Meghalaya: Mawmluh Cave among 100 IUGS geological heritage sites

Shillong: Meghalaya’s natural treasures have once again caught UNESCO’s attention. The Mawmluh Cave in Sohra, Meghalaya, was selected by the International Union of Geological Sciences – IUGS (UNESCO) as one of the ‘FIRST 100 IUGS GEOLOGICAL SITES’ in the world.

Mawmluh Cave, locally called Krem Mawmluh, is known for the ‘Meghalayan Age’. It is considered the fourth longest cave in the Indian Subcontinent and is known for the stalagmite structures and other rock formations inside the caves.  

Several scientists and geologist researched inside the cave and found huge stalactites and stalagmites. The stalagmite found inside Mawmluh cave, located at an elevation of 1,290 metres, made it into the Geologic Time Scale.

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma took to Twitter to share the news. Sangma, in his tweet, mentioned that the IUGS 60th Anniversary Event in Zumaia, Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark (Spain) will declare The First 100 IUGS Geological Heritage Sites selected from 181 candidate sites from 56 countries.

The Mawmluh Cave is a geological treasure field, where rainwater has been slowly dripping from the ceiling in the same spots for over 1,000 years. With each drop, minerals in the water accumulate on the floor below, slowly growing into calcium carbonate towers known as stalagmites.

Stalagmite caves, as research has shown, are more than geological wonders: like tree rings, their layers record the region’s rainfall history. They also carry a warning about the potential for catastrophic multiyear droughts in the future.

These stalagmites have revealed an accurate chronicle of severe and protracted droughts in India over the past 1,000 years coinciding with historical events like the abandonment of Fatehpur Sikri by the Mughals (between 1585 and 1610) due to water shortage, the infamous Chalisa Famine (1783-84) in north India and the Deccan Famine (1630–32).

Also Read | 1,000-year-old stalagmites from a cave in India show monsoon isn’t so reliable


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