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Sureanu Mountains

Landforms present in theSureanu Mountains are closely related tothe existing rock types here. Thus, this limestone and crystalline limestone, the lithological concrete, the isolatedrocks and canyons break the monotony of the landscape in this steep slope. The Karst phenomenaof surface and depth, very spectacular, but lessknown to hiking lovers,are grouped inthe north-west and south-west mountains, in four coreswith different extensions:between Gradistea de Munte and Vârtoapele Hill, between localitiesCioclovina and Baru, near Bolii Cave- Banita- Crivadia area and the last area, in the north-eastof Petrosani Depression,in Piatra Lesului Peak.

The complex karst -Cioclovina with Water -Ponorici -Calianu (karst basin 2063)

The karst perimeter, Ciclovinawith Water - Ponoraci - Calianu, known as LuncaniPlatform is situated between the crystallinein the north and east and the valley of Strei River in the west and south.

The region falls to the karst of "plateau suspended” ranging altimetric between about 500m and 1147m(Peak Plopi).Although modest in size (40 km), about 20kilometers length and 2-6 kilometers wide (Ilie D. Ion), this mass of limestone,due to its homogeneityand to its bulk, offers surprisesboth in terms of the landscape surface and inthe development of underground galleries.

In terms of hydrology,the analyzed surface overlaps the upper river basin Calianuand The Mill Valley (Valea Morii). With the shale-limestone contact and the course of thesesubaerian rivers being short, they disappeared in forming a vast underground gallery. The Mill Valley presentsan underground route in cave Ponoraci - Ciclovinawith water, trapping here a part of the underground network of Cave Calianu.

The originality of this area is giving the combination of karst relief formswith archaic forms of housing. The karst-related place names are Dacian resonates. The advantages of relief were well capitalized by exokarst Dacians (Peak Tafla as monitoring point ; the cave as a shelter), but also by the Romans (the valleys of sinkholes used as the Roman road, the interfluves between the dolinare valleys were used for camps, the karst springs as permanent water sources).
The importance of the perimeter proposed for protection is threefold: landscape, scientific,cultural and historical.
The importance of landscape is the result of alternating crystalline heavy relief,requiring the development of the limestone terrain.Modeling outstanding karst landscape is favored by hydrological, climatic, lithologic and structural factors.

The Exokarst is well represented by:
- Clints -free clints - in the vicinityof Ponoraci pothole;
- burried clints;
- semi-burried clints - near Cave Calianu, The Triscioare area, The Trojan Plateau
- Sinkholes, locallycalled the "army" or "Tecan", specific between Ponoraci and Ciclovina with WaterCaves and Triscioare area.

The Dolinare Valleys indicatethe route of the undergroundgalleries. The Dry Valley "Albiile” follows the underground tothe surface of Ponoraci River (Mill Valley), nowcaptured in a homonymousdepression. The dryvalley of Trojan indicates the underground course of the stream Calianu in the cave with the same name. Some sinkholes are home to permanent karst lakes, as is the Puianu.

-Depression type "oval” detected by Valer Trufas in the south of Arsului Hill;

-Depression of contact karst (after M. Bleahu) micropolie (after Valeria Velcea)–the Ponoraci depression, locatedon Mill Valley,above the cave with the same name.

-- The valleys in the "bottom of the bag" (MillValley), the blind valleys (Valleys Calianuand Ponoraci) andthe antithetic stepped valleys (Albiile Valley).

The Endokarst is represented by caves and potholes,with highly complex genetic and morphological features, currently being inventoried 68cavities. The most important in size, morphogenesis andconcretion are Cave Ponoraci- Ciclovina with Water, Cave Calianul Valley (Cave Valea Stanii), Cave Dry Cioclovina,the pothole from Stiubei, the pothole that follows Trojan.

The morphogenesis of underground voids and specific issues

Valley Calianu Cave (D = 1541m, d = 165m) is developed on the lithologic contact of limestone-shale and within two types of carbonate rocks (limestonewith silica and limestone reefs with ruban). It is the richest cave system with a regard to the concretions we find here. The origin of the second active has not been identified yet.

Dry Cioclovina Cave(D = 2002.5m, d = 121.7 m), developed on three levels, has at 65m share a permanent activesource and the direction of drainage was not identified. It is the place where it has been discovered the oldest skull of Homo Sapiens Fosilisin Romania, and also the place of discovery of four superimposed Paleolithic layers, describing the world premiere of a new mineral-the ardealit -an important deposit of guano-phosphate. It is worth mentioning the richness and rarity of the terminal formations andthe development of a colony of bats in the fossilcave. The power sources of temporary active in this sector are diffuse lossesof Triscioare Plateau.

Cave Ponoraci-Ciclovina with Water (D = 6713m,d = 154m) is the largest karst system. It is a geological water penetration of Calianu and Ponoraci Streams. It is the discovery place of an important treasure dating back to Hallstatt (600 metal ornaments and thousands of beads of amber, ceramics and stained glass).
- Hydrogeological there are still manyunclear points on the source and discharge of the water from underground. To be mentioned that the low human population density in the karst platformposes no major riskfor groundwater contaminationwith sewage, butthe accessibility of marginal mountain environment led to the development of sheepfolds. It is desirable to avoid overcrowding the area, a bad example of sheepfolds poorly located are those near the entrance of Cave Calianu and Ponoraci or above them, in the crystalline area. Also, the forest exploitation, conducted so far inthe water catchments of both rivers, has led to changes in the balance of slopesand to shallow karstenvironmental damage.
Cultural-historical importance lies in the age ofthe space analyzed, and the necessity to preserve paleontological and archaeological sites and also the living environment with specificrural-mountain karst.

Perimeter Sura Mare - FundaturaPonor – The suspended storey Lola (karst basin 2065)

Located at the right of Strei Valley,upstream the confluence with Ponor Valley, the analyzed area is part of "StreiBasin, upstream Livadia, on the right slope." It includes the most important caves of Sureanu Mountains, in terms ofsize, concretion and the underground fauna.
In terms of hydrology the analyzedarea overlaps Ponor Hobenilor and Sipotel river basins. From the Shale-limestonecontact the courseof these subaerian rivers being short, they disappeared in forminga vast undergroundgallery. Ponor- Hobenilorvalleys present anunderground route in Sura Mare Cave, successivestaining being demonstrated.
The springs of the waters of Sura Mica Cave (Cave of Cocolbea) were not identified. With regard to the position of the suspended storey Lola (300-440mabove the river Petros)and considerable lack of springs flow fromthe limestone steep of Petros, it was concluded that water drains partiallyor totally here toCave Sura Mica.


Sura Mare Cave opens at the upstream endof a long keysector of about 500m, which appears as a valley bottombag in Ohaba rivercarved at the base of Fruntea Mare Sloap. The cave entrance is distinguished by the opening (8-12m wide andalmost 40m high),the huge marmite and hulls. This has been reported to be home of the largest colony of bats hibernating in our country, belonging to Pippistrelus Pippistrelus species (Margareta Dumitrescu).


Sura Mica Cave
(Cave of Cocolbea)is known as a possible resurgence of waterin karst plateau Lola.It also hosts colonies of bats. The most interestingphenomenon is theformation of the chalk tuff in the entrancegallery.

The pothole behind Lacusorul is among the deepest in the country, consisting of a well of 155m, which unfolds down in the two galleries to over 260 m. The asset supplies the underground activity in Cave Sura Mare.

The karst lakes fillthe permanent morphological complexity of this area.We mention Taul Negru situated at the south of Peak Lola (1033.8m) and the accumulation of water in Comarnic career.
The originality of the mountainous region lies in combining the exposure to favorable settlements in the south, of the microclimatesof karstic depressionsand shelter fromhigh humidity due to the horizontal relief. The best example is Fundatura Ponor- Hobenilor, Hobeni Meadows, which is the meeting placeof the flocks in the surroundingsof Hateg Country.

The existence of bauxite resources and their exploitation in the careerof Comarnic (downstream HobenilorMeadow) and also underground, led to the natural circulationof water, and to karstformation on the surface of waste dumps.
The need to protect the watersheds of riversthat form the underground assets is given by the importance of the endokarst, but also by the high anthropogenic pressure inthis exokarst space. The underground assets in the cavesmentioned are the only sources of drinking water for downstream villages (Ponor, OhabaPonor) and thehamlets in the mountainous area (FundaturaPonorului, Hobeni, Lola).

PERIMETRUL CARSTIC POIANA – TECURI – ŞIPOT (Bazinul carstic 2066)

Cu aspect de platou suspendat între 800m şi 1318m, aceată regiune cuprinde peşteri importante ca denivelare şi dezvoltare: P Tecuri (D=838m; d=41m), P. Sifonului (D=1003m; d=32m), Ponorul Răchiţeaua (D= 2394m; d=243,4m), P. Din Valea Clenjii (D=1182m; d=127m). Fenomene exocarstice interesante sunt pierderile de ape de la Poiana şi ponorul Vacii. Reprezentativă pentru această zonă este "Groapa de la Tăul fără Fund”, cu o suprafaţă de 62000km2.În interiorul ei se formează un curs de apă care se pierde în Peştera de la Tăul fară Fund. Aceasta nu este singura dolină de surpare din regiune, dar are cele mai mari dimensiuni. Peştera Tecuri a fost descoperită la începutul secolului XX, fiind cercetată din 1952 de către V. Puscariu si T.Orhidan. Ea cuprinde un impresionant dom stalagmitic (7m h).

The Karst Perimeter COMARNICEL-VARTOAPE-Banita
(basin karst Banita2068)

Located along the karst basins 2066 and 2067, the limestone in this area is in the form of marginal mountainborders. Although the exokarst landscape is well represented, the endokarst does not provide the dimensions of the perimeterscavities described above. It is interesting to note the alternation of the canyon sectors (Izvoreni, Baba-Valley), with sinkholes in the plateaus (Izvoreni, Fetii Peak, Comarnic Hill, Vartoape)and limestone cliffs- The Stone of Brandusa.
Water supply sources of village Banita (Jitioni) come in part from the limestone perimeter,among which Izvorul de la Moara, whose wateris a resurgence largelyfrom Baba Valley.

The Karst Perimeter Bolii Hill and The Cave

(karst basin Banita 2068)

Bolii Hill is actually an underground limestone bar crossed by Jupaneasa Stream. It was originally an affluent of Banita, with the thalwegof 25-30m, higher than the current levels.

Drawn below the baseof Petrosani Basin, the river valley has deepenedin the upstream sectorof the canyon were seen in four levels of erosion.Also interesting is the central basindepression, a result of the confluenceof the canyon.

Due to the location of the railway Simeria-Petrosani, the downstream sector of the canyon has beenexpanded by human activities.Bolii Cave (Cetatea Bolii Peak) (D = 455m, d = 12m) is situated on the limestonewall and it represents a geological crossing.
This limestone,by introducing a higher albedo, creates a specificmicroclimate, favorable to the development of flora specific to the rocky elements, including many southern speciesand endemism: Juniperussabina, Syringa vulgaris,Fraxinus ornus, borbassiSorbus, Spiraea chamaedryfolia,Hepatica Transylvania asperula Capital, DoronicumColumnae.

Pestera Bolii (sinonim P. Cetatea Bolii)(D=455m; d=12m) este situata la o altitudine de 720m, la baza peretelui calcaros, ea reprezentand o strapungere hidrogeologica. Primele date bibliografice asupra acestei pesteri se datoresc lui M.J.Ackner (1838). O scurta descriere a cavităţii a fost facuta pentru prima dată de A. Bielz (1881 si 1889); Teglas Gabor aminteste de pestera in 1902, iar O.Floca in 1957. Pestera prezinta o galerie principală de 455 m, cu o diferenta de nivel intre insurgenta si resurgenta de 2-3 m. Deschiderea de la insurgenta este inalta de 10m si larga la baza de 20m, fiind orientata spre ENE. In interiorul pesterii, cursul apei este meandrat. Largimea maxima a galeriei este de 45m şi se gaseste la o distanta de 75 m de la intrarea din amonte. Inaltimea galeriei principale se mentine intre 10-12 m, iar orientarea generala este de la est—nord-est spre vest—sud-vest.

Datorită creşterii importante a nivelului apei la ploi torenţiale şi de durată, de o parte sau de alta a râului subteran s-a format un sistem de terase din material aluvionar. Cea inferioară are înălţimi între 20 si 50 cm. Terasa superioara se gaseste la 2-3 m deasupra nivelului apei, constituind platforme cu margini abrupte si acoperite cu argila fina amestecata cu guano.

Pereţii peşterii păstrează urme ale eroziunii diferenţiate realizate de cursul subteran la diferite nivele de curgere. Apa riului Jupaneasa, la iesirea din pestera, formeaza o cascada pe sub podul de cale ferata.

Fauna actuală este reprezentată de cateva nevertebrate şi temporar de către lilieci.

Sector cu lapiezuri în Cheile Băniţei
Intrarea amonte în Peştera Bolii