Stability evaluation of the Gumushane-Akcakale cave by numerical analysis method


JOURNAL OF MOUNTAIN SCIENCE, vol.16, no.9, pp.2150-2158, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11629-019-5529-1
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2150-2158
  • Keywords: Akcakale Cave, Dripstone, Finite element method, Karst caves, Numerical analysis, DAM SITE, DEFORMATION MODULUS, BEARING CAPACITY, SUPPORT-SYSTEMS, TUNNEL, ROCKS, AREA
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


The Akcakale Cave is located in the vicinity of the Arsa neighborhood within the boundaries of the Akcakale village, Gumushane, Turkey. The cave is rich in cave formations (stalactite, stalagmite, cave pearl, cave flower, wall travertines). Thus, the appropriateness of opening the cave to visitors to boost tourism is of importance for the local and national economy. This study analyzes the stability of the Akcakale Cave using a numerical analysis method. According to the results of the total displacement analysis, there are displacements in the entrance, ceiling, and sidewalls of the cave ranging from 1 mm to 48 mm. It seems that the entrance, ceiling, and sidewalls of the cave face a high risk of local or sudden collapse. According to the deformation analysis of the length section of the cave examined, local collapses may occur especially in the first 75 m from the entrance of the cave. We believe that this situation would not carry a risk for the Arsa neighborhood for now. In conclusion, the results of the stability analysis and in-situ observations showed clear evidence of former and ongoing cave-ins (collapses) and the Akcakale Cave faces a high risk of local or sudden collapse. Thus, although the Akcakale Cave is one of the most prominent karst caves in Turkey, it seems to be not appropriate to open the cave to tourist visits.