NANNING, May 8 (Xinhua) -- A cave exploration team has discovered a giant karst sinkhole in Leye County, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, bringing Leye's number of such sinkholes to 30.
The sinkhole, located near Ping'e village under Luoxi township, measures 306 meters in length, 150 meters in width and 192 meters in depth, with its volume exceeding 5 million cubic meters, and can be categorized as a large sinkhole.
Giant sinkholes, also known as Tiankeng (heavenly pit) in Chinese, are dolines, or giant pits, with special geological features found in karst regions formed by repeated cave-ins. They are mainly found in China, Mexico and Papua New Guinea.
The expedition was completed on Friday after the team members abseiled down more than 100 meters and trekked several hours to reach the pit's bottom. They returned to the ground safely on Friday evening.
Zhang Yuanhai, a senior engineer with the Institute of Karst Geology of China Geological Survey, said that there are three big caves in the wall, which are presumed to be the remains of the early evolution of the sinkhole. The bottom of the sinkhole has a well-preserved primitive forest.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service