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Glossary of Speleological and Caving Terms

A - Z Complete

Copyright © Australian Speleological Federation Inc. 1998

Contents

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

References

Revision History

Copyright Warning

 

 

 

A

AAA type of lava surface in which the surface was too stiff to flow well, and so broke up into fragments. It is characterised by broken material which can vary from simple lumps to very sharp prickly fragments. It grades to pahoehoe.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

ABNEY LEVEL A type of clinometer, having a bubble tube.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

ABSEIL Controlled descent on a rope using friction obtained by passing the rope through any of various devices, eg rack, descender, karabiners. Safety considerations in caving would preclude abseling without a mechanical device.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

ACCIDENTAL An animal accidentally living in a cave, and not a normal  resident. Usually fallen or washed into cave. Could be drawn in by cave breathing. cf Cavernicole, Troglobite.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

ACETYLENE A flammable gas C2H2, produced by water reacting with Calcium Carbide and burnt to yield light. See Carbide.

Miscellaneous terms. Ref JJ

ACTIVE CAVEA cave with a stream flowing in it. cf Live cave.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

ADAPTATION An inherited characteristic of an organism in structure, function or behaviour which makes it better able to survive and reproduce. Visible examples of adaptations to cave life are: lengthening of appendages, loss of pigments, modification of eyes.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref JJ

ADVENTIVE Introduced accidentally, as most weeds are.

Flora. Ref MM

AEOLIAN Pertaining to the wind. Used for landforms generated by the

wind, or sediments transported by the wind. Also as Eolian.

Geology. Ref KG

AEOLIAN CALCARENITE A limestone formed on land by solution and redeposition of calcium carbonate in coastal dune sands that contain calcareous sand from mollusc shells and other organic remains. Also as Eolian. Syn Dune limestone, Aeolianite.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

AEOLIANITE Also as Eolianite. A rock formed on land by cementation of calcareous dune sands. syn Dune calcarenite, Dune limestone, Aeolian calcarenite. See Calcarenite.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref KG

AFFINITY In biology, a similar but distinct species, closely related

to the given species. Also applies to interrelated minerals etc.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

AGGRESSIVE A measure of the relative capacity of water to dissolve rock material. In karst, this usually involves the dissolution of limestone or dolomite by the action of dissolved carbon dioxide.

Although other acids may be present.

Hydrology terms. Ref JJ

AIR POCKET An enclosed air space above a lake water surface in a cave. Only accessible by diving.

Cave - Parts of. Ref WM

ALCOVE A side passage that is relatively short (or appears to be so) and does not have an obvious continuation.

Cave - Parts of. Ref MM

ALGAE Photosynthetic plants with a range of pigments in addition to

chlorophyll. No root, stem or leaves.

Flora. Ref MM

ALLOGENIC DRAINAGE Underground karst drainage that is derived entirely from surface run off from adjacent non karstic and generally impermeable rocks. Cf Autogenic drainage.

Karst - Miscellaneous features of. Ref DL

ALLUVIUM Sandy or silty matter deposited by rivers or floods.

Geology. Ref MM

AMPHIBIOUS Living on land and in water. cf Terrestrial, Aquatic, Arboreal.

Fauna. Ref MM

ANASTOMOSIS A mesh of small hollow tubes (the result of solution in the phreatic zone) in solid rock, or half tubes when exposed in a fractured rock surface. Typically 1 to 4cm in diameter. The holes are not the ‘preserved’ tunnels of worm-like animals.

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref JJ

ANCHOR A fixed object used to secure a ladder, rope or safety line used for climbing.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

ANEMOLITE A speleothem (eg Helictite, stalagmite) with a preferred orientation caused by air currents. Seen in some Nullarbor caves.

Cave Depositional Features. Ref WM

ANTENNAE The feelers on the head of an insect, crustacean or other invertebrates that function as sensory organs.

Fauna. Ref AC

ANTHODITE Speleothem similar to Helictites, composed of quill-like or feathery crystal clusters of long needlelike crystals of aragonite or gypsum. Each crystal has a central canal.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref KG

AQUATIC Living in water. cf Terrestrial, Amphibious, Arboreal.

Fauna. Ref AC

AQUIFER A body of rock saturated with water, that is capable of allowing the subterranean water to be stored, transmitted and is capable of absorbing recharge water. It can yield water through a well or a spring.

Hydrology terms. Ref AC

ARAGONITE A less common crystalline form of calcium carbonate CaCO3

than calcite, being denser and orthorhombic. Typically occurring as many small acicular needles. See Anthodite.

Mineral, Rock and Chemical terms. Ref JJ

ARBOREAL Living in trees. cf Terrestrial, Aquatic, Amphibious.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

ARETE KARST Tropical landscape of near vertical sided spires. Also as Pinnacle Karst.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref WM

ARKOSE A sandstone which contains 25% or more feldspar grains, derived from granitic sources. Arkosic is the adjective.

Geology. Ref KG

ARMCHAIR CAVER An experienced caver who now rarely if ever goes

caving, but who may offer advice to those that do.

Miscellaneous terms. Ref MM

ARTEFACT An item of human manufacture, normally applied only to the products of previous culture. Artefacts may or may not be buried by sediment. Examples bone or stone tools, engraving, painting. [Advise cave manager if such items are found.]

Miscellaneous terms. Ref JJ

ARTESIAN Where water moves under pressure through completely flooded

cavities. Much of Australia is underlain by Artesian strata.

Geology. Ref TW

ARTHROPODS A Phylum of invertebrates, being very widespread. They are the most common group of animals inhabiting caves, having jointed bodies, many limbs and exoskeletons eg insects, crustaceans, spiders, millipedes.

Fauna. Ref JJ

ASCENDER A mechanical device for ascending a rope.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

ASH Sand sized or finer-grained volcanic ejecta. Coarser material is called lapilli.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

ASPHODILITES no definition (term mentioned in ASF codes)

Miscellaneous terms. Ref MM

ASSOCIATION A stable community of different species living in a specific habitat.

Cave Biota. Ref JJ

AUTOGENIC DRAINAGE Underground karst drainage that is derived entirely by absorption of meteoric (atmospheric) water into the karst rock surface.

Karst - Miscellaneous features of. Ref DL

AVEN A dome or vertical hole in a cave roof, particularly that is difficult or impossible to free-climb. It does not reach the surface. It may have a passage leading from it. cf Blind shaft.

Cave - Parts of. Ref MM

AZIMUTH In surveying, the true bearing of a survey line, obtained from an accurate survey or

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

B

BACON A thin, translucent sheet of dripstone hanging from a cave wall or roof, and with streaks of colour suggesting bacon.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref UC

BACTERIA Unicellular microscopic plants. They are autotrophs, ie make their own food. They sometimes form aggregations. Very important in caves as decomposers causing high CO2 levels seen in some caves.

Probably play a role in most speleogenesis.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref AC

BARE KARST Karst with much exposed bedrock. Syn. Naked karst, Unmantled karst.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

BASALT An igneous rock that typically underlies oceanic basins. A dark coloured, generally fine grained rock that occurs widely as lava flows of many different ages. Lava caves occur most commonly in basaltic lava.

Geology. Ref DL

BASIN A segment of the earth’s crust which has been downwarped. When filled with sediments they increase in thickness toward the centre. cf Craton, Orogen.

Geology. Ref MM

BAT A mammal of the order Chiroptera, divided into several families. The only mammals capable of true flight, having membranes between the toes of their forefeet.

Fauna. Ref JJ

BATHYPHREATIC Referring to water moving with some speed through downward looping passages in the phreatic zone.

Hydrology terms. Ref JJ

BEARING In surveying, the angle measured clockwise that a line makes with north.

See also Grid, Magnetic & True north.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

BED A stratum or layer in a sedimentary rock sequence, or unconsolidated sediment.

Geology. Ref JJ

BEDDING GRIKE A narrow rectilinear slot in a karst rock outcrop due to solution along a bedding plane.

Karst Miscellaneous features of. Ref JJ

BEDDING PLANE A surface separating 2 beds of rock, usually planar.

Geology. Ref JJ

BEDDING PLANE CAVE A cavity developed along a bedding plane and elongate in cross section. May result from a difference in solubility between the 2 beds.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

BEDROCK(1) In a cave, a portion of the native rock strata that has not undergone collapse. The walls and roof of caves are often in bedrock. (2) In karst, the rock that underlies the limestone strata.

Karst - Miscellaneous features of. Ref MM

BELAY

1 The attachment (often by a separate rope) of a climber, or a ladder to a secure point.

2 The secure point itself.

3 The use of a belay as a life line during ascent or descent of a climber.

see On belay.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

BELAY POINT A fixed point used to support the belay, usually and ideally independent of the support point of the ladder or rope used for climbing.

Climbing and SRT. Ref MM

BELAY ROPE The rope used for belaying, separate (usually) from the climbing rope.

Climbing and SRT. Ref MM

BELOW Emergency call (often shouted) of danger. Signal given to those below that something is falling. Only useful if there is voice contact between the top and bottom of a pitch.

Climbing and SRT. Ref MM

BENCH Some ‘benches’ form differently by the rolling down of a long flap of wall lining. Gradations can occur, eg. where a thin bench breaks free and starts to roll downwards.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

BENCH A horizontal shelf along the wall of a lava tunnel, generally close to floor level. It is formed at the edge of a lava flow level, by cooling and solidification of the edge followed by a lowering of the level.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

BENTHIC Bottom dwelling. The ocean floor, from the low water mark to the greatest depths. Some cave fauna would occur in this zone in submarine or submerged caves. cf Littoral.

Geology. Ref MM

BIOCLASTIC Containing grains composed of fragmented and transported organic material, eg. shell fragments.

Cave - Biota. Ref KG

BIOGENIC Of biological origin. eg most limestone is biogenic.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

BIOGEOGRAPHY The study of the geographical distribution of animals and plants over the globe. cf Zoogeography, Phytogeography.

Cave - Biota. Ref AC

BIOMASS The total mass or weight of living matter, usually relates to a given area, habitat or community.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

BIO-SPACE The separated or interconnected air or water-filled spaces

that are inhabited by living organisms. The spaces may be cracks, pipes, channels, interstitial medium, saturated zone, tubes, voids, microcaverns, larger cavities including caves.

Cave - Biota. Ref AC

BIOSPELEOLOGY The study of plant, animal and other organisms living in caves.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

BIOTA The total assemblage of living organisms of a district. Biotic.

Fauna. Ref AC

BIVALVE A Mollusc. A soft bodied animal having a shell in 2 halves. eg scallop, oyster. Often preserved (along with other mollusc types)

as fossils in limestone.

Fauna. Ref MM

BLANKET A dripstone curtain, thicker than Bacon, and not noticeably translucent.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref MM

BLIND SHAFT A vertical extension upwards in a cave that does not reach the surface. cf Aven

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

BLIND VALLEY A valley which ends at its lower point in a ridge or wall of limestone. It has (or had) either a perennial or intermittent stream flow, that escapes underground at the lowest point.

Karst - Miscellaneous features of. Ref JJ

BLISTER CAVE Strictly, a cave formed by gas pressure pushing up a surface crust. True blisters are rare, & generally too small to enter. Some large ones are known overseas. The term has been misused for single simple chambers formed by drainage of liquid lava.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

BLOWHOLE A hole to the surface in the roof of a sea cave through which waves force air and water.

Karst - Miscellaneous features of. Ref JJ

BLOWHOLE A vertical hole often circular, on the surface in karst through which air blows in and out, often audibly. Common feature of the Nullarbor Plain. Elsewhere in Australia known as a Pipe or Solution pipe. In USA known as a Blowing cave.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

BOBBIN A descender that opens to enclose the rope around two fixed pulleys. May have a handle (“STOP”) which must be squeezed to allow descent.

Climbing and SRT. Ref RW

BOLLARD A projection of rock over which rope, tape or wire can be placed to create an anchor.

Climbing and SRT. Ref RW

BOLT A high tensile steel bolt used as an anchor.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

BOMB A large fragment of volcanic ejecta. Some bombs show twisted forms indicating that they were still liquid when ejected, but solidified before landing. ‘Breadcrust’ and ‘cowpat’ bombs are named for their appearance.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

BONE BRECCIA A breccia containing many bone fragments. see Breccia.

[Advise cave manager if such items are found.]

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref JJ

BOOBTUBE A clear plastic tube about a metre long, used as a straw to

drink water from crevices and otherwise inaccessible pools.

Miscellaneous terms. Ref MM

BOTRYOID A speleothem shaped like a bunch of grapes. A variety of Coralloid, formed either in air or water.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref HF

BOULDER CHOKE A collapse of rock from floor to roof which makes further progress difficult or dangerous.

Cave - Parts of. Ref MM

BOXWORK A speleothem composed of intersecting mineral blades. In Nullarbor caves they are formed by the filling of cracks that form  in dried out sediments with calcite material then the sediment has been eroded away.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref UC

BRAKE BAR A round bar hinged to a karabiner or rappel rack used for abseiling.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

BRANCHWORK A dendritic system of underground streams or passages that join successively to form larger and larger streams and passages. cf Dendritic.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

BREAKDOWN(1) Rock that has fallen from the wall or roof of a cave. (2) Enlargement of cave chambers by this process.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

BRECCIA Rock that is composed of fragments of other rocks cemented together, often in a matrix of finer sediment.

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref JJ

BRUNTON COMPASS A type of compass, with a hinged mirror and including a clinometer. Designed for measuring rock dip & strike.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

BRYOZOAA Phylum of tiny colonial animals ‘Lace corals’, that build calcareous structures of many kinds. A fossil that was common in             warm shallow Tertiary seas.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref KG

BURST See Flap.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

C

CACO3 Calcium carbonate.

Mineral, Rock and Chemical terms. Ref MM

CAINOZOIC The last of the geological eras, includes the Tertiary and

Quaternary Periods. Extending from about 65 million years ago up to the present.

Geology. Ref KG

CALCARENITE An indurated sand composed mainly of detrital calcium carbonate fragments. A limestone or dolomite composed of coral or shell sand, or of sand derived from the erosion of older limestones, with sand sized particles. See Aeolianite.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref KG

CALCAREOUS Made of limestone or calcium carbonate.

Mineral, Rock and Chemical terms. Ref MM

CALCIFICATION Calcified. To become hard or stony by being impregnated with calcium salts. May apply to tree roots etc in caves.

Processes. Ref MM

CALCILUTITE A fine grained clastic (silt and clay sized particles) limestone or dolomite.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref KG

CALCIRUDITE A coarse (gravel sized) limestone. The clasts (broken fragments) making up the rock may be fossils or pieces of coral or shells or fragments of limestone, with the interstices filled with  calcite, sand or mud with the whole bonded by a calcareous cement.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref KG

CALCITE The common (trigonal) crystal form of Calcium carbonate mineral [CaCO3]and the main constituent of limestone, with different crystal forms in the rhombohedral subsystem. Occurs in caves as massive or finely crystalline speleothems or other crystal forms.

Mineral, Rock and Chemical terms. Ref JJ

CALCIUM CARBONATE CaCO3. see Aragonite, Calcite Mineral, Rock and Chemical terms. Ref MM

CALCRETE An indurated surface formed by weathering process involving

cementation of the surface soils and weathered rock by calcite, drawn to the surface by capillary action. See Kankar, Oolite.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref KG

CALCSILTITE A limestone composed of calcareous sediments of silt size

Karst - Kinds of. Ref EH

CAMBERING FISSURE A fissure that forms behind and parallel to a cliff line, as a result of the outward rotation or sliding of large blocks.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref KG

CANOPY A compound speleothem consisting of a flowstone cover on a bedrock projection and a fringe of stalactites or shawls on the outer edge.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

CANYON A deep elongated cavity cut by running water in the roof or floor of a cave, or forming a cave passage.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

CANYON A deep valley with steep to vertical walls. In karst, often formed by a river rising on impervious rocks outside the karst area.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

CAPROCK A surface composed of Calcrete, especially where it is separated from the underlying rock by a clay or similar layer..

Karst - Kinds of. Ref MM

CARABINER See Karabiner. Also Crab, Krab.

Climbing and SRT. Ref MM

CARBIDE Calcium Carbide Ca2C. Reacts with water to form Acetylene gas (and carbon dioxide & calcium oxide) and because of impurities, also produces other noxious gases.

Miscellaneous terms. Ref JJ

CARBIDE LAMP Produces light by burning acetylene gas formed by reacting water and (calcium) carbide.

Lighting term. Ref MM

CARBON DIOXIDE CO2, a colourless odourless gas, which when dissolved in water, forms Carbonic acid.

Mineral, Rock and Chemical terms. Ref UC

CARBONIC ACID H2CO3, an acid typical of ground water systems. The agent responsible for dissolving most caves.

Mineral, Rock and Chemical terms. Ref UC

CARNIVOROUS Carnivore. An animal that feeds on any other animal. cf Herbivorous, Insectivorous, Omnivorous.

Fauna. Ref MM

CATCHMENT The area drained by a watercourse, or by a system of watercourses. The subterranean catchment may well be larger than the apparent surface one. eg as at Mole Creek & Jenolan. Dolines may form a catchment, which may be crucial in their later development.

Geology. Ref AC

CAVE A natural cavity in rock, large enough to be entered by people. May be water filled. May also be blocked partly or fully by sediment or ice. Commonly formed by solution in Limestone. Caves also form in many other rock types, and by many other processes.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

CAVE COMPONENT Alcove, Aven, Cavern, Chamber, Chimney, Crawlway, Decoration, Dome, Fissure, Flattener, Gallery, Grotto, Hall, Passage, Pillar, Pitch, Pothole, Rift, Rock pendant, Room, Shaft, Siphon, Speleogen, Speleothem, Squeeze, Sump, etc.

Cave - Parts of. Ref MM

CAVE AGE Most karst cave passages are less than 1 million years old, though Relict Caves could be hundreds of millions of years old. The most recently formed passages may be as little as 10,000 years old.

Speleology term. Ref DL

CAVE BLISTER A speleothem consisting of a hemisphere shape of thin calcite. See also Cave postule.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

CAVE BREATHING The movement of air in and out of a cave entrance. May occur on a daily cycle. The associated air currents within the cave. Breathing may be due to a number of causes: (1) Daily pressure changes due to the sun heating the air outside the cave.

Processes. Ref JJ

CAVE BREATHING,(CONT)(2) Barometric pressure changes (approx weekly). (3) Draught due to a cave with entrances on different levels. (4) Cold air sinking into a cave displacing warmer air. (5) Wind blowing over cave entrance. (6) Streams entering a cave may cause air flow.

Processes. Ref MM

CAVE COMMUNITY All the cavernicolous animals (and plants) that live in a cave, bound together by food chains and other processes.

Cave - Biota. Ref AC

CAVE CORAL Speleothems consisting of short stalks with bulbous ends or nodular, prickly, globular, pop-corn or coral-like form. Often occurring in large numbers, covering entire walls of chambers. See Coralloid.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

CAVE CRICKET An insect of the order Orthoptera. Also known by the NZ name of Weta. Usually scavengers feeding on plant detritus in caves, and fresh or dead plant matter outside of a cave entrance.

Cave - Biota. Ref MM

CAVE DEPOSIT An accumulation of material other than speleothems, such as charcoal, fossils, skeletal remains and flood borne debris as  well as clay, silt, sand and gravel. See Cave Fill.

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref MM

CAVE DEVELOPMENT Equates to cave genesis, the processes that work together to produce caves.

Speleology term. Ref EH

CAVE EARTH See Cave fill.

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref JJ

CAVE ECOLOGY The study of the interaction between cave organisms and their environment. eg energy input from surface, climatic influences.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

CAVE ECOSYSTEM The interaction of the cave community organisms with their subterranean biospace environment.

Cave - Biota. Ref AC

CAVE EXTENT The length, breadth and depth of the smallest cube that will contain the entire cave. See Cave Length.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref MM

CAVE FILL Transported materials such as silt, clay, sand, gravel and humus, deposited in a cave, and which may partly or wholly block parts of a cave. Syn Cave earth.

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref JJ

CAVE FLOWER See Gypsum flower.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

CAVE GROUP A number of caves, not interconnected, but geographically associated in some relief feature or geological outcrop.

Speleology term. Ref WM

CAVE GUANO Accumulations of dung in caves, in some places may be partly mineralised. Main source is bats and birds.

Speleology term. Ref WM

CAVE LENGTH The total length of all the passages of a cave. This normally exceeds the Cave extent. The exact method of determining Cave length varies from cave to cave and from State to State. A universal method should (ideally) be agreed on.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref MM

CAVE MINERAL A secondary mineral formed in caves from a primary mineral, by a physico-chemical reaction. Examples are minerals formed by reactions with guano.

Mineral, Rock and Chemical terms. Ref UC

CAVE PEARL A smooth polished and rounded speleothem found in shallow hollows into which water drips. Consists of concentric layers around a nucleus. Also as Pisolite, Pisolith.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

CAVE POSTULE A white, hemispherical wall and roof deposit of calcite.

See also Cave blister.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

CAVE RAFT See Raft.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref HF

CAVE SHIELD See Shield.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref WM

CAVE SPRING A natural flow of water from rock or sediment within a cave.

Hydrology terms. Ref JJ

CAVE SYSTEM A collection of caves linked by enterable passages, or linked hydrologically. Or a large cave with extensive complex of chambers & passages.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

CAVER A person who enters a cave for recreation and or scientific purposes. Syn, potholer, spelunker.

Speleology term. Ref MM

CAVERN A large chamber within a cave. Also used poetically to denote a larger than average size cave.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

CAVERNICOLE An animal which normally lives in caves for the whole or part of its life cycle. Most are invertebrates. cf Accidental, Trogloxene, Troglophile & Troglobite and the aquatic equivalents Stygoxene, Stygophile & Stygobite.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

CAVES Unsatisfactory term. The plural CAVES should not to be used when the meaning is the singular CAVE. eg “some caves are big” is ok, “we went to Big Cave” is ok, “we took shelter in the caves” is NOT OK. In the last case use CAVE, or use the cave name.

Unsatisfactory term, not recommended. Ref MM

CAVING The entering and exploration of caves. Also referred to as indoor mountaineering.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

CENOTE A partly water filled doline, often having vertical walls.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

CHAMBER The name for the largest space in a cave. Compared to other parts of the cave they generally have greater width, length & height.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

CHASM In caves, a deep, wide and elongated gap in a cave floor.

Cave - Parts of. Ref WM

CHERT Nodules commonly less than fist sized, but may range up to 1m diameter. Flakes can be used as knife or scraper tools.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

CHERT A hard flint like rock of fine crystalline silica, from white through light grey to black or red or dark brown. Insoluble in water. Fractures irregularly forming very sharp edges that resist weathering. Occurs in limestone in discrete strata as nodules.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

CHIMNEY A vertical opening in a cave that is narrow enough to be climbed by chimneying.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

CHIMNEYING Ascending or descending by means of opposed body and or  limb pressures against 2 facing walls.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

CHOCK A device, being a block of metal, for use as a chockstone.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

CHOCKSTONE A rock wedged between 2 fixed rock surfaces and used as an aid in climbing.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

CHOKE A cave passage that is blocked by sediment or by local collapse of walls and or roof.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

CLASS 3th rank in Taxonomic system. Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

CLASSIFICATION In biology, the scientific naming of all life forms eg plants, animals, fungi, algae. See Taxon.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

CLAUSTROPHOBIA An irrational fear of being in a closed space.

Miscellaneous terms. Ref JJ

CLINOMETER An instrument for measuring vertical angles, or angles of dip.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

CLOGGER A type of ascender without a handle, used with a karabiner to keep it securely on the rope.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

CLOSED DEPRESSION In karst terrain, a depression having no outlet for surface water. see Doline, Uvala.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref WM

CLOSED TRAVERSE In surveying, a traverse which forms a loop, thus enabling determination of a loop error.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

COCKPIT KARST Karst of tropical areas, with residual hills that are chiefly hemispheroidal and the closed depressions often lobate. It grades up to Cone karst then Tower karst. Some geographers describe a variety of other intermediate forms.

Karst - Hill Features of. Ref JJ

COFFEE AND CREAM A cave decoration caused by salt exudation finely shattering base rock to the consistency of flour. Deposits have colours resembling coffee and cream.

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref NP

COL A saddle or low point on a ridge or between adjacent peaks that gives (the easiest) access from one side to the other.

Geology. Ref KG

COLLAPSE DOLINE A doline which has formed chiefly by the collapse of rock strata. cf Solution doline, Doline.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref WM

COLLAPSE DOME A chamber formed by progressive roof collapse until it reaches a stable dome-shaped form. A rubble mound will generally be present on the floor. Collapse may initiate by the removal of hydrostatic support when the water level falls.

Cave - Parts of. Ref KG

COLLUVIAL Transported sediment deposited on a slope.

Geology. Ref MM

COLUMN A speleothem joining floor to ceiling, formed when a stalactite and stalagmite grow and join, or when either grow to meet bedrock.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

COMMON NAME In biology, the name used in publications aimed at a wide audience as opposed to the specific name. see Species.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

COMPASS An instrument with a magnetic needle that is free to point to magnetic north. Measures a bearing, the angle in degrees clockwise from north.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

CONDUIT 1 An underground stream course (often circular or elliptical in cross section) completely water filled and under hydrostatic pressure. 2 A dry passage inferred to have been such a stream course.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

CONE KARST Karst of tropical areas, dominated by its projecting residual relief rather than by its closed depressions. Intermediate between Cockpit karst and Tower karst. Similar to Chinese term Fengcong.

Karst - Hill Features of. Ref JJ

CONTIGUOUS KARST The interconnected air filled or water filled  solutional or hydrological network of spaces in any area of karstified carbonate rock.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref AC

CONULITE A speleothem which is hollow and conical and which forms in silt or other soft material, as a drill hole under a ceiling drip. A “splash cup”. The drill hole sides may calcify, later erosion may leave the crystalline lining free standing. cf Boxwork.

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref UC

COPROLITE Fossilised large excrement of animals as found in caves, especially those used as lairs.

Miscellaneous terms. Ref JJ

COPROPHAGE A scavenger which feeds on animal dung, including guano.

Miscellaneous terms. Ref JJ

CORALLINE Limestone having the structure of or composed of corals, as, coralline limestone.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref MM

CORALLOID A speleothem which is nodular, globular or coral-like in shape and which forms from thin films of water. Cf Cave coral.

Speleology term. Ref MM

CORRASION The wearing away of bedrock or loose sediment by mechanical action of moving agents, especially water, ie Corrosion & Abrasion.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

CORRIDOR An alternate name for a passage, especially when of walking height.

Cave - Parts of. Ref WM

CORROSION Syn. Solution.

Processes. Ref JJ

COVERED KARST Karst where the bedrock is mainly covered by soil or superficial deposits.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

COW’S TAIL A length of rope used as a safety when crossing a rebelay.

Climbing and SRT. Ref RW

CRAB See Carabiner. Also, Krab, Karabiner.

Climbing and SRT. Ref MM

CRATON A relatively large block of the earth. Being immobile the rocks are often of great age.

Geology. Ref MM

CRAWL(WAY)A passage which, because of its low roof height, must be negotiated on hands and knees. cf Flattener, Stooping, Walking.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

CROSS BEDDING Sets of inclined layers or beds, typically seen in dunes.

Geology. Ref KG

CROSS SECTION The shape of a cave passage across its width.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

CRUST A speleothem composed of thin mineral layers on bedrock or soil surfaces in caves.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref HF

CRYPTIC Animals that are inconspicuous either because they are small, secretive in their habits, or well camouflaged. Applies to many cavernicoles, due to their habit of living in darkness, as well as the other reasons.

Fauna. Ref AC

CRYPTOZOA The terrestrial animals that live in darkness beneath stones, logs, bark etc, or in the soil. They are potential colonisers of caves.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

CRYSTAL POOL A cave pool, usually with little or no overflow, containing well formed crystals.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

CURRENT MARKING Shallow asymmetrical hollows formed by solution by turbulent waterflow and distributed regularly over karst rock surfaces. cf Scallop.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

CURTAIN A speleothem of dripstone, in the form of a wavy or folded sheet hanging from a cave wall or roof, often translucent & resonant.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

D

DARK ADAPTATION Of eyes, a change in the retina sensitising it to dim light. (becoming accustomed to the dark). The reverse is ‘Light adaption’.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

DARK ZONE The part of a cave in perpetual darkness, that lies beyond the Twilight zone. see Transition zone.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

DAYLIGHT HOLE An opening to the surface in the roof of a cave.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

DEAD CAVE A cave without streams or drips of water.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

DECLINATION The angle from true (or grid) north to magnetic north, at a given time and place.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

DECOMPOSERS Living things, chiefly bacteria and fungi, that live by extracting energy from tissues of dead animals and plants.

Miscellaneous terms. Ref JJ

DECORATION Cave features due to secondary mineral precipitation, usually of calcite, but also Aragonite, Gypsum, Salt, Ice, Lava and other rarer minerals. Also called Speleothem.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

DECORATION TYPES Pendulite, Rimstone, R dam, R pool, Roof crust, Shawl, Speleogen, Stalagmite, Stalactite, Stegamite, Straw, Travertine.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref MM

DECORATION TYPES Column, Curtain, Dog tooth spar, Drape, Driphole, Dripstone, Eccentric, Floe calcite, Flowstone, Gour, Helictite, Heligmite, Karren, Moonmilk,

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref MM

DEFLATION The removal of loose fine grained material from a surface by wind action. One way of forming hollows that are not karst.

Geology. Ref KG

DENDRITIC In caves, a network formed by the merging of small channels which in turn merge to form larger ones. cf Branchwork.

Fauna. Ref MM

DESCENDER A mechanical device for descending ropes.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

DETRITIVORES Pertaining to detritus-feeding invertebrates.

Fauna. Ref MM

DETRITUS 1. Aggregate of fragments from organic structures as detached or broken down tissues. Small pieces of dead and decomposing plants and animals. 2. Material formed by mechanical             breakage or abrasion of parent rocks.

Fauna. Ref KG

DEVELOPED SECTION A long section through a cave, usually from the entrance to the end of the cave, with the centreline being along the usual path.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

DIAGENESIS Post-depositional modification to a sediment that converts it into rock. Typically involves compaction, cementation and induration.

Geology. Ref KG

DIG An excavation made (1) to discover a new cave (2) to extend an existing cave (3) to uncover artifacts or animal bones.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

DIKE A body of igneous rock that cuts across the structure of adjacent rocks. Sometimes intruding into or exposed in cave fissures and passages.

Geology. Ref MM

DIP In surveying, the angle above or below horizontal of the current survey leg.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

DIP The angle at which beds are inclined from the horizontal, being the maximum angle of the bedding planes at right angles to the strike.

Geology. Ref JJ

DISCHARGE The outflow drainage of Aquifer waters.

Hydrology terms. Ref AC

DISJUNCT DISTRIBUTION The separate occurrences of similar species in separate karst areas. These species are related to a (now extinct) common ancestor that was widespread, & a surface dweller. cf: Distributional relict, Phylogenetic

Cave - Biota. Ref AC

DISTRIBUTIONAL RELICT Relates to a species surviving in an area isolated from the main or original distribution area. Usually a result of broad scale environmental events such as glaciation, continental drift. eg Gondwanan or Pangean relict species.

Cave - Biota. Ref AC

DOG TOOTH SPAR A speleothem, being calcite with acute pointed crystals.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

DOLINE Sides may be gently sloping to vertical or overhanging. Size: a few metres to many hundreds of metres across, . See also Cenote, Sinkhole, Polje, Uvala, Solution doline, Subsidence doline & Collapse doline.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

DOLINE A closed depression draining underground in karst, formed by Solution and or Collapse of underlying rock strata. Shape is variable, but often conical or bowl shaped.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

DOLINE KARST Karst dominated by closed depressions, chiefly dolines, perforating a simple surface.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

DOLOMITE A mineral, or a carbonate rock consisting of calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg(CO3)2.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

DOLOMITE CAVE A cave in dolomite rock.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref MM

DOMAIN A biological region of the earths crust.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

DOME A hemispheroidal hollow in the roof of a cave, formed by breakdown or salt weathering. Some caves end at a dome.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

DOME SYNDROME The tendency for cavers to go to the known end of a cave, especially when without due regard for the cave itself nor for its contents. Term coined from a cave where the final chamber is a dome and in which the practice was common.

Miscellaneous terms. Ref MM

DONGA In the Nullarbor plain, a closed depression generally hundreds of metres across and often from 2 to 5 metres deep. Dongas have very gentle slopes and flat clay-loam floors. Often contain trees when the surrounding country is treeless.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

DRIPHOLE A hole formed by water dripping onto a cave floor. May be a metre deep or even deeper. May form in sediments or rock.

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref JJ

DRIPLINE A line on the ground at a cave entrance formed by drips from the rock above. A dripline defines the beginning of a cave.

Important to archaeologists in both Rock Shelters and Caves.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

DRIPSTONE A speleothem formed where water drips fall from cave roofs and walls, usually of calcite.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

DRY CAVEA cave without a running stream or a lake. cf Dead cave, Wet

cave.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

DRY VALLEYA valley in karst terrain without a surface flow of water.

The talweg of such a valley may undulate with many closed

depressions, and there may no longer be a distinct channel.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

DUCK(UNDER)A place where water is at or close to the cave roof for a

short distance so that it can be passed only by submersion.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

DUNE LIMESTONE Syn. Aeolian calcarenite.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

DURICRUST An indurated surface formed by weathering processes involving cementation of the surface soils and weathered rock by calcite (calcrete), iron oxides (ferricrete, or laterite), silica (silcrete) or other cements.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref KG

DYE GAUGING Determining stream discharge by inserting a known quantity of dye and measuring its concentration after mixing.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

DYNAMIC PHREAS A phreatic zone where water moves fast with turbulent flow under hydrostatic pressure.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

E

EASTING (1) The distance of a point east of the point of origin of a  map or a grid. (2) The east-west component of a survey leg (or of a series of legs). East is positive, west is negative. See also Northing, Vertical.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

ECCENTRIC A speleothem of abnormal shape or attitude. cf Helictite.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

EDAPHOBITE An animal (invertebrate) dwelling in the soil.

Fauna. Ref MM

EFFLUX Place of outflow for karst waters from an aquifer. Applied to a place where a cave stream emerges. See Efflux cave, Resurgence, Spring.

Hydrology terms. Ref AC

EFFLUX CAVE A cave entrance that has a stream flowing out of it. cf Influx cave, Inflow cave, Outflow cave, Resurgence, Spring.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref MM

ENDEMIC Peculiar to a country or district, and not native elsewhere. May be very limited in extent, eg to a single cave system.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref AC

ENDOGEAN Pertaining to the biological domain immediately beneath the ground surface. ie in the soil or plant litter. cf Epigean, Hypogean.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

ENDOKARSTIC Subterranean region in karst, below the Epikarstic zone. ncludes the upper area with free draining water plus the area below water table.

Speleology term. Ref AC

ENTRANCE ZONE The interface between surface and subterranean environments, leading into the Twilight zone.

Cave - Parts of. Ref AC

EOLIAN See Aeolian. Also Aeolianite.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

EPIGEAN Pertaining to the biological domain at the ground surface or above it. Includes streams. cf Endogean, Hypogean.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

EPIKARSTIC Of the upper layer of karstified carbonate rock in the unsaturated zone, immediately below the soil layer Speleology term. Ref AC

EPIPHREAS, EPIPHREATIC ZONEThe zone immediately above the permanently flooded Phreatic zone. Referring to water moving with

some speed during floods that are too large for the usual conduits.Hydrology terms. Ref JJ EROSIONThe wearing away of bedrock or sediment by mechanical and chemical actions of all moving agents. eg rivers, wind, glaciers.

Geology. Ref JJ

ESCARPMENTA steep face terminating high lands abruptly, frequently of stratified rocks. Uplift is not implied.

Geology. Ref MM

EUSTATICPertaining to world-wide (simultaneous) changes of sea levels.

Geology. Ref KG

EVAPOTRANSPIRATIONA process by which water is lost from a catchment or karst surface which includes evaporation of water from wet surfaces and from plants.

Speleology term. Ref AC

EXHUMED KARSTKarst features reexposed by erosion from beneath former covering strata.Karst - Kinds of. Ref WM

EXSURGENCEA spring fed only by percolation water, and not by sinking streams.Karst - Miscellaneous features of. Ref JJ

F

FACIES Part of a rock body as differentiated from other parts by appearance or composition, often as a result of changing depositional environments.

Geology. Ref EH

FALLINGEmergency signal, given by a climber to the belayer, that the climber is falling (and to expect the safety line to become taut).

Climbing and SRT. Ref MM

FALSE FLOORA remnant of a sheet of flowstone deposited on sediments that were later eroded away. A false floor may span between passage walls or merely be projecting ledges along the walls.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref LW

FAMILY5th rank in Taxonomic system. Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order,

Family, Genus, Species. Family names end in -aceae for plants, eg

Liliaceae (lilies), and -idae for animals, eg Macropodidae (kangaroos).

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

FAULTA fracture separating 2 parts of a once continuous rock body with relative movement along the fault plane.

Geology. Ref JJ

FAULT CAVEA cave developed along a fault or fault zone, either by movement of the fault or by preferential solution along it.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

FAULT PLANEA plane along which movement of a fault has taken place.

Geology. Ref JJ

FENGCONGChinese term equating to Cone karst.

Karst - Hill Features of. Ref EH

FENGLINChinese term for the isolated limestone hills known as Tower karst.

Karst - Hill Features of. Ref EH

FISSUREAn open crack in rock or soil.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

FISSURE CAVEA narrow vertical cave passage, often developed along a joint but not necessarily so. Usually due to solution but sometimes to tension.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

FLAPA section of wall lining in a lava tube that has broken free and sagged or rolled down away from the wall. Where only a small patch

has been pushed off by gas pressure from behind it may be referred to as a ‘burst’.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

FLATTENERA passage, often of considerable length which though wide, is so low that one has insufficient room to stand or crawl. Movement along a flattener is only possible in a prone position. cf,

Crawlway, Stooping, Walking

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

FLINTSee Chert.

Geology. Ref MM

FLOCCULANTSuspended sediment.

Hydrology terms. Ref AC

FLOE CALCITEVery thin flakes of calcite floating on the surface of a cave pool, or previously formed in this way.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

FLOWSTONEA speleothem. A deposit formed by precipitation from thin films or trickles of mineralised water over floors or walls, usually of calcite. cf Travertine.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

FLUORESCEINA reddish-yellow organic dye C20H12O5 which gives a green fluorescence to water, used in water tracing. Detectable in minute concentrations.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

FLUOROMETERAn instrument for measuring the fluorescence of water.

Used in water tracing and dye gauging.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

FLUVIALPertaining to flowing water. Produced by the action of a stream or river. cf Lotic.

Hydrology terms. Ref KG

FOIBEA blind or dead-end shaft.

Cave - Parts of. Ref KG

FOOD CHAINA series of plants or animals linked together by their food relationships or a specific nutrient and energy pathway. see

Food web.

Fauna. Ref AC

FOOD WEBAn interlocking system of separate food chains in any (cave) community.

Fauna. Ref AC

FORAMINIFERAA subclass of Sarcodina, unicellular (mostly microscopic & marine) animals that secrete tests of CaCO3. Their remains

accumulate to form foraminiferous limestone.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref MM

FORAMINIFEROUS LIMESTONEComposed chiefly of the remains of

Foraminifera.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref MM

FOREDUNEA dune ridge built up behind a coastline. Generally higher and more extensive than a beachridge.

Geology. Ref KG

FORESTRY COMPASSA lightweight tripod mounted compass which also functions as a clinometer, and has a telescopic sight. Similar to a

theodolite.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

FORMATIONIn geology, the fundamental unit in rock stratigraphic classification, consisting of a distinctive mappable body of rock.

Geology. Ref WM

FORMATIONAn unsatisfactory term in speleology. Use KARST

GEOMORPHOLOGY, referring to the creation of a cave. The term

FORMATION is generally confused with FORMATIONS, which also should not be used. Formation is a geologic term.

Unsatisfactory term, not recommended. Ref MM

FORMATIONSAn unsatisfactory term in speleology. Use DECORATION or SPELEOTHEM. The term FORMATIONS is generally confused with FORMATION, which also should not be used. Note the plural. The term invariably implies ‘pretty’ decorations especially Stalactites.

Unsatisfactory term, not recommended. Ref MM

FOSSILThe remains or traces of animals or plants preserved in rocks or sediments.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

FOSSIL CHAMBEROssuary, a place in a cave where there is a large number of fossil bones.

Cave - Parts of. Ref MM

FOUL AIRIn a cave or mine, air with greater than 1% carbon dioxide (CO2) which adversely affects respiration and metabolism.

Speleology term. Ref MM

FREE PITCHWhere a rope or ladder hangs vertically and free of the walls.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

FREE SURFACE STREAMA cave stream which does not normally fill its passage to the roof.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

FRIENDA mechanical caming device that is wedged into a rock crack and used as an anchor point.

Climbing and SRT. Ref RW

FROSTWORKA speleothem consisting of radiating, acicular (needle like) crystal sprays resembling a catus or thistle plant.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref MM

FUNGLINIsolated limestone hill in an alluvial plain. (Chinese term).

Karst - Kinds of. Ref WM

FUNGUSPlu Fungi, organisms that subsist upon dead or living organic matter, of glycogen, fat, mannitol, but not starch. eg mushrooms,

moulds, mildews, rusts, smuts.

Flora. Ref MM

 

G

GALLERY A cave chamber that is rather large and nearly horizontal. May be adorned with natural decorations.

Cave - Parts of. Ref WM

GARDENINGClearing stones or other material from a route either to (1)          moderate potential danger of falling stones (2) increase

accessibility.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

GASTROPOD’stomach footed’, a class of molluscs eg snail, having a shell of a single valve, usually spirally coiled.

Fauna. Ref MM

GENUSA group of species thought to have a fairly recent ancestor, but which do not interbreed, or if they do, they form sterile

hybrids.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

GENUS6th rank in Taxonomic system. Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order,

Family, Genus, Species. Genus + Species constitute a unique name for all known species of living or extinct organisms.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

GEOCONSERVATIONThe conservation of geodiversity protecting natural values that encompass its ecological and geoheritage values.

Conservation. Ref MM

GEODIVERSITYThe range or diversity of geologic (bedrock), geomorphic (landform) and soil features, assemblages, systems and processes.

Geology. Ref MM

GEOLOGYThe study of the earth, its rocks, and how it changes, or has changed. Includes earth sciences, such as geology, geophysics, earth history, stratigraphy, paleontology, mineralogy.

Geology. Ref MM

GIBBSAn ascender with its cam operated by the weight of the climber.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

GLACIER CAVEA cave formed within or beneath a glacier. Having walls, floor & roof mainly of ice. May have have a floor at least partly of bedrock.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

GLACIOKARSTKarst landscape which has been glaciated during or since the Ice Ages.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref TW

GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEMGPS. Hand held device that computes position in latitude/longitude or in map grid reference. Uses

Satellite technology.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref MM

GLOSSARYThis Glossary (compiled by M Meth Feb 98) is the copyright property of the Australian Speleological Federation inc (ASF).

Miscellaneous terms. Ref MM

GOURSyn. Rimstone dam.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

GPSSee Global Positioning System.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref MM

GRADEThe class of a cave survey on the basis of the precision of the instruments and the accuracy of the methods.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

GRIDA system of squares on a map formed by straight lines that denote distance east and north of a fixed point of origin.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

GRID NORTHThe direction of a north-south grid line on a map. Only at the point of origin is this equal to True north.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

GRIKEA solutional trench that may be deep, narrow, vertical (or nearly so) rectilinear slot in a rock outcrop due to solution along a joint. Syn Kluftkarren.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

GROT HOLEA small and insignificant cave with no leads, often tight and difficult to maneuver in.

Speleology term. Ref MM

GROTTOA room of moderate dimensions in a cave, but richly decorated.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

GROUND TROGA search on the surface for cave entrances. Or merely the walk from car or camp to a (known) cave, particularly if the terrain is difficult.

Speleology term. Ref MM

GROUNDWATERWater below the level at which all voids in the rock are completely filled saturated. Syn. phreatic water in saturated zone

below water table.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

GUANOThe accumulation of dung from bats or birds. Often partly mineralised, and includes rock fragments, animal remains eg bones.

Guano also may contain products of reactions between the excretions and the rock.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

GUANOBIAAn animal association feeding on guano. Not considered true cavernicoles? as guano is not confined to caves.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

GYPSUMThe mineral hydrated calcium sulphate CaSO4.2(H2O)

Speleology term. Ref JJ

GYPSUM FLOWERAn elongated and curving deposit of gypsum on a cave surface.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

H

HABITAT The immediate surroundings of a plant or animal, with everything necessary to sustain life.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref AC

HALF BLIND VALLEYA blind valley that overflows its threshold when the flow exceeds a certain limit, beyond which the stream sink

cannot accept all the water

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

HALF TUBEExposed on a fractured rock surface. Often meandering or ‘anastomosing’. see Anastomosis.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

HALITEThe common salt sodium chloride NaCl as a mineral in the cubic crystalline system. May form as decorations on dry caves as, dripstone, crust, flowstone, stalactite, stalagmite and other forms.

Mineral, Rock and Chemical terms. Ref JJ

HALLA lofty chamber that is longer than it is wide.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

HARNESSIn climbing, an arrangement of tape, either the seat harness or chest harness for the attachment of ascenders or descenders.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

HELICTITEA speleothem, appearing to defy gravity, being a curved or angular twiglike lareral projection of calcim carbonate. Has a tiny

central canal. See Anthodite.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

HELIGMITEA helictite that grows on a cave floor or a shelf. Usually thin, curved and angular.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref WM

HELMETA miners, climbers or other kind of non metallic protective helmet used in caving. Australia does not have a standard for caving

helmets. A chin strap is recommended for vertical work. A sun visor is generally an inconvenience.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

HERBIVOREAn animal that eats plants.

Fauna. Ref MM

HISTOPLASMOSISA lung disease usually mild in effect but known to be fatal. May be caught from guano in caves, caused by fungus,

Histoplasmosis capsulatum.

Miscellaneous terms. Ref JJ

HOLOKARSTHaving bare surfaces on thick deposits of limestone that extend below sea level and little or no surface drainage. They have

karren, dolines, uvalas and cave systems. cf merokarst.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref WM

HORIZONTAL ANGLEThe difference in direction of two survey lines measured clockwise in a horizontal plane.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

HORNITOA small spatter cone up to 5 m high which spits out red hot drops of lava.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

HUMIDITY, RELATIVEThe ratio of the amount of water present in air to the amount present at saturation. Most caves have high humidity

because climatic conditions tend to be constant with very little evaporative moisture loss. But caves can have low humidity.

Speleology term. Ref MM

HYDROSTATIC PRESSUREThe pressure due to a column of water.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

HYPOGEANPertaining to the domain below the endogean, including the dark zone of caves. cf Epigean, Endogean.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

HYPORHEOSPertaining to water flowing over streambeds. cf Lotic.

Speleology term. Ref AC

[ Contents ]

 

 

I

ICEA mineral, H2O, which may form speleothems in ice caves as, stalactite, stalagmite, drapery, crust, flower, flowstone, helictites and euhedral (having well formed crystal faces) crystals.

Mineral, Rock and Chemical terms. Ref HF

ICE CAVE(1) An otherwise normal cave with permanent (ie perennial) ice in it. (2) A cave that only has ice in it on a seasonal basis. Note: A cave entirely in ice, or under an ice sheet, is called a

Glacier cave.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

INDURATEDSoils and sedimentary rocks which have become hardened or cemented.

Geology. Ref KG

INFLOW CAVEA cave into which a stream enters or is known to have entered formerly. The stream cannot be followed downstream to the

surface.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

INFLUX CAVEA cave entrance that has a stream flowing into it. cf Efflux cave. See also Inflow & Outflow caves.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref MM

INORGANICOf non-biological origin.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

INTERSTITIAL MEDIUMThe spaces between grains of sand, fine gravel or detritus filled with air or water which contains phreatobia.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

INVERTEBRATEAn animal without a backbone. eg Annelid (worm), Mollusc (snail) & Arthropods. The main life forms found in caves.

Fauna. Ref AC

INVERTED SIPHONA siphon of U-profile.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

ISOPODAn animal of the order of Crustaceans having 7 pairs of legs.

Includes slaters. Commonly found in caves.

Fauna. Ref MM

[ Contents ]

 

 

J

JOINTA planar or gently curving crack separating two parts of once continuous rock, without relative movement along its plane.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

JOINT PLANEThe plane in which a joint has formed.

Speleology term. Ref MM

JOINT PLANE CAVEA cavity developed along a joint, which is often steeply dipping, and thus high in relation to width.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

JUG HANDLEA small loop of rock shaped like a handle, used as an anchor point or hand hold to aid in climbing.

Climbing and SRT. Ref MM

JUMARAn ascender with a simple finger operated safety catch, a handle and several attachment points.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

[ Contents ]

 

 

K

KAMENITZASerbian word for a type of Karren. Literally means Pool in the stone. Syn Solution pan.

Karst - Minor Forms of. Ref EH

KANKAR(pronounced kunkar) A deposit, often nodular, of calcium carbonate formed in soils of semi arid regions by evaporation of

mineralised water at the surface.. Can form cave roof. see Oolite,

Calcrete, Caprock.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

KARABINERA steel or other alloy, oval or D-shaped link with a spring loaded gate on one side to admit a rope, or to clip to a ladder etc.

Also known as See Karabina. Also Carabiner, Crab, Krab.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

KARRENGerman word for the surface occurring minor forms of karst. Solution grooves cut into bare or covered limestone surfaces by

running water. Also occur underground. Several types exist eg: Rillenkarren, Rundkarren, Kamenitza.

Karst - Minor Forms of. Ref TW

KARSTTerrain with special landforms & drainage characteristics due to greater solubility of certain rocks in natural waters than is

common. Name derived from a province in Slovenia, where this type of landform was first described. Several types described.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

KARST GEOMORPHOLOGYThe scientific study of karst landforms (both on the surface and underground) and the processes which contribute to their development.

Speleology term. Ref EH

KARST HYDROGRAPHIC ZONESThe 3 vertically aligned subterranean divisions of karst: upper unsaturated zone, intermittently saturated epiphreatic (or floodwater) zone and lower saturated (phreatic) zone.

Speleology term. Ref MM

KARST HYDROLOGYThe scientific study of the movement of water through a karst system, and the storage of water in it.

Hydrology terms. Ref EH

KARST TYPESBuried karst, Cone karst, Covered karst, Exhumed karst, Halbkugelkarst, Holokarst, Kegelkarst, Merokarst, Microkarst, Naked karst, Paleokarst, Pseodokarst, Spitzkegelkarst, Subjacent karst,

Syngenetic karst, Thermokarst, Tower karst.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref WM

KARST WINDOWA closed depression, not a polje, which has a stream flowing across its bottom.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

KARST, FEATURES OFThe special landforms of a karst area include:

Caves, Dolines, Karren, Rill, Rillenkarren, Rundkarren, Solution pan and underground drainage.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

KARSTICPertaining to karst.

Speleology term. Ref MM

KARSTIFICATIONA periodic or cyclic process where phases of active solutional development of karst are followed by infilling of karst

conduits and voids.

Processes. Ref AC

KERNMANTELA rope with a plaited sheath around a core of parallel or twisted strands.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

KEYHOLEA small passage or opening in a cave having a keyhole shaped cross section, round above and narrow below.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

KINGDOM1st and highest rank in Taxonomic system. Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

KNOBBY PAHOEHOEA form of pahoehoe lava in which the smooth surface is broken by numerous small knobs and lumps.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

KRABShort for Karabiner. A steel or aluminium alloy snap link used in rope work. Also known as Karabina, Carabiner, Crab.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

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L

LABYRINTHSyn, Maze cave, Network.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref WM

LADDERIn caving, a flexible lightweight ladder of galvanised or stainless steel wires and aluminium alloy rungs.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

LAKEIn caving, a body of standing water (no matter how small) in a cave.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

LAPIESA synonym for Karren, used mainly in the special case of Marine Lapies which form on limestone surfaces exposed to the sea,

or to sea spray. See also Phytokarst.

Karst - Minor Forms of. Ref KG

LAPILLIA general term for pebble to granule sized volcanic ejecta. Angular frothy fragments are called scoria. Finer material is ash and coarser fragments are called bombs or blocks.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

LARVA(Plu larvae). The young of insects, eg grub, caterpillar, maggot that metamorphose into adult forms eg beetle, moth, fly.

Larvae are active, self sustaining and independent life forms, and many inhabit caves.

Fauna. Ref AC

LATERITEAn iron rich deep weathering profile. Lateritised means containing laterite.

Geology. Ref KG

LAVAMolten rock that is capable of flowing on the surface or in lava tubes. Also volcanic rock solidified from magma. See ‘pahoehoe’ and

‘aa’ for specific types.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

LAVA CAVEA cave in a lava flow, usually a tube formed by flow of liquid lava through a solidified mass, or by roofing over of an open channel. Small lava caves may form as gas blisters.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

LAVA DRIBBLESDrips and associated runs of smooth surfaced lava on a vertical or sloping wall in a lava tube. Formed from a molten lining.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

LAVA DRIPSShort smooth-surfaced drips of lava on a ceiling or upper wall, formed from a molten lining. Grades to flatter ‘lava dribbles’ on the walls.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

LAVA HANDSGroups of elongated finger or grape-like extrusions formed on a wall or roof where pasty lava has been forced out through a crack or hole in the lining. Matching ‘lava stalagmites’ may occur on the floor below. See also ‘lava turds’.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

LAVA STALACTITESLonger and thicker than ‘lava drips’. Rare straw-like lava stalactites have been recorded overseas.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

LAVA STALAGMITESMounds or columns of lava built up on a floor. Some may resemble ‘lava turds’, others are built up of numerous small semi-solid droplets to form agglutinated stalagmites.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

LAVA TUBEA cave in lava formed by removal of liquid material from beneath a solid roof.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

LAVA TURDSA descriptive term for small lava extrusions. A thick pasty lava has been forced out of a small orifice in the wall lining or floor. Analogies to dog, sheep, cow, etc. have been seen. aka ‘Lava hands’. aka (less politely) ‘Stoolite’ and ‘faecicles’

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

LAVACICLESmall round-tipped lava stalactites, formed where molten lava has dripped from the roof, or dribbled down the walls of the cave.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

LAYThe way in which strands of a rope or cable are twisted.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

LEADA cave passage noticed but as yet unexplored.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

LEAD ACID BATTERYA rechargeable acid battery used as a light source in caving, usually worn on a waist strap and with a lamp fitted to the helmet.

Lighting term. Ref JJ

LEADERIn caving, the person directing the activities of a caving party, and with responsibility for the safety of the group.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

LEGA survey leg, the measurement between 2 adjacent survey stations in a cave survey.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

LEUCOPHORA colourless water tracer, which fluoresces blue.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

LEVEEAn outward sloping raised area on each side of a lava channel. Analogous to a river levee, it is built up by successive lava layers whenever the channel overflows.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

LEVELIn caves, the height relation of a point in a cave to the entrance or a datum eg sea level.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref WM

LEVELA group of cave passages developed in the same horizontal plane, especially in caves that are developed on 2 or more planes.

Cave - Parts of. Ref WM

LIFE LINEA safety device additional to the main support in climbing. May be an additional rope, or merely an additional attachment to the main system

Climbing and SRT. Ref MM

LIMESTONEA sedimentary rock consisting mainly of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) derived from the deposition of the calcareous remains of animals. Usually of marine origin but can be of freshwater origin. eg Oolitic, Coralline, Foraminiferous. See Dolomite, Magnesite.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

LIMESTONE CAVELimestone is relatively soluble and is the most common rock type in which caves develop.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref MM

LIMESTONE PAVEMENT(1) A bare plane surface of bedded limestone, commonly divided into blocks (clints) by solutionally widened joints (grikes). (2) On the Nullarbor, an area of calcrete built up in an otherwise soil covered area.

Karst - Minor Forms of. Ref WM

LINTEL LINEA line on the ground at a cave entrance directly below the outer edge of the rock above. May or may not coincide with the dripline.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

LIQUID MEDIUMContains the Stygofauna or aquatic Cavernicoles.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

LITHIFICATIONHardening of sediment to form a rock.

Geology. Ref KG

LITTORALShoreline. Between high and low tide marks, Intertidal. cf

Benthic. Most sea caves occur in this zone.

Geology. Ref MM

LIVE CAVEA cave containing flowing water or active speleothems. Cf

Active cave.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

LONG SECTIONA cave map showing a cross section along the length of a

cave or of a single passage or chamber.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

LOOPSee Closed traverse.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref MM

LOOP ERRORThe error in easting, northing & vertical that results when a survey, in forming a loop, closes on itself.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref MM

LOTICPertaining to the aquatic environment of running water.

Geology. Ref AC

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M

MACROCAVERNIncludes all cavities in rocks greater than 20 cm in diameter. This includes all the cave passages that are accessible to people. Cf Mesocavern, Microcavern.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref EH

MACROINVERTRBRATEAn invertebrate large enough to be easily visible to the naked eye.

Fauna. Ref AC

MAGNESITEMagnesium carbonate rock. Usually considered as a mineral, and may have various impurities such as Calcium or Iron and may be susceptible to karst solution processes. (cf dolomite).Example is the magnesite karst at Savage River in NW Tasmania.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref AC

MAGNETIC NORTHThe direction to the north magnetic pole. The position of the north (and south) magnetic poles undergoes continuous change year by year.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

MARBLELimestone recrystallised and hardened by pressure and heat.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

MARLA calcareous clay, or impure fine grained limestone.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref KG

MASS MOVEMENTDislodgment and downslope transport of soil and bedrock under the influence of gravity.

Geology. Ref MM

MASSIVEA rock mass that is not obviously fractured, or with individual strata more than 100mm in thickness.

Geology. Ref MM

MAZE CAVEA complex pattern of connecting passages often on two or more levels in a cave. Syn Labyrinth, Network.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

MEANDERAn arcuate curve in a river course due to the stream eroding sideways.

Geology. Ref JJ

MEANDER NICHEA hemispherically roofed part of a cave formed by a stream meandering and cutting down at the same time.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

MEROKARSTHaving bare surfaces on thick deposits of limestone that extend below sea level and little or no surface drainage. They have

karren, dolines, uvalas and cave systems. cf holokarst.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref WM

MESOCAVERNIncludes all cavities in rock that are smaller than 20 cm in diameter and larger than 0.1 cm in diameter. Not large enough to

be considered as a cave in the usual sense. Cf Microcavern,

Macrocavern.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref EH

METABOLIC RATEThe rate at which an organism transforms food into energy and body tissue; most cave animals, particularly the obligates in the dark zone have a reduced metabolic rate.

Fauna. Ref MM

MICROCAVERNAll cavities in rock that are smaller than 0.1 cm in diameter down to and including microscopic size. Whislt not considered a cave, such caverties may be important biological niche sites. Cf Mesocavern, Macrocavern.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref EH

MICROCLIMATEThe climate (temperature, humidity, air movement etc) of a restricted space, eg of a cave, or of a portion of a cave. see

Microhabitat.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

MICROGOURMiniature rimstone dam with associated tiny pool of the order 10mm wide and deep. Most commonly occurs on flowstone, but may occur in other situations.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

MICROHABITATThe individual faunal habitat or niche within a larger (cave) environment.

Fauna. Ref AC

MICROKARSTKarst topography in which all surface features are small.

An area dominated by minor karst features.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref WM

MOONMILKOften a cauliflower shaped mass of soft, white, moist, plastic speleothem consisting of calcite, and hydrated minerals such as hydrocalcite, hydromagnesite or huntite. May become hard or powdery if they dry out. Syn Rockmilk.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

MORPHOLOGYThe study of the physical form of lands or regions. Also the form and structure of any natural phenomena, eg of plant or animal design.

Geology. Ref MM

MOTTLINGBlotchy or patchy colour patterning.

Speleology term. Ref KG

MUD PENDULITEA pendulite with the knob coated in mud.

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref JJ

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N

NAKED KARSTSyn. Bare karst.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref WM

NATURAL ARCHAn arch of rock formed by weathering.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

NATURAL BRIDGEA bridge of rock spanning a ravine or valley and formed by erosive agents.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

NECROPHAGEA scavenger feeding on animal carcasses rather than live prey.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

NETWORKA complex pattern of repeatedly connecting passages in a cave. Syn Maze, cave, Labyrinth.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

NICHEAn organism’s place in the cave ecosystem. Where it lives and eats, and what eats it. How it interacts with all biotic and abiotic factors.

Fauna. Ref AC

NIFE CELLA rechargeable alkaline battery for use with an electric cap lamp.

Lighting term. Ref JJ

NORTHING1. The distance of a point north of the point of origin of the grid of a map. 2. The south-north component of a survey leg, or of a series of 2 or more legs. North is positive, south is negative.

cf Easting.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

NOTHEPHREATICReferring to water moving slowly in cavities in the phreatic zone.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

NUMBERINGAssigning an alphanumeric identity number to a cave entrance, such that no 2 entrances have the same number.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

NYMPHSome insect young or juveniles are called nymphs. Esp. those with no or incomplete wings.

Fauna. Ref AC

 

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O

OBLIGATEInvariably. A species which is unable to live outside of a given environment. Applied to animals living in the dark zone of caves that may display Troglomorphic adaptions.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref AC

ON BELAYSignal given to a climber by the belayer, that the manually

operated belay system is ready for use.

Climbing and SRT. Ref MM

OOLITEOolitic limestone. A type of rock, often calcareous which grows by radial or concentric means around a nucleus. The term Oolite formerly referred to cave pearls.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

OPEN TRAVERSEA survey traverse which does not form a loop.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

ORDER4th rank in Taxonomic system. Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order,

Family, Genus, Species.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

ORGANICOf biological origin. (Strictly includes all carbon compounds, some of which are NOT biological).

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref AC

ORIENTATIONThe relationship of a survey line to true, grid or magnetic north.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

OROGENOro = mountain. A belt of deformed rocks, making up a portion of the continental crust.

Geology. Ref MM

OUTFLOW CAVEA cave from which a stream flows or formerly did, and which can not be followed upstream to the surface.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

OVERHANGA simple cave or rock shelter in which no part is in the dark zone.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref MM

OVERHANGA ladder or rope that hangs over a ledge or shelf of rock that projects past the rest of the rock face below, & thereby hangs free.

Climbing and SRT. Ref MM

 

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P

PAHOEHOEA type of lava in which the surface was relatively fluid and so formed smooth or porridge-like surfaces. Variants include wrinkled or ‘ropy’ surfaces, like flowing pitch, and surfaces with small rounded knobs.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

PALAEOKARSTA ‘fossil’ karst, being a remnant of a previous period of Karstification. Characterised by old deposits, as lithified cave fills or breccias

Karst - Kinds of. Ref RW

PALAEOSOLAncient soils.

Geology. Ref KG

PALEO SOILSSee Palaeosol.

Geology. Ref MM

PARASITEDeriving food from a host, to which it is attached, and harming the host. In caves the Acarina (ticks & mites) are parasites on other invertebrates or vertebrates. (Note that some mites are free living in caves. cf Endophyte Epiphyte Holozoic Saprophytic

Fauna. Ref AC

PARIETAL ASSOCIATIONAnimals found on walls around cave entrances.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

PASSAGEA cavity in a cave that is longer than it is wide or high. A passage normally leads to other places in a cave, and is not a dead end.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

PENDANTSee Rock pendant.

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref JJ

PENDULITEA kind of stalactite which has been partly submerged with that part covered with Dog tooth spar, giving the appearance of a drumstick.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

PERCOLATION WATERWater moving mainly downwards through pores, cracks & fissures in the unsaturated Epikarstic zone and Vadose zone. Also relates to water draining underground from a Swallet or Streamsink.

Hydrology terms. Ref JJ

PERMEABILITYThe property of rock or soil permitting water to pass through it. Primary permeability depends on pores between the grains of material. Secondary Permeability depends on solutional widening of joints & bedding planes & on other solution cavities.

Hydrology terms. Ref JJ

PHREASSyn. Phreatic Zone.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

PHREATIC WATERWater below the level at which all voids in the rock are completely filled with water.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

PHREATIC ZONEThe zone that is below the Water table (except at times of drought) where voids or tubes in the rock are completely saturated with water.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

PHREATOBIAAn animal association found in water separating grains of sand or fine gravel.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

PHYLOGENETICPertaining to an evolutionary development of a species. Usually this would involve a long history of development, but it could conceivably be relatively short.

Fauna. Ref AC

PHYLUMSecond rank in Taxonomic system. Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. In Plant Classification Phylum can be known as a Division.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref MM

PHYTOKARSTA type of small scale solutional sculpturing or Karren which forms with the assistance of certain algae and other micro-organisms that secrete acid solutions. Commonly occurs as a part of Marine lapies, and also as light oriented features in Cenotes.

Speleology term. Ref KG

PILLARA bedrock column from roof to floor left by removal of surrounding rock.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

PINNACLE KARSTTropical landscape of near vertical sided spires. Also as Arete Karst.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref WM

PIPEA tubular cavity projecting down from the surface into karst rocks. Often filled with earth etc.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

PIT(Looking for a definition)

Cave - Parts of. Ref MM

PITCHA vertical or nearly vertical part of a cave for which a ladder or rope is normally used for ascent or descent.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

PITONA solid or folded metal spike driven into a crack in a rock to form an anchor.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

PLANA cave map at a reduced scale showing the details projected vertically onto a horizontal plane..

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

PLUNGE POOLA swirlhole, generally of large size. occurring at the foot of a waterfall or rapid, on the surface or underground.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

POLJEA large closed depression draining underground, with a flat floor across which there may be an intermittent or perennial stream. The polje may be liable to flood and become a lake, and its floor makes a sharp break with parts of surrounding slopes.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

POLYGONAL KARSTKarst completely pitted by closed depressions so that divides between them form a crudely polygonal network.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

POOL DEPOSITAny sediment which accumulates in a pool in a cave.

Crystalline deposits precipitated in a cave pool, usually of crystalline shape as well as structure.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

POPULATIONIndividuals of a species that form an interbreeding group, separated by physical barriers from other such populations.

Biology - Flora & Fauna. Ref JJ

POROSITYPrimary: intergrannular porosity. Secondary: porosity arising from fractures and joints etc in the rock mass. Tertiary: posoity arising from the development of karstic conduits.

Hydrology terms. Ref JJ

POROSITYThe property of rock or soil of having small voids between the constituent particles. The voids may or may not interconnect. If they conect, the Permeability of the rock will be higher. 3 classes of prosity are recognised:

Hydrology terms. Ref JJ

POTSee Pothole.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

POTHOLEA vertical or nearly vertical shaft or chimney open to the surface.

Karst - Depression Features of. Ref JJ

PREDATORAn animal which captures other animals for its food.

Fauna. Ref JJ

PRISMATIC COMPASSA compass with a prism that enables the viewing angle to be read whilst sighting a distant object.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

PROJECTED SECTIONIn mapping, a vertical section along the main trend of a cave. Horizontal distances may be distorted, so that slope angles are reduced.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

PRUSIK KNOTA friction knot which can slide along a rope when no weight is applied, but grips when a pull is applied. Used in

climbing.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

PRUSIK SLINGA sling fastened by a prusik knot to a rope

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

PRUSIKINGAscent on a rope using prusik knots as ascenders.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

PSEUDOKARSTTerrain with landforms (and caves) which resemble those of karst but are not the product of karst solution processes.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref JJ

PUDDINGSA local term for small tumuli within lava tubes, but also applied to porridge like mounds of pahoehoe that have been squeezed up through an opening in a crusted floor.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

PUPA(Plu Pupae) The inactive stage of certain insects when the larva undergoes metamorphis and becomes an adult.

Fauna. Ref AC

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Q

QUATERNARYThe youngest geological period, extending from the end of the Tertiary 1.6 million years ago to the present. Divided into Pleistocene, and Holocene which is the last 10,000 years. A time of great ice ages with widely fluctuating climates and sea levels.

Geology. Ref KG

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R

RADONA radioactive inert gas (Rn86 half life 3.8 days) formed continuously in the earth’s interior by radioactive decay. Densest of all known gases, tends to collect in caves as well as man made cellars etc. Concentration varies greatly between localities.

Geology. Ref MM

RAFTA speleothem consisting of a thin layer of crystalline material which forms and floats on the surface of a cave pool. Sinks if water surface is disturbed. May form many layers in a dried out pool.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref HF

RAPPELSyn. Abseil.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

RAPPEL RACKA descender consisting of a frame mounting 5 or 6 brake bars.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

REBELAYThe placing of an additional belay on a rope so as to avoid a rub point on a pitch. Or merely to split long pitches. Syn.

Deviation, Redirection.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

RECHARGEThe process involving the input or intake of water into the saturated zone in karst aquifers. Relates to the quantity of water added.

Hydrology terms. Ref AC

REGRESSIONA withdrawal of the sea from the land, due to uplift or a eustatic drop in sea level. See transgression.

Geology. Ref KG

REGRESSIVE EVOLUTIONReduced body pigmentation (or no pigment); Loss of wings (in insects, such as carabid beetles); Elongated appendages including antennae; Longer and greater density spines or setae (hairs); Reduced metabolic rate.

Fauna. Ref MM

REGRESSIVE EVOLUTIONConcept used to describe the adaptive traits or troglomorphies of obligate cavernicoles, particularly those species that only live in the dark zone. eg Reduced eye size; Loss of visual ability or loss of eyes;

Fauna. Ref MM

RELATIVE HUMIDITYSee Humidity.

Speleology term. Ref MM

RELICTSee Distributional Relict.

Fauna. Ref MM

RELICT KARSTOld cave forms produced by earlier geomorphic processes within the present phase or period of karstification and open to modification by present day processes. Such as deposition of speleothems, sediments or skeletal deposits.

Karst - Kinds of. Ref RW

RESURGENCEA Spring where a stream, which has a course higher up on the surface, reappears lower down at the surface.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

RHIZOMORPHA calcareous structure formed around roots, and preserving the form of the root.

Speleology term. Ref KG

RHODAMINEA red organic dye detectable in very dilute solutions. Used in water tracing and dye gauging.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

RIFTA long narrow high and straight cave passage controlled by planes of weakness in the rock. cf Fissure.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

RIGGINGIn climbing, the process of establishing the belays for ropes and or ladders.

Climbing and SRT. Ref RW

RILLSmall solution groove on surface exposures of limestone. Most common in arid or semiarid areas.

Karst - Minor Forms of. Ref WM

RILLENKARRENA type of Karren, runnels about 20mm wide with sharp ridges between them. Usually solutional, formed by air currents with airborne moisture forming closely situated often parallel to sub-parallel vertical grooves on a sloping limestone surface.

Karst - Minor Forms of. Ref KG

RIMSTONEA deposit formed by precipitation from water flowing over the rim of a pool.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

RIMSTONE DAMA ridge or rib of rimstone, often curved convexly downstream.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

RIMSTONE POOLA pool held up by a rimstone dam.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

RIPARIANPertaining to the banks of a river or stream. And expanded to include the perimeter area around dolines, particularly those which act as swallets.

Geology. Ref MM

RISINGAnother term for a spring. A feature where water returns to the surface from an underground body of water.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

ROCKA warning given (shouted) when a rock is seen to be falling, or is about to fall, and which could endanger those below. See also “Below”.

Climbing and SRT. Ref MM

ROCKAny naturally formed coherent and relatively hard mass of mineral matter.

Geology. Ref MM

ROCK PENDANTA smooth surfaced projection from the roof of a cave due to solution. Usually occur in groups.

Cave - Erosional & Solutional Features. Ref JJ

ROCK SHELTERA cave, often at a cliff base, with more or less level floor extending only a short distance so that no part is beyond daylight.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref JJ

ROCKHOLEA shallow small hole in rock outcrops, often rounded in form and holding water after rain. A feature of the Nullarbor Plain.

Karst - Minor Forms of. Ref JJ

ROCKMILKSee Moonmilk.

Speleology term. Ref MM

ROCKPILEA heap of rocks in a cave, usually formed by local collapse, roughly conical in overall shape.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

ROOF CRUSTA thin speleothem on a cave precipitated from water films exuding from pores or cracks.

Cave - Depositional Features. Ref JJ

ROOF SNIFFINGDescribes progress in a water filled passage with only sufficient air space for the nose to be above the water.

Speleology term. Ref MM

ROOMA wider part of a cave than a passage, but not considered as large as a chamber.

Cave - Parts of. Ref JJ

ROPE PROTECTORA length of fabric or plastic hose etc placed around a rope where it may rub against rock.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

ROPY LAVAAnother term for pahoehoe, especially the type with curved and twisted ridges.

Lava Cave term. Ref KG

RUNDKARRENA type of karren. Generally about 200mm wide with rounded profile. Surface karst solution feature consisting of rounded

grooves in eg, limestone, normally formed under soil or under heavy litter or moss layers. cf Rillenkarren.

Karst - Minor Forms of. Ref MM

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S

SAFETY LINEA safety rope attached to a climber in addition to the main rope or ladder.

Climbing and SRT. Ref JJ

SALT WEATHERINGDetachment of particles from a rock surface by the growth of crystals from salt solutions. A feature of the Nullarbor and other desert caves.

Processes. Ref JJ

SANDSTONE CAVEA cave formed in sandstone.

Cave - Kinds of. Ref MM

SAPROPHAGEA scavenger feeding on decaying organic material.

Cave - Biota. Ref JJ

SATURATEDWater which has dissolved as much limestone or other material as it can under the prevailing conditions.

Speleology term. Ref JJ

SATURATED ZONEThe zone below the water table, composed of shallow, deep (bathyphreatic) and stagnant phreatic zones. Syn. Phreatic zone.

Hydrology terms. Ref AC

SCALEThe ratio of the length between any 2 points on a map to the actual distance between the same points on the ground or in a cave.

Survey & Mapping term. Ref JJ

SCALING CHIPA smal