Application for Grant Aid

Submitted on: 22 Jan 2013

Expedition details (GPF2013a-010)

Expedition Name (& Club): Prehistory and palaeoenvironment of Bhutan: first cave explorations
Destination country: Bhutan
Lat: 0.0000 Long: 0.0000 Elevation: 0 m
MEF funding: none

Leader: Miss Gina Moseley
Total cavers: 6
Cavers ≤25 yrs old: 0
Cavers 25-35 yrs old: 0
UK/nonUK cavers: 2/4
Eligible for grant aid: 0
Alex Pitcher nominations: 0
Expedition dates: 2nd Sep 2013 - 30th Sep 2013
Duration (days): 28
Man-days in field: 126 Man-days travelling: 24
Brief Expedition objectives:

List a short summary of the main Expedition objectives.

We plan to prospect, explore, survey, photograph and conduct scientific studies in caves of the Bhutan Himalaya. Caves are known about by our own team, but have only partly been explored. Associated scientific studies in the caves will improve our understanding of archaeology, geology and palaeoenvironments.
How can the GPF support your Expedition?:

Please explain the aspects of the trip which make it eligible for Ghar Parau funding.

Detailed description of objectives:

Give a more detailed account of the purpose of the trip, including any particular known caves you intend to visit, specific areas where you will explore for new cave, and scientific experiments you will attempt.

During September 2013, a team of 6 people (2 British, 3 Austrians, 1 Australian) will visit the Bhutan Himalaya to explore, survey and document caves. Bhutan is a little-explored country which was formerly inaccessible due to a complex political situation. However, our expedition and wider research endeavour has been endorsed by the Bhutanese government (See additional information), and represents an historical opportunity to break new ground in a hitherto under-researched alpine karst area.

Bhutan and, in particular, the Eastern Himalayas, are part of the upper watershed of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna River Basin. After the Amazon and the Congo-Zaire, this basin is the third largest in the world with an average rainfall of 500- 1000 mm per year in the lower alpine elevations. Under these conditions, limestone dissolution and cave formation is possible if local erosion is more rapid than geologic uplift (All et al, 2005).

Initially, our main work will be to locate caves. Several known caves already exist, though because speleology is not well developed in Bhutan, and because foreigners have not easily been granted access, these caves have not yet been explored and surveyed. Only two caves, Dung Phug (
Previous work in this area:

Give details of any previous work in this area by your own and other teams. Include references to reports and articles published on the area, and the names of any local cavers or academics with whom you have discussed the Expedition.

Preliminary fieldwork has already been conducted in the Bhutan Himalaya by Dr. Kamminga, who carried out an initial archaeological site survey of caves and open-air archaeological sites in November 2011, and by Dr. Meyer, who worked in the remote high-altitude valley of northern Bhutan in the course of three scientific expeditions from 1999 to 2001.

Expedition Finances


Travel plans:
Transfer: Innsbruck - Munich
Flight: Munich (MUC) - Kathmandu (KTM),
Flights: Kathmandu (KTM)

# from UK: 0 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from UK: £0

# from outside UK: 0 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from outside UK: £0

Travel total: £2,000 Travel p.p. from UK: £0
Travel p.p. from outside UK: £0


Total: £700 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £117 Hotel :


Total: £0 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £0
Exped Total: £2,700 Exped cost p.p. travelling from UK: £0
Exped cost p.p. travelling from outside UK: £0
Mean Exped cost per person: £450

Other Funding

Total: £0 Comments:
Here we apply for financial assistance for the two British Nationals. Additional funding has been sought from the Percy Sladen Memorial Fund ( and Mount Everest Foundation (
Dr. Meyer and Dr. Kamminga, have already raised support from the Tiroler Wissenschaftsfonds (TWF) to cover the costs of their travel and post expedition laboratory costs.
Two MSc. Students, who will also join the expedition and per
Total shortfall: £2,700 Mean shortfall per person: £450

Referees and Report

Please give the names, addresses and phone numbers of two suitably qualified people whom the Committee can contact. You should ensure that they are aware of the objectives of your trip, and that you have their permission for the Committee to contact them.

Referee 1: Dr Michael Meyer


Permission obtained?: No
Referee 2: Andy Eavis

Reason: 0

Permission obtained?: No

Expedition report author: Gina Moseley