Sima Martel

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Sima Martel
Sima Martel is seen in the far background, in the middle part - Sima Humboldt
Location Venezuela, Bolívar (state), Sarisariñama
Coordinates 4°40′39″N 64°13′20″W / 4.6776°N 64.2221°W / 4.6776; -64.2221Coordinates: 4°40′39″N 64°13′20″W / 4.6776°N 64.2221°W / 4.6776; -64.2221
Depth 248 m (814 ft)
Discovery 1961
Access By special researcher permit only

Sima Martel (Sima Menor) is an enormous sinkhole located on the summit of plateau of Sarisariñama tepui, in Bolívar State, Venezuela. It is unusual due to several factors including its enormous size and depth, location on the top of the only forested tepui and having a patch of forest on its base. Named after speleologist Édouard-Alfred Martel.


Together with the neighbouring Sima Humboldt it was first spotted in 1961 by pilot Harry Gibson.[1]

It was first explored in 1971, and later was explored more thoroughly in 1976.[2] In total there are four caves on Sarisariñama.


  1. ^ Otto Huber and John J. Wurdack. History of Botanical Exploration in Territorio Federal Amazonas, Venezuela. Smithsonian Institution Press, City of Washington, 1984
  2. ^ (In Spanish) Miguel Lentino, Diana Esclasans. "Important Areas for the Conservation of Birds in Venezuela". In: Birdlife and Conservation International. Important Areas for the Conservation of Birds in the Tropical Andes: Priority Sites for the Maintenance of Biodiversity. ("Áreas Importantes Para La Conservación De Las Aves En Venezuela". In: BirdLife International y Conservation International. Áreas Importantes para la Conservación de las Aves en los Andes Tropicales: sitios prioritarios para la conservación de la biodiversidad.) Quito, Ecuador: BirdLife International (Serie de Conservación de BirdLife No. 14), S. 621-730, 2005.