Katedra fyzické geografie
a geoekologie
Přirodovědecká fakulta
Ostravská univerzita v Ostravě
Chittussiho 10
710 00 Ostrava - Slezská Ostrava
Czech Republic


Crevice-type caves in the Moravian-Silesian Beskydy Mts.

Moravian-Silesian Beskydy Mts. (Figs. 1, 2, 3) belong to the Carpathian Mountain Range. It is a part of the Outer Western Carpathians which consists of the Mesozoic-Paleogene sedimentary flysch rocks – sandstones, siltstones and claystones. In the Neogene the strata were folded and disrupted by joints and faults which pervade the rocks tens of meters into the massif. In the Quaternary, the deep valleys were formed and steeply dipping slopes started to be unstable. The slope deformations became the main geomorphic factor shaping the landscape. Due to the gravity driven slope processes the jointswere widened and the crevice-type caves were formed(see front cover). This type of speleogenesis has been continued up to the present.

Fig. 1. The Beskydy Mts from the top of Lysá hora Mt.(photo J. Lenart). (1/2)Fig. 2. The Beskydy Mts. - the ridge of Radhošť (photo J. Wagner). (2/2)

Short history of the speleological research

The history of the cave exploration in the Beskydy Mts. was connected with the first inhabitants of this region. The first information about the caves derived from ancient Slavonic fables. The caves were connected with the cult of the pagan God Radegast. His statue was situated at the Radhošť ridge (1106 m a.s.l.) just close to the longest crevice-type cave Cyrilka (535 m long). The historical wooden houses at the Pustevny settlement were built in the 19th century at the place where old Wallachian shepherds stored a milk in the cold cave entrances. The oldest written mention about the caves comes from 1639, while the speleological exploration started in the 18th century, when some adventurers tried to describe several caves. The scientific research of the caves has been performed since the middle of 20th century. The members of the Speleological Club Orcus (Czech Speleological Society) have been investigating the non-karst caves in the Beskidy Mts. since 1969 up till now.

Fig. 3. The morphological forms on top of a mountain Čertův mlýn (photo J. Wagner). (1/1)

The longest and the deepest caves

The longest crevice-type cave in the area is the Cyrilka cave with 535 m long passages. It is also the 2nd longest non-karst cave in the Czechia. The Kněhyňská cave (Fig. 4) reaches the depth of 57,5 m under the surface, this cave is the 2nd deepest crevice-type cave in the flysch Carpathian Mountain Range. The most spacious passages in this cave are characterized by respectable dimensions: 12x15x4 m.

Fig. 4. The Kněhyňská cave, the Big Abyss (photo J. Wagner). (1/1)

Aktualizace: 14. 01. 2015

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