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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

SKP meets MECET in Dubai

Recently I had the opportunity to meet up with Will Hardie from the MECET in Dubai.
We discussed some possible future collaboration concerning cave exploration on Socotra.

Insh Allah we find a period which fits for all, for a well prepared underground expedition on the island.

We even had a glimpse of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai... a sign for a fruitful collaboration.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Musandam (Oman) does hold some speleothems, so caves are waiting to be discovered!

During my last visit to Musandam I did discover some interesting speleothems, so finding caves to explore is just a matter of persistence, unfortunately time is lacking...

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Friends of Soqotra 2014 meeting – XIII Annual General FoS Meeting

For your information, the next FoS Annual meeting will take place in Rome, go check here for all details!
The "theme" of this year is:

Great to see all the "Socotra - Addicts" together!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Qat trade banned in Socotra's capital

SANA’A, June 10—On Sunday local Socotran authorities banned the qat trade in Hadibo, the capital city of Arkhabeel Socotra governorate, and ordered qat shops to be moved out of the city...

The complete article can be found,
here in the Yemen Times.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Socotran Speleothems and their storey:

Maïté Van Rampelbergh, Dominik Fleitmann, Sophie Verheyden, Hai Cheng, Lawrence Edwards, Peter De Geest, David De Vleeschouwer, Stephen J. Burns, Albert Matter, Philippe Claeys, Eddy Keppens
Mid- to late Holocene Indian Ocean Monsoon variability recorded in four speleothems from Socotra Island, Yemen
Quaternary Science Reviews, Volume 65, 1 April 2013, Pages 129–142
Four stalagmites covering the last 7.0 ka were sampled on Socotra, an island in the northern Indian Ocean to investigate the evolution of the northeast Indian Ocean Monsoon (IOM) since the mid Holocene. On Socotra, rain is delivered at the start of the southwest IOM in May–June and at the start of the northeast IOM from September to December. The Haggeher Mountains act as a barrier forcing precipitation brought by the northeast winds to fall preferentially on the eastern side of the island, where the studied caves are located. δ18O and δ13C and Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca signals in the stalagmites reflect precipitation amounts brought by the northeast winds. For stalagmite STM6, this amount effect is amplified by kinetic effects during calcite deposition. Combined interpretation of the stalagmites' signals suggest a weakening of the northeast precipitation between 6.0 and 3.8 ka. After 3.8 ka precipitation intensities remain constant with two superimposed drier periods, between 0 and 0.6 ka and from 2.2 to 3.8 ka. No link can be established with Greenland ice cores and with the summer IOM variability.
In contrast to the stable northeast rainy season suggested by the records in this study, speleothem records from western Socotra indicate a wettening of the southwest rainy season on Socotra after 4.4 ka. The local wettening of western Socotra could relate to a more southerly path (more over the Indian Ocean) taken by the southwest winds. Stalagmite STM5, sampled at the fringe between both rain areas displays intermediate δ18O values. After 6.2 ka, similar precipitation changes are seen between eastern Socotra and northern Oman indicating that both regions are affected similarly by the monsoon. Different palaeoclimatologic records from the Arabian Peninsula currently located outside the ITCZ migration pathway display an abrupt drying around 6 ka due to their disconnection from the southwest rain influence. Records that are nowadays still receiving rain by the southwest winds, suggest a more gradual drying reflecting the weakening of the southwest monsoon.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Foreign Sailors on Socotra

A brand NEW hardback, expected by the end of this year!  

Several years ago a group of Belgian speleologists of the Socotra Karst Project made a spectacular discovery. Deep inside a huge cave on the island Socotra they came across a large number of inscriptions, drawings and archaeological objects. As further investigation showed, they were left by sailors who visited the island between the 1st c. BC and the 6th c. AD. The majority of the texts are written in the Indian Brahmi script, but there are also inscriptions in South-Arabian, Ethiopian, Greek, Palmyrene and Bactrian scripts and languages. This corpus of nearly 250 texts and drawings thus constitutes one of the main sources for the investigation of Indian Ocean trade networks in the first centuries of our era. The present book is the first comprehensive edition and study of this material. It comprises contributions by an international group of scholars who have been working on these new discoveries for a couple of years (in alphabetical order): Mikhail D. Bukharin (Moscow), Peter De Geest (Brussels), Hédi Dridi (Neuchâtel), Maria Gorea (Paris), Julian Jansen Van Rensburg (Brussels), Christian Julien Robin (Paris), Bharati Shelat (Ahmedabad), Nicholas Sims-Williams (London, Oxford) and Ingo Strauch (Berlin).

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Friends Of Socotra Annual Meeting 2012

Friends Of Socotra Annual Meeting

September 21-23 at the BiK-F, Senckenberg Institute, Frankfurt a.M., Germany. More than sixty participants attended the meeting, including members from Soqotra. Here you can find the final Programme Book and the Press Information (21.09.2012)