Language: English, with a trilingual abstract in English, German and French in volume 28
In 2002 the Atlas of the Great Caves and the Karst of Africa 1st edition was released in this series. The atlas has been an unexpected success and became a speleological standard reference work that reached a reasonable distribution to serve for the further underground exploration of the "dark continent". Of course, speleological exploration continues steadily, which consequently rise the question whether the 2002 Atlas of the Great Caves of Africa shall be considered to be a one-time effort or shall lead to a continuous source for providing information on caves and karst of Africa. And, if the latter alternative is chosen, what would be the best way to continue? Intensive discussions with contributors resulted in a first and a second update of the Africa Atlas (Laumanns 2005; 2007). However, the amount of new information also led to many changes in country chapters that could not be included in the update volumes. Furthermore a third update would have scattered the data creating a lack of overview. Consequently, it was decided to release a second edition of Atlas of the Great Caves and the Karst of Africa. In case experts on a specific country will detect inconsistencies or faults in a specific country chapter they are hearty invited to contact the author to provide for amendments.
The Atlas of the Great Caves and the Karst of Africa, is based on the Atlas of the Great Caves of the World (Courbon et al. 1989), and on the Atlas des Cavités non Calcaires du Monde (Chübert & Courbon 1997). A lot of geological and tectonic information has been gathered from the excellent publication Limestone and Dolomite Resources of Africa (Bosse et al. 1996), which is a unique source of knowledge on African carbonate rocks. For the 2nd update a brilliant publication by P. Van Straaten (2002) – called Rocks for Crops: Agrominerals of Subsaharan Africa – was also used to locate possible limestone and dolomite occurrences. The latter publication also mentions many bat guano deposits directly linked to caves. Furthermore a Geological Atlas of Africa has been published by Schlüter (2006), which will be used for future updates of the Atlas of the Great Caves and the Karst of Africa. The Speleological Abstracts, published annually by the UIS, served as source for publications after 1980. Furthermore, valuable information on the latest French speleological campaigns in African countries was taken from the annual reports of the "Commission des relations et expéditions internationales" (CREI) published by the Fédération Française de Spéléologie.
In Atlas of the Great Caves and the Karst of Africa lists the articles that have been seen by the author are printed in italic letters. All north direction arrows on the cave maps refer to magnetic north.
Table of contents 4
General geological and tectonic basis with special reference to carbonate deposition 9
The 20 longest and deepest caves of Africa (31.05.2008) 14
Burkina Faso 57
Central African Republic 73
Comoro Islands 83
Democratic Republic of Congo 97
Ivory Coast 163
Sao Tome and Principe 357
Sierra Leone 363
South Africa 377
Western Sahara 437
General References 463