North of Tskaltubo.
|Doline Cretaceous limestone
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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გაბზარული ტბა (Cracked Lake) is an interesting karst feature near the Prometheus Cave and north of Tskaltubo. The name Cracked Lake is widely used in brochures, but is unfortunately a complete mistranslation of the original Georgian misnomer. There is no lake and nothing is cracked. And most descriptions of the site are just fantastic interpretations of the incorrect name.
The area around this lake is karstified and full of caves, called the Sataphlia-Tskaltubo karst area. The lake is a collapse doline, where the roof of the cave collapsed and formed a deep depression with mostly vertical walls. At the bottom is a lake, which is part of the karst groundwater table. In other words, there is no surface inflow or outflow, only the movement of the groundwater replaces the water, and the level of the lake depends on the groundwater level.
The specialty with this doline is the strange form. Normally a doline is round or oval, but this one is elongated, almost rectangular. It is 60 m long, but only between 2 m and 25 m wide, which looks more like a gorge. The surface of the lake is 25 m below the surrounding ground. The lake is 45 m deep, a siphon or sump which leads into the cave system.
This place is not restricted, so you can visit any time and for free. Unfortunately this means also, that there is no infrastructure at all, no trails and no stairs. It's a little tricky to find the doline as it is located in the forest and the mud paths are tricky and steep. Also, there is no way to go to the lake without climbing gear. If you go there be very careful and do not go alone.