Author Topic: Exploring for new caves in Kentucky!  (Read 1310 times)

Offline Amata

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Exploring for new caves in Kentucky!
« on: February 06, 2011, 08:13:21 pm »
HEY so in a few weeks I'll be on an exploration trip I was invited on in Kentucky lookin' for some new caves - actually a known cave on property I am told that we hope to find a way past the maze at the back, and other holes known not yet been poked in, and still more of the property not yet walked so more places possible!

Any tips/tricks/advise? I've never really gone looking for caves before - what kind of things should I look for? Of course I'm with others but I'm just curious if there is any advise anyone might have. Or it it really - since we already know it's karsty there - really a matter of luck in what you can spot?
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Offline barrabus

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Re: Exploring for new caves in Kentucky!
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 12:07:23 am »
I presume you have access to google maps or something similar; and proper maps like those produced by the Ordnance Survey in the UK (ie something with proper detail and contours etc). Looking at these before you go might pay dividends.
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Offline Amata

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Re: Exploring for new caves in Kentucky!
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 12:12:36 am »
I don't have any topo maps sadly, and google maps is pretty low res for looking close.
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Offline Penguin

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Re: Exploring for new caves in Kentucky!
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2011, 01:44:31 am »
In no particular order:

Google maps; old ordnance mapping; new ordance mapping; aerial photography - looking for depressions, holes, streams that disappear or appear (springs), valleys.  Often the old ordnance maps mark caves - though not all.  Placenames that refer to karst features or holes or the like (Google them to try to bring up photographs or further info).

Geology maps / memoirs / guides - faulting, contacts / lenses of limestone, karst features that may be marked or recorded / karst database.

Cave publications (guides, research papers). 

Local knowledge - landowner, land user, local people, cavers who have been in the area before.

Walking.

Often one of the above will trigger off a research 'thread'.

This is from an Irish perspective, and a lot of the above is available online now for Ireland.  Armchair caving can be a good way of cutting down the leg work - or increasing it with lots of sites to visit! 

When you find your hole, if it's not an active sink or rising, feel for draughts, listen for the sound of water beneath, poke in holes, look for evidence that water has sunk or risen there recently.

Carry some tools - a crowbar is useful, maybe a small folding shovel / trenching tool, a torch. 

Log what you find. 

Happy hunting!

Offline Amata

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Re: Exploring for new caves in Kentucky!
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 01:59:25 pm »
A good time was had, photos will be incoming =)
What'd we find?

- two more landowners who let us look at their land too, totaling 583 acres...we didn't hit it all but had a topo map so we did hit most of the more interesting looking bits, still more to check out though

- we really need to organize a cleanup for 2 sinks full of tires dumped there about 40-50 years ago the current landowner thinks. Hundreds of tires. Big and full of mud and water so that'll be fun dragging out and also trying to dispose of.

- one of those sinks we were able to re-find by pulling out 15-20 tires a hole previously found on the property. Dug the trash outa it and viola, another entrance to the known cave (albeit impossible at this time to do a through trip - you can peak your  head over the edge and look up from the bottom, but really short crawl with no space to do a 90 deg angle change down into a chimney, even our tiny caver along couldn't do it so it'd need some widening and such to work)

- found a new cave! little, but a cave! some folks along has survey stuffs and did it quick

- probably 100-200 more feet of passage found in the known cave (including one tiny short little crawlybit that opens into a small room with lots of popcorn that I found  ;D)

- lots of holes, none of them passable by humans more than getting halfway in or a full body length in. Two in particular seem likely to go, and one of them I found :) with a bit of digging at the entrance.
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