The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 42 Number 1: 15-20 - January 1980

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Cave Location and Exploration in Schoharie County, New York
John Mylroie


Cave location in Schoharie County, New York is often carried out on an inferred basis, because the bedrock is generally mantled by a thick cover of glacial sediment which plugs active insurgences and resurgences and buries abandoned ones. Standard techniques such as dye tracing, flood pulse monitering and analysis of the bedrock structure allow the delineation of potential cave systems by remote means.

Actual entry and cave exploration involves competing with glacial sediment and water for use of the active insurgences and resurgences. Because of stream derangement by glaciation, influent and effluent passages are usually small and immature with a large water flow (average tempterature 6°C). Digging is often required for entry. Exploration of cave conduits is impeded by glacial sediment which blocks the abandoned upper levels and causes water to pond in the lower, active passages. These obstructions also promote overflow-passage formation, but increase the risk of flooding for the explorer. Coarse glacial deposits (cobbles, etc.) permit water flow but strain out cavers. Both cave diving and cave digging have proved successful in extending or discovery and extension include McFails Cave, Cage Caverns, Schoharie Caverns, Single X Cave, Caboose Cave and Westfalls Cave.

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