Support exploration of the Karakul impact crater in Tadjikistan and contribute to the acquisition of a boat useful for geologist and pamiris !


The project




Karakul, an impact crater in Pamir


Tajikistan, a small country in Central Asia, known for its Pamir mountains also has on its territory an amazing geological formation, an impact crater. This 50 km diameter crater called Karakul is located at 4000 meters above sea level near the Kyrgyz and Chinese borders. This crater formed by the impact of an asteroid is one of the largest and certainly one of the youngest that we find on Earth but is still poorly known. Some early clues that Karakul is an impact crater do exist but it is necessary to organize a new expedition to confirm the extraordinary origin of this lake that may imply an overhaul of the geological history of Pamir .  





A new expedition from 15th to 25th August 2016


In 1993, Eugene Gurov, an Ukrainian scientist, has postulated for the first time the hypothesis of the impact origine of the Karakul lake. A group of french and tajik geologist has organized a new expedition in July 2011 which allowed to study a small part of the structure (the peninsula and the island in the middle of the lake (publication). The explorers have a lot more to study within this 50 km diameter crater, especially in the region west of the lake that is not accessible by car.



A new expedition will take place from 15th to 25th August 2016. This expedition will involve 9 members of the laboratories Geosciences Paris Sud, Geosciences Environnement Toulouse and the Geological Institute of Tajikistan. The explorers will depart from the city of Osh in Kyrgyzstan to reach the Karakul lake and will stay 7 days to study and map a maximum of land and collect rock samples.




  During the first expedition, the explorers used a rowing boat to the island... to tell you everything, 6 of them were trapped on the island. The wind picked up in the late afternoon and waves prevented navigation. The ship served as a shelter against the cold and wind at 4000 m altitude. A return was fortunately possible during the night. This experience is obviously memorable but it shows the limits of a rowing boat to explore a 20 km diameter lake!   To explore further the crater, it is essential to be able to sail easily on the lake and travel tens of kilometers to the west coast and around the island. Indeed, the only road connecting the village of Karakul to the world is located east of the lake. The explorers now need a motor boat to make new discoveries .


Who is joining the adventure?



Why fund it?


Why participate in the collection?  


The expedition (airplane flight, transportation, stay) has a total budget of 12,000 euros and is funded by the Embassy of France in Tajikistan and the various laboratories (Geosciences Paris Sud, Uranoscope of France, Geosciences Environnement Toulouse).   The use of a motor boat on the lake is essential for this exploration but it is unrealistic to find this equipment in Tajikistan and especially in this remote region of Pamir. The scientists decided to create this fund-raising to buy a zodiac type boat  zodiac. This purchase can meet both the needs of researchers and provides an opportunity for local residents to be offered a boat. The boat cost 3500 euros and the fund raising will also serve to ship the boat to Osh in Kyrgyzstan (2500 euros). It will subsequently conveyed to Karakul Lake by road vehicles.   Following this expedition, the boat will be offered to the inhabitants of Karakul (Pamir Ecotourism Association) to promote their lake and the crater. This boat will allow them to sail and offer to tourists a ride on the lake. It will be a very useful tool to discover the unique landscape of Lake Karakul and can be reused for future scientific expeditions.   If the objective of the fund raising is exceeded, the extra money will be used for the production of a documentary about the expedition.  



Zodiac type boat expected for the expedition

Uranoscope de France

L’URANOSCOPE DE FRANCE est une association Loi 1901 qui a été créée en 1995 avec l’objectif fondamental de développer des relations internationales entre les astronomes amateurs ou professionnels du monde entier avec le concours de l’URANOSCOPE DE l’ILE DE France (MCL) mettant en œuvre dans le cadre de la Ville de Gretz-Armainvilliers en Seine et Marne... See more

Newest comments

Félicitations! Bon voyage et bonne pioche. J'espère que vous pourrez préciser son age.
Super projet !