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Cave Slatinski Izvor

Date of Submission: 24/06/2004
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
Délégation permanente de l'ex-République yougoslave de Macédoine auprès de l'UNESCO
Coordinates: 41°34'45" N / 21°13'02" W
Ref.: 1917
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Natural values of the Cave Slatinski Izvor are significant in several aspects. It is the biggest of all caves explored so far in the Republic of Macedonia, with a total length of all channels of more than I km. Their spatial proportion, i.e. the size of internal morphological elements (slopes, cascades, dry river bed hollowed out, river terrace, sand deposition, as well as the number, diversity and dimensions of cave decorations - - stalactites, stalagmites, salives...), make the cave an unique natural phenomenon. It is also characterized by hydrographic elements (cave river with fissile and active sections, chasms, siphon lake, travertine ponds, springs at the exit from the cave), as well as the existence of living forms in the cave.

Among the characteristics of the cave, one could newly discovered channel (300 m) is 1100 m. With this length, the Cave Slatinski Izvor is the longest of all caves explored so far in the Republic of Macedonia. By its hydrographic function, the Cave Slatinski Izvor is an active, spring cave. It was created by mechanical and corrosive activity of the water flow, manifested as spring at the exit from the Cave. Apart from mechanical and corrosive activity of the water flow, the formation of the cave was also under great influence of micro tectonics, which initiated the direction of groundwater flow, i.e. the direction of cave channels. The dropping of the ground water flow in the Cave Slatinski Izvor went on in parallel with the hollowing out of Slatina River, and the main water artery -River of Treska. This is confirmed by the genesis of caves situated in the vicinity of the village of Slatino.

They are positioned at about 60 m above the level of Slatina River and are connected to the fluvio-glacial terrace of 50 - 60 m at the village of Belica, originating from the virm glacial. The caves were probably created during this last glacial phase. This manner of detecting the age of these caves (in correlation with the surface relief) is novelty in speleological science in the World (Jovanovic, 1928). The said caves in the basin of the Slatina River were created by ground water flows, which do no longer exist inside of them, and they are now diry caves. The present carstic hydrographic zone is at the level of the River of Treska. This is confirmed most obviously by the Cave Slatinski Izvor, which, by its origin, is the youngest carstic form in the area of Porecie Basin, the appearance of which dates back in the early Holocene, while its evolution is in progress.