Baishan 2018/19 – Reconnaissance expedition to Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, NE China

Northeast China is known to have karst caves as well as volcanic caves. However, contrary to the spectacular karst in southern and central China, virtually no speleological investigations have taken place in NE China so far. Consequently, the area was targeted by a small team of Chinese, Russian, Dutch and German cavers between Christmas 2018 and 10th January 2019 for a lightweight reconnaissance expedition. The karst along the Hunjiang River and its tributary valleys in Jilin province, as well as the Jingpohu Volcanic Geopark in Heilongjiang province were visited. The area visited is located close to the North Korean border.

Northeast China has very harsh winters with temperatures dropping at night to -40o Celsius. Daytime temperatures were around -10o. This was a challenge, but winter resembles the dry season in NE China with continuous sunshine, making the cold bearable.

In total 25 caves were visited, twelve of which were mapped. Altogether, about 1 km of cave passages were documented. Although this presentation also reports on the (minor) speleological results and especially on the bat fauna, it focuses on the current circumstances for foreign cave surveyors when travelling in China on a private level.

By Michael Laumanns, Speleo Club Berlin, Germany

Section: Cave explorations and expeditions

Oral presentation, 25 minutes

NE China, karst valley in Jilin province, photo René Haemers

NE China, part of the team in Xian Ren Dong, photo Irina Ermakova

Speleo CV Michael Laumanns

My first speleological excursions were made in 1981. From 1984-2009 I was a member of the editorial board of the German Speleological Federation (VdHK) and from 1990-2001 editor of the quarterly magazine of the Federation. President of the Federation between 1994 and 2007.

After a break in federation work between 2007-2010 I became responsible for foreign affairs in the German Speleological Federation in 2011. In 2013 the European Speleological Federation (FSE) at its General Assembly in Casola (Italy) elected me Vice-President of the FSE. I changed to the position of Vice-Secretary of FSE in 2016.

My first full scale international expedition was conducted 1988 in Turkey. Since then I participated in many international expeditions to Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

Since 2001 I am the publisher of the international cave expedition and documentation series “Berliner Höhlenkundliche Berichte”, which is released in English language ( So far 75 expedition reports, country monographs and regional atlases were released.

Numerous presentations at international speleological conferences were made. Over 200 speleological publications were released.

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