The NSS Bulletin
- ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 43 Number 1: 3-11 - January 1981
A publication of the National Speleological Society
Mapping and Measuring
Caves: A Conceptual Analysis
Claude Chabert and Richard A. Watson
A cave is an enclosed space in three dimensions. Cartography is the basic science essential to all of speleology. Caves should be mapped during their exploration. International standards of mapping and measurement should be established. Scientists should choose systems of mapping and masurement that best facilitates answering the questions and solving the problems they set themselves; sport cavers should choose systems of mapping and measurement that best show the distances they must travel to set the records they are interested in.
Map length is distance measured along the projection onto a horizontal plane of all the horizontal components of all cave passages and shafts. Depth is distance from highest to lowest points inside a cave measured along the projection onto a vertical plane of only the vertical components of all cave passages and shafts. A genetically continuous passage or shaft is one whose origin was temporally and processually the same throughout its length. Linear development is distance measured along axes oriented parallel to the trends or longitudial directions of all genetically continuous passages and shafts whatever their inclinations. For continuous linear development, the longitudinal axis of each passage or shaft is extended until it reaches a bedrock or debris termination or connects with the longitudinal axis of another shaft or passage. For discontinuous linear development the longitudinal axis of each passage or shaft is extended until it intersects another genetically continuous shaft or passage. Volume is the cubic measure of the enclosed space of a cave.
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9 June, 2002 7:25
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