Excursions

MID-SYMPOSIUM TRIP

Afternoon Nov 23rd:

All participants will visit some sites of Dak Nong UNESCO Global Geopark in the Gia Nghia area:

  • N’Trang Long Statue
  • EXPLORASOUND
  • The Lithophone House.

Post symposium


A - AFTERNOON NOV 24rd

The volcanic area is 90 to 120 kilometres by road from Gia Nghia City Two different routes will be used to convey participants by small bus and both routes will be a chance for participants to explore the landscape, livelihoods and culture of the region.

To absorb local heritages and landscapes, participants shall be divided into two groups (you can make a selection on the reservation form):

Group A – Route: “The blessing of volcano”

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Photo 1: Cocoa farm

Here, participants should taste chocolate made by the Enjoy factory – a local brand and a strategic partner of Dak Nong Unesco Global Geopark. Certainly, cocoa juice and coffee are included for your experience as well.

The Bang Mo volcano is located in Ea T’linh town, Cu Jut district. Bang in Ede language means “lake marsh” stemming from a very moving love story of the indigenous people.
In the surrounding area there are several, at least two, craters, that produced a basaltic lava cover of c.4.2km2 on top of the older shale, siltstone and sandstone.

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Photo 2: Bang Mo volcano

The older lava crater is quite large, c.673m in diameter, and 82m in height at 420m asl. No other products e.g. scoria, spatter, ash or bomb are found (if they were once present, they have been completely weathered into soil) and the crater slope is c.10º. The basalt, now completely weathered into red soil, which also helps confirm its relatively old age, is intensively cultivated with coffee plantations.

The younger Bang Mo volcano is much better preserved with a relatively round and sharp profile, at c.407m asl, 242m in diameter,

The older lava crater is quite large, c.673m in diameter, and 82m in height at 420m asl. No other products e.g. scoria, spatter, ash or bomb are found (if they were once present, they have been completely weathered into soil) and the crater slope is c.10º. The basalt, now completely weathered into red soil, which also helps confirm its relatively old age, is intensively cultivated with coffee plantations.

The younger Bang Mo volcano is much better preserved with a relatively round and sharp profile, at c.407m asl, 242m in diameter,

Group theme: geology, vulcanology, biology, economy, geopark

Group B – Volcanoes And Surrounding Landscape

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Photo 3: Nam Kar volcano

The main and highest scoria (M) cone is c.60m in height, 220m in dia., with a small crater c.20m deep on top at c.660m asl. Composed of beds of scoria of several cm in dia., it is perfectly round and sharp.

A few tens of meters to the north, the smaller spatter cone (605m asl, height 24.2m) is composed of spatter, scoria and bombs c.10cm in dia. The cone has no crater on top. Instead, several gas-escape pipe-like structures, resembling “tree molds” are visible in a road cutting.

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If time permits, the next stop will be the geosite of Dak Nong UNESCO Global Geopark. This viewing point is known as “The rice field under volcano”.

Photo 4: The pipe-like structures of the spatter cone

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Photo 5: Landscape of rice field

High on the watershed line looking far to the right, participants will see the grandiose Krong No River, which is forever eroding the mountains to form a large and even paddy field. Local people have worked on this field for generations, yielding a very well-known rice variety.

High on the watershed line looking far to the right, participants will see the grandiose Krong No River, which is forever eroding the mountains to form a large and even paddy field. Local people have worked on this field for generations, yielding a very well-known rice variety.

Group theme: geology, vulcanology, photography


B - SHORT FIELD TRIPS

  • Option 1: C8 Cave – C9 Cave – Packed lunch – Nam B’lang Volcano.
  • Option 2: C3 – C4 Cave – Packed lunch – C6.1 Cave – Dray Sap / Gia Long Waterfall.

 

C – MAIN FIELD TRIPS

25 Nov:

  • Group 1: C7 Cave (or alternatively C1, C2, C6, etc) – Packed lunch – C4 -C3 Cave (if remaining time, Dray Sap / Gia Long waterfall will be included)
  • Group 2: P8 Cave – Packed lunch – C8 Cave – C9 Cave - Nam B’lang Volcano
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Photo 6: Nam B’lang volcano and surrounding lavafield

26 Nov:

  • Group 1: C8 Cave – C9 Cave – Packed lunch – Nam B’lang Volcano
  • Group 2: C7 Cave – Packed lunch – C4 -C3 Cave (if remaining time, Dray Sap / Gia Long waterfall will be included)
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**DESTINATIONS OF SHORT FIELD TRIP AND MAIN FIELD TRIP**

1. Nam B’lang Volcano (former name: Chu B’luk Volcano)

Nam B’lang volcano is the place to study and learn about volcanic formation mechanisms processes and features, (pahoehoe, “pseudo-pillow”, pillars, volcanic glass, interaction between lava flow and soggy sediments, etc.), plant moulds/casts; volcanic material composition, minerals, etc.; as well as the site for sightseeing and experiencing the volcanic landscape.

- Nam B’lang volcano has a conical frustum shape, its side’s typical trapezoidal shape can be observed from different viewpoints; its summit extends flatly with the direction from northeast to southwest. The crater has a funnel-like shape, with oval-shaped rim and vent openings go towards the southwest. The formation mechanism creating the funnel shape and downward curve in the vent openings is assumed to be the result of subsidence, which happened immediately after the eruption stopped, following the principle of gravity balance. The inner slopes of the crater is about 600 - 800, where heavy basalt rocks, reddish brown outside, dark grey inside, are scattered. Mingling with these rocks are ash, tuff, aggregates, mud clay and weathered soil. Inside the crater, the lush vegetation is typical of tropical forests.

2. P8 Volcanic shaft

P8 is the deepest known cave in the Dak Nong Geopark and also in South-East Asia and it has many important features. It is also a spectacular and exciting shaft to descend into. It is a place that very few people have visited. It is easy to understand why, with its great depth, its cave ceiling coating thickness and therefore pretty high safety considerations. On the other hand, the space of the Cave below a depth of 26 m will always be attractive, promising visitors a spectacular sight in the world of underground volcanic caves with interesting and unique heritage after they overcome the huge challenges of descent.

P8 features are important for understanding the mechanism of formation and the mouth of the shaft has unique scientific values and is also important for education to raise community awareness of geological heritage, volcanoes and volcanic caves.

Single Rope Technique (SRT) equipment is required for the entrance pitch and the shaft is suitable only for speleologists who have the necessary SRT skills and experience.


Photo 7: P8 Cave entrance from below

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Photo 8: C8 Cave Entrance

3. C8 Cave

C8 is one of the most beautiful caves in the area with 791m of spectacular passage, many charcoal sites, ceiling collapses, lavacicles, and the gradually development of calcite stalactites is very interesting to study.

C8 is characterized by a very complex formation mechanism, with significant differences between the upstream section in the south and the downstream northern section. Interpretation of the mechanism behind cave interior formation has a great value for science and education, as it can help to raise awareness about earth sciences in general, and vulcanospeleology in particular. In addition to the geoheritage, the charcoal piles in C8 can become an object of curiosity for visitors, and the road to discover their origin and formation is an interesting challenge.

4. C9 Cave

Biospeleological investigations during the cave mapping project in 2018 by international speleologists found several new species in the caves in Krongno, Daknong. In the very next year, Scientists from Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences also found two new Stick insect species inside the crater of Nam B’lang volcano despite spending only two days there.

Inside the C9 cave, spiders, horseshoe bats, beetles are common and there is potential for further research. In the entrance area, the density of flora has facilitated the growing of reptiles and herbs in the area.

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Photo 9: C9 Entrance

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Photo 10: C7 entrance

5. C7 Cave

C7 is the longest cave in southeast Asia. It is also one of the most spectacular. It has a single passage trending SE-NW, The entrance is an 11 m deep roof collapse which requires rope or ladder to descend. The collapse hole is scenic due to its vegetation growing on the boulder cone below. The roof collapse does not segment the pyroduct as the collapsed part of the ceiling does not extend across the entire width of the passage below.

Cave C7 was formed from lava flowing from Nam B’lang volcano into a low-lying and fairly flat valley. High-temperature, low viscosity lava, rich in volatile matter, resulted in an expanding flow and created a huge pyroduct. Streams of lava rich in gas plus stream overflows in several waves, increasingly widened the original passage. The high pressure along with the accumulation of gas created the large arch of the cave, breaking the ceiling cover at the weakest point, creating the pristine entrance. In some areas, ceiling collapse over time has expanded the original passage size, resulting in the current form of the cave .

6. C6.1 Cave

C6.1 Cave was surveyed in 2015 (Honda et al. 2015, survey). The 20 m wide and about 7 m deep (climbable) roof collapse separates a singular southern cave passage (about 100 m long) from an approximately 150 m long northern cave section, which consists of a main gallery that gradually declines in size, as well as a smaller side passage; both passages join in a terminal chamber with a lot of breakdown. The main northern gallery is 10-15 m wide and 10 m high.

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Photo 11: Excavation site of C6.1

The cave became famous due to the archaeological excavations led by the Vietnam Museum of Nature (Hanoi). The excavation at the NE corner of the roof collapse was started when local people, extracting bat guano from the cave, found many archaeological artefacts, including tools such as oval axes, blade-sharpened oval axes, blade-sharpened short axes, stone flakes and potteries similar to those. In 2018 human bones were discovered by the archaeological team.

 

7. C3-C4 Cave


Photo 12: C4 Entrance

These caves are near Draysap waterfall and require a 30 minute walk from the main road.

C3 and C4 are a segmented pyroduct featuring a main gallery of significant size (up to 20 m wide and 15 m high). The cave has a NW segment (NW of the C3 roof collapse; about 300 m long), a middle segment (between the C3 roof collapse and the C4 roof collapse/main entrance; 280 m long), as well as a SE segment (SE of the C4 roof collapse/main entrance; 150m long).

 

8. Dray Sap Waterfall and Gia Long Waterfall

No archaeological discoveries have been made in C3 Cave so far. However, several archaeological artefacts were discovered near the main entrance to C4 Cave, including pebble materials, axes, stone flakes, anvils made from riverine pebbles, a piece of opal-chalcedony. Also found were crude potteries, small pottery pieces of 2-3 cm showing decoration similar to those observed on ceramics of the Neolithic Age in the wider area dated to 4,000 - 5,000 years ago.

Photo 13: Draysap Waterfall

Dray Sap waterfall is located in the territory of Dak Sor commune, Krong No district. In the Ede ethnic language, it means Smoky waterfall. At more than 10 meters high on Serepok River, the Smoky waterfall was formed by basalt flows of the Nam B’lang volcano which erupted and covered sedimentary rocks. On coming here, visitors can observe many different forms of foam basalt, signs of basalt flow and fossil molds. The basalt eruption here also formed columnar basalt rocks, resulting from the fact that lava flows slowly cooled and contracted.

D - TRANSPORT BACK TO AIRPORTS

At the end of the field trips, buses will take you to airports on the afternoon of either 25 or 26 Nov. However, there is also an option to pay for an extra night’s accommodation in Dray Sap or Dak Mam and then leave for the airport next morning.