Help us to study and protect the karst and cave systems of the Gulf of Orosei.

The Gulf of Orosei

The Gulf of Orosei coastline is characterized by hundreds of caverns and caves (both dry and flooded), with some of the longest anchialine underwater cave systems of Europe.

These springs are fresh water rivers with intrusion of saltwater from the sea. Multiple decorations and speleothems testify to the varying water levels during different ice ages and prove such environments were once dry; multiple branching passages, sumps and long shallow galleries make these caves one of the premiere cave diving destinations in Europe and a maze still to be discovered and explored.


Main springs
of the Gulf of Orosei

  • Grotta del Bue Marino
  • Bel Torrente
  • Risorgenza di Cala Luna
  • Utopia and Euforia
  • Grotta del Fico
  • Maseduoe

Scientific background

The anchialine caves of the Gulf of Orosei are systems of extreme importance as they represent both the marine caves environment and the terrestrial groundwater one. Unfortunately these caves are exposed to threats coming from both the terrestrial and marine worlds, including: urbanization, agriculture, pollution, coastal and harbor development, water temperature rise.

Despite the fact that the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/ EC) and the Groundwater Directive (2006/118/EC) mention groundwater habitats as very important for biodiversity and human use, no data is available from most countries on underground watercourses.

Also on the European Red List of Habitats publication, marine caves and underground water habitats are listed as Data Deficient.

Our project aims at closing this information and knowledge gap in the study area of the Gulf of Orosei, by providing a detailed survey of the caves. We are open to collaborations with researchers wishing to investigate specific topics in subjects like geomorphology, sediment analysis, hydrogeology, climate change, etc.


Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy;

Directive 2006/118/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration;

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. (2018). Global Wetland Outlook: State of the World’s Wetlands and their Services to People. Gland, Switzerland: Ramsar Convention Secretariat;

European Red List of Habitats (ISBN 978-92-79-61586-3; ISBN 978-92-79-61588-7).

We want to map
the caves of the Gulf

Only few maps or complete surveys of the caves in the Gulf exist and are published. We want to perform a complete, accurate survey of the main systems using modern technologies and make all our work public for the benefit of the local & international community.

The project will start on March 2022.

Advanced Technology

Ongoing technological advances make it now possible to survey underwater caves with incredibly powerful and accurate systems.


Representing a void has never been easy. Representing it with details and giving the real feeling of being into an underwater cave is the next challenge.

Underwater cave photogrammetry allows non divers to enjoy unique places and to live VR experiences.

Results are quite amazing.

“The three-dimensional nature of cave photogrammetry allows a detailed and accurate representation of all cave elements.

3D models give the possibility to virtually access the cave for research purposes, for decision making and for educational purposes.

We love what we do, but we especially love to connect with local and international community to rise awareness and respect for groundwater resources. In the end, we want to show the beauty of the underwater caves to citizens that are not able to access such environments.”

Andrea Marassich

President, Phreatic

Cave Instructor Evaluator, GUE

Average costs to survey a 1km cave segment


0 h

By volunteer divers and support staff for data collection and processing

Tools & Technology


Dive gear, SUEX Drive System and mapping devices, MNemo, survey software licenses and much more…



Gas refills, boats, transports and much more

Travels & co


Travel and accommodation cost of volunteers