Speleological explorations of Croatian Northern Velebit karst

Underground bivouac at -300m in Nedam cave, National park Northern Velebit, photo: Domagoj Korais

The Northern Velebit National Park area is part of one of the most attractive karst complexes in the world – the Dinaric karst region, which spreads across several countries east of the Adriatic Sea. The area of the National park, notably the Hajdučki Kukovi strict reserve, is characterized apart from exceptional surface biodiversity and geodiversity by a very high surface density of caves, mostly pits. Some of them have the world’s largest subterranean vertical drops, big chambers, snow and ice, cave leeches and many other interesting properties. From the early 90s until the present day, more than 500 caves have been explored, among which are three pits deeper than 1,000 m, six pits deeper than 500 m and ten pits deeper than 200 m. Lukina jama–Trojama cave system (−1,431 m), currently the deepest known pit in Croatia and in the entire Dinaric karst region is found in this area. This year, during the International caving expedition “Northern Velebit 2019” (ESP 2019-06), cavers from 8 different European countries and USA participated in the research of Hajdučki kukovi, and continued an excellent international cooperation that was formed in previous years. New deep cave was discovered and researched, Nedam cave, currently 4th deepest cave in Croatia. The results of this expedition, as well as perspectives for future explorations will be presented.

Presenter: Marina Grandić

Оrganization: Speleological Section PDS Velebit, Croatia

Section: Cave explorations and expeditions

Type: oral presentation

Short bio of the presenter:

Marina Grandić, leader and coordinator of the International expedition 2019, has performed several functions as a member of her respective speleological society, and is currently in charge of the internal cadastre and acquiring speleological literature. She has taken part in several international, as well as domestic events, and various research in the Dinaric karst area.


  1. Paar, D.; Buzjak, N.; Bakšić, D.; Radolić, V. (2013): Physical research in Croatia’s deepest cave system Lukina jama-Trojama, Mt.Velebit // 16th International Congress of Speeleology, Proceedings, Vol 2. / Filippi, Michal ; Bosak, Pavel (ur.). Brno : Czech Speleological Society and UIS. 442-446
  2. Bakšić, D-; Paar, D-; Stroj, A-; Lacković, D. (2013)  Northern Velebit Deep Caves // 16th International Congress of Speeleology, Proceedings, Vol 2. / Filippi, Michal ; Bosak, Pavel (ur.). Brno : Czech Speleological Society and UIS, 24-29
  3. Bakšić, D. & Paar, D., (2006): Croatia and the Deep Caves of Northern Velebit. Alpine Karst, vol 2., ed. J. & T. Oliphant, 105-124, Cave books, Dayton, USA.
  4. Buzjak, N.; Bočić, N.; Paar, D.; Bakšić, D.; Dubovečak, V. (2018)   Ice Caves in Croatia // Ice Caves / Persoiu, Aurel ; Lauritzen, Stein-Erik (ur.). Amsterdam: Elsevier, str. 335-369.


Nedam cave (-100m), National park Northern Velebit, photo: Domagoj Korais


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