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Original article

UIS KHS Commission
Speleogenesis and Evolution of Karst Aquifers, 2006, Vol 4, Issue 9
Giant dolines of the Muller Plateau, Papua New Guinea

The Muller Plateau lies within the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, and is distinguished by its giant dolines. Many of these have exceptionally large dimensions and a morphology comparable to that of the megadolines of the Nakanai Mountains on New Britain and the tiankengs of the South China karst. They are all caprock dolines. The geology, physical geography and hydrology of the Muller Plateau are compared with those of the Nakanai Mountains and the South China karst. Proposed mechanisms for the formation of three groups (Rogorepo, Mamo and Atea) of giant dolines on the Muller Plateau are discussed. The Muller Plateau giant dolines, like the megadolines and the tiankengs, formed during the Pleistocene. The Muller Plateau dolines have formed in an environment that has many similarities to the other giant dolines. However, it is unlikely that they will ever evolve to the magnificence of the Nakanai megadolines or the aesthetics of the Chinese tiankengs, as a controlling factor in their development is a siltstone caprock and impure interbeds within the Darai Limestone.