Misfir Cave – Dhal Al Misfir
An Overview of Misfir Cave
Misfir Cave is located in central Qatar, south of Rawdat Rashid. The rocks in and around the cave are made up of marine sediments that formed in a warm, shallow sea about 40 to 50 million years ago. The age of the cave is unknown, but must be younger than the rocks that host the cave. Inside the cave you can see two main sections of rock: the Damman Formation and the Rus Formation. The base of the Damman Formation is characterized by a “marker bed” called the Rujm Aid. The term “marker bed” is used for a section of rock that is easily recognized in a visible exposure, such as along a cliff or in a cave.
The panel below shows a map of Misfir Cave that was produced using surveying and cartography techniques to accurately depict a detailed representation of the cave. The Plan View shows the area of the cave in the form of a horizontal, flat map. The Running Profile View shows the area of the cave in the form of a vertical slice that follows the red line A to A’ as shown on the Plan View. Another vertical diagram of the cave can be seen along the red line B to B’. The combination of horizontal and vertical maps allows one to gain an understanding of the cave size and shape. In addition to traditional surveying and cartography techniques, new digital technology (LiDAR) allows for precise measurements and visualization in the form of detailed 3D images.
Proposed Model for the Development of Misfir Cave
1-A deep cave system developed thousands of years ago due to the dissolution of calcite and gypsum below a water table (WT) in the Rawdat Rashid area. Cave depth unknown below ground surface (GS).
2-Continuous collapse of the cave ceiling allowed the deep cavern to grow in size and for rubble to subsequently accumulate at the base of the cave. Cracks in the rock above the cave aid in the ongoing collapse.
3-Occasionally, the collapse reaches the ground surface and results in an opening like Misfir Cave, which is about 35 meters deep. Surface caves, like Misfir, are surface expressions of a complex cave system that exists much deeper below the ground surface. Acknowledgements: Southwest Geophysical LLC for cave survey data acquisition.