit in the floor exposes 10 m of till. rhe walls are jagged, probably due to impurities in the limaetona. Yhlle The Allay uas atill an active streamway, The Mill mu$t have begun to form what 1$ now tha active level or the streaM. Thie shows excellent phreatic passage forms plate 7), cut by vadc.1se to yield floor and smoothly rounded rock mills. All ••Jor p&$SSge devslopment relates to the •h•n two sub•paralle! passages ware formed 15-JO m apart. They .. south-weult on a of -JO to M (MR304 tubes between the branches rorming oxbows and m1&ze aactions., Passage sact1one are circular tc with tha larger axis horizontal with the Dim9nsions range from s•all tubas 10-20 cM up to 1e5 m in diameter or ellipses 1.5 m high and 3.m wide. Gravel bars remain from the atteam deposition, though they are covered by fine floor Tha is the oldest, and also' tha.smal.tast. It is a crawl all the way until 60 m from the Atea, where it ha1_ of the flow rrom the southern br•nah, to become many times larger. The southern is the •ore complex, having numerous oxbows. Uadosa Qction in bath passages incraaaaa markedly as the Atea is approachad, with floor canyons up to 2 m deep and Mumerous rock milla up ta 3 m in diameter and 2 m dmep. The "Mill Series• !a decaratad part of the older though it is not as fin• ae atraamway upstream or Joint Junctian@ Stalactites and stalagmites are the prominent forms. Th• Aill.Serlae join$ ths Atea in an impre•eive stretch cf balconies and A large balcony terminate$.the northern and a 10 m pitch drops to th$ riverway. from tha aautharn paasage opehe in the wall of Gxindett:me .. s. The Slot .,._, 11 n .... li1Ni&ililbil$ biit!l"'JUljlll't>iM'liitJ;.J W This stteamway, carrying about 40 litres/second, crosses both passages of the Mill Sarias 60 m south-west of Joint It has cut canyon, about D.S m deep in each and into a narrow f_loor slot in NIUGINI CAVER VOLUBE 5 NUMBER 4 122 the eguth•rn ta Jain the Ugwapugwa stream. The entire length is around 70 m; at the upstream end tha paaaa1e degenerates into four Bmall bedding plane teedaia whiah may be fallowed only tith difficulty (the exped tlon ccn$ld•rsd too Part or their souro8 may fro• a narrow etraamway which the entrance phreatlc 1arias naar the Mff 305 entrance. In this Atea River itself is the probable source. AROUND THE ATEA DDLINE Standing in the Atea Oolina one day Julia juet happened to aay "Wouldnft it be funny it all thoaa c•••ca of water coming the clifta tha Ataa Riwertt. Randall and cut track a:romid ''t11e top of the A tea Ooli"s above the watarfalls ta inapact tha area close to the dolina for a possible campsite for a future expadit• ion. When th•y g•t to the top they ware amazed to find that mast of the watar f ram three impenetrable entrances. ana vary large .cave supplied the major water 11 in tha doline, but this was located in a 25 m deep garga and could not inspected. A day later back the track around the top of the dol1na, and up aide of the gorge out anta the adga of the gorge and peering into its Ha ta Lumbi to say there were hundreds ar and in tha gorge. After considerabl$ heckling ha raauaad his aetimatss to one In both Randall•o and Malcolm explorations they had found_no close to water for a future . In the wall Df tha dolina above the Atma Kanada Entrance there & number or possible highar entrances. On the day that it was ta abseil into thaee, the cold spray from tha completely filled the doline* Hence aa conditions wars pronounced Impossible, this was nQvar don These holes could lead into stiil higher Atea Kanada


Plate 2 ....The Turbine. photo: J.M. James Plate 3 _Small Rock Mills 1.3m deep in Grindstone Alley. photo: J.M. James Plate 4(b) Plate 4(a) k -11 G dstone Alley photo: J.M. James Mechanical climbing techniques being used to pass the Crucible, a large roe m1 '" nn . NIOGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 'UMBER 4 124 THE ATEA RESURGENCE &lllu II 1 et D rt il'"PI • The postulated Ataa Resurgence, locally known as the Nali, wea visited by Neil A and Peter. They approached it from the Nomad River track. The floo.d p.laln of the Nall , ,source uonsists or young saplings sprouting between 3m x 3m x 3m worn boulders. Thd source or the Nali is in two atr••••• The western one emerges from a gorge and the one from a jumbl8 of boulders. The gorge stream "is t:Jne and a half' times aa big as the sastarn one which Nell believed to the AtGa. The water emerging from the boulders ia approximately double the volume that can be disappearing into the Ates Doline. Above this spring !a a large inviting dry entrance. Neil and Peter surveyed baok to the Atea dollna and the between the 750 •• hXPLORAT!ON AT GERORO Thursday August 12th waa ap11nt by Handal! and three of the Ouna exploring caves in and around the Geroro clearing and in ao•a of the Atea River tributary valleys. In the gardens not more than five minutes walk from the old "haus kiaptt a 15 m shaft (AR400) was found. This shaft terminated in a silted boulder choke1 it a storage chamber at tha end or the expedition.for equipment that it was conelderad that the ATEA 78 expedition might need. The storage chamber is halfway the shaft and is an ideal concealed nd inaccessible placa. L tar that day a horizontal river cave was found. A small ributary of the Atea a flow rate of 30 litres/sec sank on oneside of a hill (MR401) and emerged' nto the Ataa River on the othar (MR402), 100 m away. The imenaions of the cave it had formed varied from 1-2 m to 10 m high with the being consistently 2-4 m wide. her& are likely to be aimllar systems along the banks of he Atea, one such prospect is to be seen where the track om Ponga Napu to Geroro the Atea (AR403). This cave entrance 3-4 m high with water emerging from it h local name for the cave is Utaa Kanads. The loc l pt referring to the hilla a few kilommtres St of o oantaining a "gut pella uli". This area corro pone mq inte'resting dolinas and stream $inks h t a n th aerial phtitographs.


I I Plate s(b) ' ' . Plate 5(a) ' : . photo: J.M. Jam ' e . s.' Decorated sections of the ., .. : . . . , I Plate 6 -The Fury Tubes close to MR306 Entrance. photo: J.M. James .... I I NIUGINI CAVCR VDLU"E 5 NUMBER 4 1 2 .. UIOrj "uller 76 could have be9n classed as a disaster, none of the three major objectives ware r ea ch ed. The sinking atreams the Hole at Horatio a nd the river sinks in the Okaparu v alley. Thes0 mus t still remain of any future expadition. It was the persistance of Richartt Llillson and Dava Rothery that proved that the Atea K a nada could be e xplored and after this break through all efforts of Muller 76 were ooncent . ratad on th& cave with preliminary exploration, surveying •nd aseessing its potential with a view to a future visit notably in 1976. The question that has bean most rraquentlyasked is why did you not swim the Riverway? The temp tation was great but we had the safety nor the time. In addition anyone who has &1u111 the Turbine t.1ill be extremely qautious befou taking a suim in the slow f101.1ing Riveruay. rt may sump around corner and then the search for a bypass must begin. Confluence Dome is clearly the place to search for such a high level passage. What ever it dose further in the Atea Kanada is already one of the moat spectacular caves in the world. REfERENCES *' .. lit Also of ara; James, J. M., R$ H •• M6ntgomery, N. R. (1976) = Atsa • ll(2) : 5 26. • \Jilde, : Rep o r t o n t h 1 976 Expedition t o t h e Pluller R ange. !;'iuQi,o}., Cav r ,i( 4 } • 1


:,. 1.. ' I _ , ; . . f n the Mill Series. phot o: M. H a ndel Plate 7 Phreat1c passage orms ' , ; ... . Plate 8 f m which part of the river that feeds the w a t e rfalls A cave ro h . M Han del in the Atea Kanada Ooline emerges. P oto. . 9 Th East Nal i Source postulated resurgence of the Atea Plate e Kanada. photo: N . R . Montgomer y NIUGINI CAVER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 4 128 NElJ CONTRIB.!::l.IQ..RS descended onto the Australian caving scene in 1965 m England. A regular ii, Julia has supreme nising ability and has produced a remarkable amount of speleological material (mainly for SSS). Her main ests are Bungonia Caves, speleochemistry and the search the deepest cave in the world. Julia doesn't like heights d a 290m pitch in Mexico. Julia was co-leader of ological expeditions to PNG in 1976 and has l y returned to Australia after the 1978 expedition. is a lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at Sydney ity. 111 s caving career c ommE1nced in 1 971. A member of SSS involved in the surveying and production of liThe o f Jenolan 2 The Northat'. n -Limestone12• He has caved ively in his home state of NSW and has been on tions to Tasmaniar. New Zealand and was in Papua New for the 1976 and 19?8-Muller expeditions. Randall is uter operations officar with Computer o s of Australia. ntgomery ined SSS after a talk.given to his scout group by an ber. After a couple of years general caving, he was b y Julia James and became one of the most prolific urveyors in Australia, contributing a high proportion urvey and drafting wo1rk in 11Bungonia Caves11• Neil is ptionally strong and talented caver and his main t lies in SRT caving. He has caved in NSW, Chillaqoe, w e Tasmania, New Zealand1 Papua New Guinea as well o e1 USA and Mexico. He has written a book on SRT * No:t e ue of Niugini Caver is devoted to the r po ler Range Speleological Expedition and o m n this expedition although a speciali t r A a Kanada was published in Helicti te. I ure Speleological Expeditions to P "*"u N nt their reports to Niugini Cav r fo al edition. * h


.. L.:; .... . :. : . h .. . J: <' ' " 1976 . , :.: . : l


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