January 19, 2010

More Nahr Ibrahim Hiking

Ranunculus ficaria (I think) and a purple anemone

I did some more hiking along the Nahr Ibrahim. Hence the flowers. The valley is teeming with them right now, as if it is spring.
The Ibrahim river starts in an aquifer (underground reservoir) somewhere in the Jabal Homsaya mountain. There’s Karst aquifers all over Lebanon; the main groundwater resource in Lebanon. If you want to know more about karst; Abdul Aziz Rantissi, one of the founders of Hamas, once gave me a lecture on that.
And in Afqa, the water comes thundering - through a huge opening - out of the mountain. It’s quite a sight if it is spring time, because the waterfall is quite impressive then. Right now we haven’t had much rain, and so the river is kind of slow.

Apparently you can climb into the cave some 3 kilometers, but there is not a whole lot of information I could find on that. A Belgian team did a nearby cave, Faouar Dara, also connected to an aquifer. From this source: Some 80% of precipitation occurs from November through February. The karst water emerges from five first-magnitude springs (Ain ez Zarqa (11m3/sec), Ain Anjar (max. 10m3/sec), Nabaa Ouazzani (max. 6m3/sec), Nabaa Arbaain (max. 3m3/sec) and Nabaa Barouk (max. 3m3/sec), plus hundreds of second- and third-magnitude springs, and thousands of smaller springs. More than two-thirds of the area of Lebanon (i.e. 6900 km2) is karstified and ( . . . ) karst features include many types of solutional shafts and galleries, grottoes, subsurface lakes and rivers and most types of speleothems. There are at least 15 aquifers in Lebanon, of which 14 are in karstified carbonate strata.
I can’t figure out any details on the river. It is somewhere around 22 kilometers long, and starts at approximately 1,200 meter above sea level. It seems the river is used to generate hydro-power. Some 67 KWh was generated in 1999. There are 3 plants with a total capacity of 32.5 MW (source). I’ve been there several times now this year (2010), but I missed this event; ‘BEIRUT: The ISF warned citizens Monday to stay away from the banks of the Nahr Ibrahim river from January 4 to January 7 as river channel cleaning works might cause heavy floods.’ That would have made some nice photo material. Or even a nicer post; ‘Dutch nationals swept away by floods in Lebanon’.

Update: Lalebanessa gave me an excellent link with cave info; The Afqa cave is 5260 meters long! And about those 67kWh; well, how am I supposed to know anout that stuff? With all the power cuts we're getting, 67 kWH goes a loooooong way as it is used in bits and pieces.


Lalebanessa said...

Hi Sietske, If you're interested in details caves, I suggest you contact the Speleo Club of Lebanon, their contact info is on their home page online. The following link is to cave lengths in lebanon on their site.

Anonymous said...

67kWh in 1999? A full year, and 67kWh is all? Sietske, Walid's bike can do this in one hour, and I can run my coffee machine for three days on this amount of electricity, and then it's gone. This is just as bad as when you invented a formula for the exponential growth of cars on a rainy day. Y.

Anonymous said...

By the way, use GPS blocker to disable all secret devices in your home or at work.

techcrunch said...

Many thanks Sietske for the lovely pictures and video I am from village call Mouasra next to the ibrahim river
I have lots of lovely memories there

Jundi said...

wow thats so cool that u met rantisi

kamagra said...

I would like to go there on vacations. The place looks paradisaical, and also as a good site to relax your body and to forget the noise of the city, at least for a while. In short, A place to enjoy how pretty is this world.

Anonymous said...

"Dutch national swept away"? Would anyone care except the Uterecht Gazette?

Lauren Bootfall said...

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