Recommend a book on cave geology?


New member

Been lurking for a while, now i have a question! 

I'm interested in getting a book on cave geology, that identifies (with pictures!) the structures and formations.  And also has details on how everything forms.  So when i look at this...


...i can understand what, why and how!  I know the very basics (joints, bedding planes, stalactites and stalacmites!), but want to get beyond that.  So when i try to describe something i can call it the right thing.  My main interest is in cave diving, so it would be nice to have a book with underwater info as well as dry caves. 

So, any suggestions or recommendations? 

Anyone got anything good second-hand?

Thanks in advance.  :)


New member
Ford, Derek C. and Williams, Paul, 1989, Karst Geomorphology and Hydrology: Unwin Hyman, Winchester, Massachusetts, 320 p

or the 2007 second edition.


New member
Art Palmer's Cave Geology is excellent. Early Xmas present?


Cave Geology is the definitive book on the subject by an internationally recognized authority. It can be easily understood by non-scientists but also covers a wide range of topics in enough detail to be used by advanced researchers. Illustrated with more than 500 black-and-white photographs and 250 diagrams and maps, this book is dedicated to anyone with an interest in caves and their origin.

Not sure where you can buy it the UK. SpeleoProjects probably are your best bet.



Active member
Nice idea, though be prepared to be disappointed. In geology it takes a lot of study to be able to interpret what you see, though to interpret something in its most simple terms is not too hard. Sorry if that sounds patronising, it isn't meant to be!

I thought that I would be able to identify rocks with my Earth Science degree, but I can't really. Only the obvious ones. Learning through reading or study or whatever does help you to think through various possibilities though which can't be a bad thing.

Les W

Active member
Cookie said:
Art Palmer's Cave Geology is excellent.

Art Palmer's book is aimed at all levels of knowledge, there are lots of explanations for the layman and it has received excellent reviews.
Art is one of the foremost authorities in the world on this subject and is very respected in academic circles.

I already own a copy myself and find it an excellent and informative read. It really should be a part of everybody's book collection.  (y)


Well-known member
I would also recommend anything by Trevor Ford. He has an easy to understand style, and has written many books on all areas of the UK underground scene.