jama, the deepest pit in Croatia, has been discovered by Slovak speleologists,
members of the Student University Club from Bratislava. It is situated
in the northern part of
Velebit massif in Lomska duliba in the Strict Nature Reserve
Hajdučki and Rožanski kukovi. It has been named after Ozren Lukic, a caver
killed as a Croatian soldier on Mt. Velebit. It is 1421 m deep (results of
expedition "Lukina jama 2010.") and today is among 20 deepest caves in the World.
Entrance in Lukina
- a crag dimensions 22,5 x 5 m.
..."..."What have you found?" We ask impatiently. For joy and excitement
Stano cannot express himself well about depth of the pothole. Abyss! After
several hundreds of meters rumbling of a stone disappear in the depth...
Results of speleological
expedition "Lukina jama 2010"
Speleological expedition “Lukina jama 2010” had
several goals: speleological research, especially cave diving in the
siphon-lake at the bottom of the pit, new speleological map and
scientific research which includes studies of the subterranean
fauna, hydrogeology, physical, chemical properties and other
characteristics of the pit. Cave divers and members of the
Speleological section Velebit as well as CMRS, Ivica Ćukušić and
Robert Erhardt, dived into the submerged passage at the bottom of
the dry part of the pit for 135 m in length and 21 m in depth.
During the expedition, well known Croatian cave diver and member of
Speleological section of HPD Željezničar and Croatian
Biospeleological Society (CBSS), Branko Jalžić, dived into the
submerged passage at the bottom of the pit at 40 m in depth. This
explorations have increased the overall cave depth from 1392 m to
1421 m, which makes Lukina jama the 15th deepest cave in the world.
...Saturday, August 7th 1993....at 9.45PM, all three of us, descended to
From 19th July till
15th August 1993, The Speleological Committee of the Croatian Mountaineering
Association (KSHPS), organised caving camp in Lomska
duliba at Northern Velebit. The camp was separated
in two parts. In the first, from 19th till 31st July the leader was Anđelko
Novosel (SS HGD). The cave was rigged till -170 m when, due to inexperience
with icy caves, descending is stopped till arrival of other explorers. From
1st till 13th August the leader was Branko Jalžić (SOŽ),
while on 14th and.15th August Damir Lacković (SOV). Under
their leadership exploration of the cave, still called Manual, were restarted.
When the Croatian
depth record was achieved (till then it was pothole Stara škola on Biokovo,
deep -576 m), on proposal of Damir Lacković pothole was renamed "Lukina jama"
after caver u Ozren Lukić - Luka, killed in war at the southern Velebit a year
Feeling of exploration
euphoria dominated the camp. Teams entered the cave one after another, depth
increased daily. Practically every team ran out of rope.
Saturday, August 7th, 1993.
By Damir Lacković
We took ropes
for further descending, but left 100 metres at the beginning of long pitch,
beyond a crawl. Penetrating deeper, at 7.30 p.m. we run out of rope at the beginning
of another long pitch. Siniša climbed back to pick up rope left ahead, and was
back by 8.30. p.m. We have used the rope on the pitch, to conclude it is the
last, at 9.45 p.m., all three of us, descended to the bottom, Damir first, than
Siniša and finally Šišmiš.
Lukina jama: After a week of descending
into depth, group of there: Damir Lacković (SOV), Siniša
Rešetar (SOV) and Robert Dado (SOŽ)
on the date August 7th, 1993 about 9.45 p.m., reached the bottom at the depth
of - 1355 m.
days was needed for cave to be rigged till bottom including setting up
of two bivaques (from 31st July till 7th August 1993), while derigging
and transportation out of cave took four days (from 10th till 14th
explored Trojama (Manual II) pothole in the period from 23rd till 28th July
till the connection with Lukina jama at depth of -558 m, so the depth of the
cave system Lukina jama - Trojama increased till -1386 m.
Trojama. Foto: B.Šmida
diving at the depth of 1349 m (counting from the lower entrance)
represents a kind of world record accomplished by Zoran Stipetić and Teo
Barišić. Afer diving, new depth of Lukina jama from the upper entrance
is -1392 m.
A big sensation
on the expedition "Lukina jama '94" was a discovery, done by Ana
of a new animal sort, just at the bottom of Lukina jama. This animal belongs
to a new leech family. It is white and 3 cm long, lives in water at the
temperature of 4°C. Moves like a caterpillar (stretching-contracting motion)
and has extremities, which look like small legs. It is named
mestrovi. Genus received the name from the country of origin and side
extremities (most probably auxiliary respiratory organs - branchia).
Species name mestrovi is in honour of academician Milan Meštrov,
Lukina jama na -1200 m. Foto: A.Bakšić
Too early period
of expedition was probable source of many difficulties. In fore - actions during
June bigger quantity of ice is observed, some of earlier used bolts could not
be used. After the 2nd day of expedition an avalanche of ice and snow covered
rope at the depth of -140 m, where new rope had to be rigged, and at the depth
of -550 m it had to be dig out. Telephone cable, used a year before, was broken
too, so it needed repairing. During repairing phone cable one caver got cramps
in hands due to long hours in the harness and on rope. He was pulled out the
cave by windlass. This difficulties slowed down descending into the cave, so
this year only two cavers reached the bottom: Damir Lacković and Robert Erhardt.
During the short time at the bottom they have collected two specimen of endemic
Expeditions in Lukina jama
MORPHOLOGY AND CHARACTERSITICS OF LUKINA JAMA
LUKINA JAMA (PIT)
CAVE SYSTEM LUKINA JAMA - TROJAMA
Hajdučki kukovi, NP Sjeveni Velebit, Hrvatska
Depth: -1421 m
Length (horizontal): 1078 m
(1993.-1995.): The Speleological Committee of the Croatian
SO PDS Velebit,
SO HPD Željezničar, SO HPD Dubovac, SO
SO HPD Japetić, SSHGD, SD Špiljar, SUK Bratislava
DESCRIPTION OF LUKINA
JAMA ( MORPHOLOGY)
Entrance in Lukina
jama is a crag dimensions 22,5 x 5 m. From the entrance
to Whiskey chamber, at the depth of -320 m it is practically vertical. From
the depth of -50 till -320 m on rocky sides could be found tick layers of snow
and ice. In the first part of the cave, at the depth of -53 m and -178 m are
two side passages. The upper leads into smaller chamber with icy waterfall 27
m high, while lower is meanderic, snowy and steeply goes down till a small lake
at the depth of -195 m (to this point Slovaks descended in 1992). Below Whiskey
chamber is a pitch 228 m high. On its bottom is a sloppy ledge 27 m long. Here,
at -558 m below the surface, is connection with Trojama (Manual II). Thereafter
are several minor pitches till traverse at -638 m. Starting from the traverse,
a hundred metres pitch leads to a small ledge, yet another pitch of 4 m and
there is entrance of a meander wide 3-5 m. Here, at the depth of -743 m the
1st bivouac is situated. Between the 1st and 2nd bivouac is a pitch of a craggy
meander shape in its upper part, while it gets wider in the lower part, split
by several minor ledges.
Ulazni ledeni dijelovi jame (lijevo).
Whiskey dvorana na -320 m (sredina) - foto: V. Božić. Uski
prolaz iz dvorane na -950 m gdje je bio 2. bivak (desno) - foto:
Bivouac II is at
the depth of -950 m, in a chamber 85m long and 70 m wide. On the Northeast side
of the chamber a narrowing connects it with the next pitch high 142 m that ends
by a sloppy ledge at the depth of -1092 m. Below the ledge at -1102 m is a narrow
entrance into Vjetroviti kanal (Windy passage) which is a meander 47 m long
going downhill. After passing speleothemic narrowing starts a pitch of 109,5
m, followed by several shorter and finally slope till the depth of -1311 m.
Here, the passage ends filled by boulders covered by clay. There is a possibility
to traverse the passage a bit higher and bypass. Possibility for finding new
space is not high, though. According to the ground plan this part of the cave
should be connected with a small side passage, just before the bottom.
The main passage
descends from the sloppy ledge at -1097 m through several minor pitches till
the point of connection with the 30 m long upstream passage. Follows several
minor pitches and big pitch of 95 m. Just before the bottom are two small pitches.
At the bottom is a chamber 20 m long and 5 m wide with a siphon-lake in the
Southeast direction. Second, smaller siphon
is situated across the first. The 1st siphon is dived in length of 57 m where,
after an air pocket, starts another siphon.
There are two side
passages at the bottom. One is above siphon-lake at the eastern side of the
chamber and it splits into two smaller passages, all together 32,5 m long. The
endemic leech is discovered here. The second side passage is situated in Northwest
part of the chamber 8 m above the 2nd siphon. It separates into two parts, too;
one of which is extremely narrow (it has a potential for further progress, but
has to be widen, by hilti), the second passage is wider and easier to pass through.
Together they are 120 m long.
Bottom of Lukina
jama reached so far is just 83 m above sea level, and 10,5 km far from the sea.
Further flow of the subterranean streams is probably in the sea direction and
submarine and coastal springs in area from Žrnovica to Jablanac.
3D crossection of Lukina jama-Trojama, made by D. Bakšić and Dr. V.
Lukina jama-Trojama topo
Description of Trojama
( Manual II )
Entrance in Trojama
is a crag long 26 m and wide about 2 m. The entrance pitch is 140 m deep, with
several side holes, that probably lead into parallel underground pits, still
Openings at southeastern
side of the pothole are very interesting, because could be connected with the
cave no. 15, which would increase the depth of the system for 3 m.
At -140 m starts
icy part of the cave wide from 0,7 till 6 m. At the point where ice stops is
a narrow entrance into passage called Grmač. If ice breaks, it could close the
entrance. The meander is easy to pass in its middle part, but in the lower part
is very narrow. After meander is a vertical named Plana stovka (Bad hundred)
deep 80 m, which ends by a shallow lake. Thereafter are several smaller pits
from Baldachyn till Monzunova šachta (Monsoon pitch). On the whole part from
Grmač till Monzunova šachta one could not see the ceiling.
Baldachyn is a side
passage with a wig where, in need, is possible to make a bivouac. Monzunova
šachta, 160 m deep, connects with Lukina jama at the depth of -558 m, or at
-595 m if measured from the entrance of Trojama. Stream starts here, than stronger
or weaker, flows through whole lower part of the system. The depth of cave system,
measured from the higher entrance is -1392 m.
Geological profile of Lukina
D.Lacković, B.Šmida, D.Bakšić
A crossection through
the Mt. Velebit incuding Lukina jama, Slovačka jama, Velebita, Meduza,
Patkovog gušt, Olimp, Lubuška jama, Ledena jama (2008.) by D.Bakšić
See also new results of the exploration of
Lubuška jama and possibility of connection with Lukina jama-Trojama.
FEATURES OF LUKINA JAMA
of the system Lukina jama is its morphology. It is characterised by vertical
shape and great depth of -1392 m. For ecological point of view it is interesting
for three micro climatic layers, firstly entrance icy part with the temperature
of about 1 °C, secondly, middle part with the temperature up to 2 °C and bottom
part with temperature till 4 °C. Important ecological factor is presence of
smaller water stream starting at 550 m of depth till the bottom, where are submerged
passages. Different organic remedies at rocks in this part of the cave draws
a conclusion that water floods space up to several meters above the lowest,
summer level. Temperature of water in the lowest part of the cave was 4 °C.
The most important
discovery is that of finding endemic stygobiontic leech noticed by Ana Bakšić
List of discovered
animal species in Lukina jama: Marifugia cavatica,
stygobiontic leech that is the most important biological result during the
expedition, Niphargus croaticus,
hercegowiniensis, Hassia stenopodium,
angustatus, one specimen of
beetle from group Bathysciinae (very similar to genera Radziella known
from Biokovo Mountain), Chiroptera:
observed one bat in a narrow pass at -950 m depth.
List of literature about Lukina jama-Trojama