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Sino-American Expedition Explores Rare Karst Landscape

Chinese and US scientists are exploring a rare karst landscape hidden deep in Nanling Range near Chenzhou, central China's Hunan Province.


The nine-member team, including six professional expeditioners from the United States, explored Wanhua Cave and two other minor caves adjacent to it in the past week and made tests in hope of finding a hidden underground river and determining its source, said a spokesman for the expedition.


So far, the team has found a dozen small waterfalls in Wanhua Cave after successfully navigating a bigger waterfall with a height of 14 meters and width of three meters at the entrance of the cave.


Wanhua Cave has remained as a riddle since it was first discovered in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) because of its complicated topography. Scientists believe there are underground rivers running beneath Wanhua Cave and its nearby caves, along with primitive forests and plenty of fauna and flora resources.


Seventeen years ago, a team of 12 American explorers attempted to explore Wanhua Cave, but were thwarted by the main waterfall atthe entrance of the cave.


(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2005)


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