Explore Hranice Abyss in 3D – the world’s deepest flooded freshwater abyss

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There are some places that few have seen or are yet to be discovered in the Czech Republic. They are hidden underground, created by water over millions of years… gorges, stalactite domes, canyons. Now, thanks to virtual reality and divers’ video recordings, the public has the opportunity to dive into the deep and explore the Hranice Abyss in 3D.

The popularity of the Hranice Abyss’ encouraged the town of Hranice to open a new information center in the former Teplice nad Bečvou station, a 1939 Functionalist building, cultural monument and important example of railway architecture from the first half of the 20th century.

The information center features an interactive 3D model of the Hranice Abyss, capturing the latest knowledge and research on the abyss.

“The abyss is an incredible natural rarity. We wanted to show visitors, using a large 3D model, what is beneath the surface and on the rising slope,” described architect Jitka Mácová.

3D glasses are available to help show various parts of the abyss, especially the places visitors cannot access. The 3D model was created based on videos recorded by the divers between 2000 and 2017, and then assembled with software. There is also a cinema where visitors can view a short film about the abyss.

The cave diving organization ZO 7-02 Hranice Karst, in cooperation with SG Geotechnika a.s., documented the Hranice Abyss through digital aerial photogrammetry using an unmanned aircraft (UAV). They acquired data which aided in the creation of the 3D digital georeferenced model of the abyss’ dry part. As a result, the model has accurate dimensions, inclinations, and articulations of the rock massif.

Check out the below Hranice Abyss video by Petr Chmel, Pragoaquanaut:

The Hranice Abyss is truly perilous due to its unique water composition. The ČSS ZO-7-02 Hranice Karst divers recently had to use closed-circuit diving equipment, CCR Liberty by Divesoft, to avoid chemical reactions and impaired visibility. With this equipment, the divers could safely dive 50 meters below.

Just how deep is the Hranice Abyss? The abyss was created atypically by mineral water springs far beneath the surface and therefore, it is not certain where the bottom is, though some theories suggest it could be as far down as 1200 meters. In 2015, divers reached 265 meters.

On the other hand, a recent analysis of the water indicated that there are helium isotopes that rise up from 40 km below. “How the helium gets into the abyss and how deep the water are big unknowns,” the President of the cave diving organization, ZO 7-02 Hranice Karst, Michal Guba, explained.

Some of nature’s secrets are yet to be discovered…

The vistor centre opening hours are Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm, and on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm.

Address: U Teplic 552, 753 01 Hranice | phone: +420 778 888 643 | e-mail: infocentrum.propast@mkz-hranice.cz | website: infocentrum-hranice.cz/infocentrum-hranicke-propasti

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