Saholan cave is located at 43 km of eastern area of Mahabad, between Mahabad- Boukan road. Situated in a small hill of limestone the cave has two entrances that lie at an altitude of 1,780m.
Genetically, this cave is referred to the second geological era, namely Mesozoic, about 65 Ma. The name of this cave is adopted from the Kurdish word " SAHOL" meaning Ice.
The cave is lies totally within the limestone rock having been created by the corrosive action of water. Geomorphological evidence within the cave would strongly suggest that it has been formed under phreatic conditions by still water and not by flowing water. Originally the cave would have been completely flooded. In the latter stages in its development the water levels have dropped to create anairspace within the chambers and passages and further passage enlargement would have been stimulated by the gentle rising and falling of the water table and subsequent water level. Throughout the cave there are horizontal ledges of calcite deposits along the walls that are indicative of former (higher) water levels.
There are at least five distinct levels evident in the calcite ledges on the cave walls. Further modification has taken ...see more place within the larger chambers by the mechanism of breakdown, whereby sections of the cave roof and walls have collapsed, changing the shape of the cave passage. This would most likely have taken place when the water level within the cave had dropped and ceased to offer support to the rocks on the roof and walls.
The cave entrances are situated with a limestone depression in the south side of the hill. This depression would appear to be an old collapse feature that was created when the roof of what was a large chamber within the cave collapsed. The main entrance to the cave lies on the north west side of this depression and what would originally have been a steep boulder slope is now a pleasant a series of marble steps and landings that lead down to a jetty in a lake chamber.
General rock and water properties of the cave are:
Rocks: Limy dolomite and sedimentary limestone.
Average water temperature: 10 degree centigrade.
Moisture: 70 to 80 percent.
Elevation from sea level: 1780 metre.
Average water depth: 22 metre.
Maximum water depth: 55 metre.
Cave organisms: pegion and bat.