The Devon Karst Research Society & Speleološko Društvo "Zelena Brda"
Istočna Hercegovina, Bosna i Hercegovina.
Источна Херцеговина, Босна и Херцеговина,
Fatnica Polje, Eastern Herzegovina, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
updated 12 March 2004. Section 9.0.    THE "BABA PIT" ESTAVELLE  - ESTAVELA "BABA JAMA"  -  ЕСТАВЕЛА "БАБА ЈАМА" :


9.1.    LOCATION :
[GPS Identifiers :..43° 00' 47'' N : 018° 21' 02'' E.]
[Baba = "Grandmother".]
As with the "Obod" Estavelle, the "Baba Jama" Estavelle is also situated below the village of Orahovice in the extreme north-eastern corner of the Upper Polje floor, though situated further east than is the "Obod" Estavelle, from which it is 600 m. distant. The overflow to the Estavela "Baba Jama" is located at an elevation of 476 m asl.

Surface Area Description.

.....9.2.1. Surface Area Description :
This estavelle is another gigantic, classic example of a periodically active karst hydrological feature, although not quite on the same enormous scale as Estavela "Obod". The inclusion of the word "jama" in its name indicates that it should be a vertical feature. First hand experience confirms that it is so. Photo FP9.1. below gives some idea of the external appearance at the approach streambed. The surface shaft is vertically-sided with the limestone bedrock in a very crumbly condition due to the impact of the karst corrosion process.

Photo FP9.1....(Photo :  Bogdan Prelević, 05 March 2002.  Digital Sony FD92.)
The first view of the "Baba Jama" Estavelle as approached from the west side.



.....9.2.2.  Speleography :
On our first visit to the location on 05 March 2002, the water level was very low down in the surface shaft and this enabled us to observe passages leading off in different directions. The largest one of these appeared to lead off in the direction of the surface overflow streamway but about 20 metres below the surface streambed. It was possible to observe a sloping, boulder-strewn shaft floor beneath the static lake at the base of the surface shaft.

Photo FP9.2....(Photo : B. Lewarne, 05 March 2002.Digital Sony FD92.)
A view looking down the into the "Baba Jama" Estavelle from the ledge just below the top lip on its west side. The lake can be seen below.

We have no record of any speleological work ever having been undertaken at this location and, as a consequence, we have been unable to locate a previously published map of the cave passages in the estavelle system. The surface shaft area of the system appears to be well developed, with a complexity of lateral passages at all levels.

Photo FP9.3....(Photo :  Bogdan Prelević, 05 March 2002.  Digital Sony FD92.)
A view looking down into the "Baba Jama" Estavelle from a ledge at the north-east corner, looking across at the west lip and the ledge just below it. A large cave entrance can be seen leading in below the figure standing on the ledge.
Photo FP9.4....(Photo :  Bogdan Prelević, 05 March 2002.  Digital Sony FD92.)
A closer view of the lake and entrance to the cave passage leading in beneath the west side of the surface shaft. The water disturbance has been caused by throwing in a large rock to give some idea of scale.


Speleological Investigations.

.....9.2.3.  Cave Exploration in Estavela "Baba Jama" :
It will be possible to link the exploration of the Estavela "Baba Jama" site with that of the Estavela "Obod", insofar as they are hydrologically connected, though not necessarily in an easily accessible way. Additionally, the Estavela "Pribabići" is also connected further downstream.
As a precursor to a dedicated exploration of this important karst hydrological feature, a brief reconnaissance visit was made by members of the Project's Hungarian Cave Diving Team in September 2003. Having been briefed to expect a surface shaft depth to water level of about 25 metres, Dianovszki Tibor and Zsoldós Petér found that the Estavela "Baba Jama" entrance shaft did not compare in any way with the digital images and the expected depth as previously determined!!  Fortunately, they had sufficient rope to make a considerable descent into the shaft to a depth of 60 metres from its top overflow lip !!!  Water level was at this 60m. level, below which the shaft obviously continued. The water level obviously reflected that in the nearby Estavela "Obod". We provide a cross-sectional map of this shaft via the Link below.

Click on this Link to view
  *...Cross-sectional sketch Map of  Еставела "Баба Јама" /  Estavela "Baba Jama" /  Esztavele "Baba Jama" entrance shaft,
(by Dianovszki Tibor, dated October 2003).



.....9.3.1.  Functionality :
Under natural conditions, this estavelle starts functioning as an ascending spring at least half a day after Estavela "Obod". It is locally typed as a "vrelo" karst spring.

.....9.3.2.  Established Underground Flowline Data :
.....a) Date of Test  =  summer 1961.
.....Method  =  Na-fluorescein.
.....Water Velocity (sink to rising)  =
.....Connection  =  with Trebišnjica Springs at Bileća.

.....It has also been proven by Na-fluorescein dye testing that the incoming waters feeding the "Baba Jama" supply are identical with those feeding the Estavela "Obod" supply and are namely :-
.....- Cerničko Polje - Ključki River Ponor.  (18 November 1961.)
.....- Gatačko Polje - Srđevići Ponor.  (19 October 1964.)
.....- Turčinovac Ponor.  (22 November 1961.)
.....[See entries under these locations for further details.]

.....9.3.3.  Water Quality Data :
Details of the water quality at this site can be accessed in Section 2.  via the Link for the Fatnicko Polje Karst Water Quality Database and Species Sightings Records.

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