Why in News?
- A group of twelve boys together with their soccer coach entered the Great Cave of the Sleeping Lady(Tham Luang Nang Non), located in the Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand and have been trapped there since then.
About the incident
- After recent rainfalls, parts of the cave flooded and authorities feared that the group either drowned or was trapped inside the cave.
- Thai Navy SEAL divers had been searching the caves ever since.
- Owing to non-stop rain which further flooded the cave entrance, searches have been periodically interrupted.
- Thai NAVYdivers soon got international help from American, Australian, British and Chinese divers, military members, and emergency personnel.
- The group was found alive after 10 days and all 12 boys along with their coach were reported alive.
- They were found by British volunteer divers around 400 meters away from a spot nicknamed Pattaya Beach- an elevated mound in the cave.
About the Tham Luang Nang Noncave
- The “Great Cave of the Sleeping Lady” (Tham Luang Nang Non) is located in the Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand.
- It is a semi-dry limestone cavewhich is 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long, and has many deep recesses, narrow passages and tunnels winding under hundreds of meters of limestone strata.
- There are numerous stalactitesand stalagmites in some parts of the system.
- The exact geography of this cave system is poorly known.
The science behind the cave
- Water plays an important role in the formation of Thailand’s caves, but it is also by far the most dangerous element when exploring wild cave systems.
- According to the geological map of Thailandthe Doi Nang Non mountain range is composed of a succession of sandstone, limestone, shale and chert.
- Limestone is a sedimentary rock, vulnerable to tectonic deformation and erosion by water.
- Water enters the mountain following superficial cracks and faults.
- As limestone is dissolved by this groundwater, a three-dimensional network of caverns and conduits forms over time.
- Such karstsystems act like a natural sponge inside the mountain.
- During some days of good weather, the cave appears completely dry.
- In fact, during the dry season (September-June), Tham Luang cave can be easily reached on foot.