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Tuesday, 23 December 2003

Multidisciplinarity is an "in sine qua non"!

Just after the traditional turkey at Christmas eve we will leave for Soqotra. A team of 17 persons, the biggest until now, will explore and start up new research on Soqotra for 3 weeks. A preliminary geomorphological survey will be conducted, archaeological inventarisation, geochemical and biospeleological sampling, datalogger testing, eco-toerism infrastructure, sustainable development ,... and this all in and around the Soqotran karstic terrain, only recently discovered!

Friday, 28 November 2003

Period and SKP5 members are fixed!

The 13th of November we had our 2nd meeting. The period and team is fixed now. The more practical details will be discussed next month.
An interesting cooperation with a film studio is started, more information will be available soon!

Thursday, 23 October 2003

Preparing SKP5

Life start after you are married some say, well I'm ready for it, let's kick off!
The 26th a new SKP5 team met for the first time. Ruff ideas are discussed and all members try to obtain there vital leave from work. During the next two months our preparations will be intensified.

Friday, 12 September 2003

A caving weekend before my marrage!

You are able to read our SKP4 report on-line.
I'll give a presentation at the National Caving Days (Heure, Belgium 21 -22 September). This year time left to marry my girlfriend on the 26th!

Friday, 29 August 2003

Dataloggers and cave divers

Climate dataloggers, build at the Royal Observatory (Prof. Dr. M. van Ruymbeke), will be tested. One system will function on solar energy, sponsored by the firm Marbel nv, thanks again! A cave diving team will join me at the end of this month to map and film the siphons we discovered earlier.

Monday, 28 July 2003

A holiday between lava and under dragons' blood?

While most of the team members are caving abroad, my girlfriend and I will go for a real holiday to Madeira Island. Why Madeira? Well, this gives me the opportunity to visit my first lava tube and I will feel familiar, because of the Dragonblood trees!

Thursday, 19 June 2003

Dating a speleothem?

Numerous contacts are actually being made for active participation during our next field trips to the Soqotran Archipelago.
The first U/Th dates from speleothems are seeping in and oxygen and carbon stable isotope analyses are processed. We invest a lot of time and effort in constructing suitable dataloggers to monitor the actual climate above and in some particular cave systems for my Ph.D. study.

Saturday, 24 May 2003

SKP provides drinking water for Soqotri!

We just heard that the people from two villages near the NE coast are thrilled! They were able to bring some water from an underground waterfall we discovered in January directly to their villages through piping. This and the protection of Hoq cave are our first practical achievements.
A poster session: "Explorative karstological research on the island Soqotra (Yemen)" was held at the International Karst Record III: Climate Changes Symposium at the CNRS in Montpellier, France. Firm international contacts were made for future cooperation.
All team members come together to collect all digital photographs, review the topographical cave maps and start preparing SKP4 and 5!

Thursday, 24 April 2003

SKP invited by the SAS?

An invited lecture “The underground Mysteries of Soqotra revealed“ was held at the joined meeting of the Society for Arabian Studies, the British-Yemeni Society and the Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, England. Many thanks to the organizers and all people who attended the meeting.
Even Sir Douglas Botting, author of "Island of the Dragon's Blood" from 1958, found some time to come over, a real honour!
A general article is published in the Dutch magazine “Op Pad”, n°3 April 2003, pag.44-49, see the link page for more info.

Sunday, 16 February 2003

Congratulations to our 10.000th website visitor!

The first pictures are burned on CD-rom and the first surveys are drawn in pencil... time to come together. You will find some secured pictures on our web-site, but the surveys will not be published on-line anymore to prevent abuse.
The website of John is updated, you can find the link at our link page!
We just welcomed our 10.000th visitor, congratulations! Most people search through Google and visitors come from Europe (Belgium 53%, UK 7%, The Netherlands 6,5%, Italy 3,2%, France 2,7%,...), North America (12%), Asia (United Arabian Emirates 1,1%, Hong Kong, Pakistan and Yemen each 0,4%), Australia (0,7%), Africa (South Africa 0,3%) and 2,1% remains of an unknown origin!

Wednesday, 22 January 2003

Live updates by sattelite phone.

Our Web-master Kris Rotsaert will publish our reports online, send to him by satellite-phone. So, enjoy our Site and follow our team on the Island (almost) in real time!
Rik and Kris will prepare a brief presentation of the first two weeks of the SKP3 expedition to present our work at the "Day of caving explo" (Journée de l'explo, Bruxelles).
The archaeological discoveries, found in Hoq Cave (01/01) are now published in a French archaeological magazine: “Archéologia” (N°396, Janvier 2003, blz. 48-57, ISSN 0570-6270), info