Caves and karst of the Djerdap aspiring Geopark – research and management challenges

Djerdap Gorge (Iron Gates, Porţile de Fier) is situated in south-eastern Europe, along the Danube River course, connecting Serbia and Romania. The gorge is entrenched into the mountain range of the Southern Carpathians, with the Pannonian Basin on the west and the Dacian (Lower Danube) Basin on the east. With the length slightly exceeding 100 km, it is the longest gorge in Europe. The narrowest sections of the gorge are entrenched into the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous limestones, forming several karstic hydrogeological and geomorphological systems.

The area of the Djerdap National Park has been supplemented by significant geoheritage sites, in order to establish the Djerdap Geopark, which applied for the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. The aspiring Geopark includes the area of 1330 km2, with high level of geodiversity, within which karst and caves take considerable place. Out of 10 deepest caves in Serbia, 6 are located on Miroč Mt, which is a part of the aspiring Geopark. The deepest one is Rakin Ponor, with the denivelation of 303 m. Rajkova Pećina Cave is the only touristic cave, while the majority of other caves are not accessible without the speleological equipment. Apart from the caves, the Djerdap Geopark is characterised by significant fluviokarst features, the most typical of which are five natural bridges.

The presentation includes the review of the most important caves and fluviokarst sites, as well as the discussion on challenges in their protection and management.

Author: Jelena Ćalić

Speleology: ASAK caving club, Belgrade; Federation of Speleological Organizations of Serbia (SSOS)

Section: Cave Geology, Geomorphology and Geography of Karst

Type: oral presentation

Short bio of the presenter: Karst admirer since childhood, caver since 1996, geographer since 1998, PhD in Karstology obtained in 2009 (University of Nova Gorica). Present research related to geomorphology.

Work: Geographical Institute „Jovan Cvijić“ of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Phreatic channel in the Rakin Ponor Cave, Miroč Mt, Djerdap Geopark (photo: V. Ljubojević)


Djerdap gorge seen from the locality Ploče (photo: J. Ćalić)


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