Author Topic: Figures for cave exploration  (Read 801 times)

Online Rob

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Figures for cave exploration
« on: January 08, 2019, 08:36:20 pm »
I'm after finding out how much cave is discovered each year, both in the UK and abroad. Obviously yearly figures would be ideal, but an average would do for this current requirement.

The length of cave passage explored each year seems to be a good KPI of cave explorers, yet i cannot find a national or global source/database of this information. Does anyone know of such a resource?
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Online Badlad

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Re: Figures for cave exploration
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2019, 09:01:20 pm »
Tough ask.  I hope someone does collect this data - it would be awesome to see, but I expect it would involve a lot of research and be quite problematic in some parts of the world.  Good luck

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Figures for cave exploration
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 09:37:46 pm »
For the 10th anniversary of J-Rat's death, Estelle compiled a digging accumulator for Mendip and Scotland (J-Rat's main digging areas) over the last 10 years.

Mendip: 13,520m
Scotland: 2,639m
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Figures for cave exploration
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2019, 12:32:25 am »
Many significant US discoveries go unreported. I don't think it's possible to get any accurate data.

Online Leclused

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Re: Figures for cave exploration
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2019, 07:56:59 am »
Hi

I do not think that these figures are kept global. But some clubs keep track of their discoveries on their website

For the club where I am member of

For Belgium : http://scavalon.be/avalonuk/av05.htm (17 km of discoveries)
For the Anialarra system (PSM Spain/France) : http://scavalon.be/avalonuk/psm01.htm (+40 km of discoveries)

We are also exploring in some area's in France (Haute Marne/ Haute Saone), but the discoveries there are not yet available in an overview. Some information can be found on our blog. Approx 1,5 km of discoveries

http://scavalon.blogspot.com/search/label/explo%20Haute%20Marne

We (Sc Avalon) are always searching and exploring but not much other clubs do this.

Dagobert
 
Dagobert L'Ecluse (SC Avalon - Belgium)
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Figures for cave exploration
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2019, 07:58:09 am »
Kenilworth makes a good point here. Happily, I don't think we have quite the same problem of under-reporting in the UK but there will always be some inertia between discoveries being made and proper descriptions being published. So any data produced would never be quite up to date.

One way of obtaining useful historical data for the UK might be to go through all the main guidebooks, which quote the years of most major extensions. This would allow a reasonable estimate of the overall amount of new stuff found each year over the last Century or so. (It would be interesting to see any obvious hiatus during the two great wars, for example, or due to foot & mouth disease outbreaks, or the 1967 Mossdale Caverns accident, etc.)

However, this would tell you more about breakthroughs, rather than exploratory activity - an important distinction.

A number of years ago, when BCA officers were sorting out our insurance scheme, there was a need to know the total length of cave passage in each major caving area. (Why insurers ask for such information leaves me puzzled but there you go.) A volunteer was sought for each area to compile these data, allowing a ball park figure to be arrived at for the whole UK. Such an exercise might be done to try and provide the information Rob asks for? (I'd normally volunteer to do this in the Dales, as I did for the insurance query, but I've too many things on at the moment to offer.)

If someone was willing to co-ordinate this (Rob?) it could be done . . . .

Offline mikem

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Re: Figures for cave exploration
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2019, 09:44:07 am »
Unfortunately only the three counties book is anywhere near up to date. Mendip underground is a selective guide, so doesn't include many of the sites in that total (plus it was published halfway through those 10 years).

One of those years the total was over 2km, some it was nearer 500m, but several did average about 1km (many of the sites included in the 10 year total were never entered in the competition, so it's difficult to be more accurate).

Before the existence of the Mendip registry the same minor caves were discovered multiple times by succeeding generations & the same must be happening on overseas expeditions, so it is useful if someone has the time to do this, but really needs knowledge of the area involved...

Mike
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 10:01:36 am by mikem »

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Figures for cave exploration
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2019, 02:32:05 pm »

The length of cave passage explored each year seems to be a good KPI of cave explorers

Any value obtained would presumably need to be factored based on the geology and caving history of the area. For example, I imagine a lot more man hours go into each m of discovered cave in say Mendip than China...
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Offline Les W

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Re: Figures for cave exploration
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2019, 02:39:36 pm »

Before the existence of the Mendip registry the same minor caves were discovered multiple times by succeeding generations & the same must be happening on overseas expeditions, so it is useful if someone has the time to do this, but really needs knowledge of the area involved...

Mike

Some of the large, regular expeditions keep a lot of that info online, (I'm thinking of Matienzo, etc)
Also the longest/deepest list from Caver Bob will have been updated regullarly so I guess the previous figures will be available somewher (Wayback machine, Caver Bob, etc) which would provide different figures for different years, where updated.
All of this will require some work though, and only be an approximation.
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Figures for cave exploration
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2019, 09:31:43 am »
Unfortunately only the three counties book is anywhere near up to date. Mendip underground is a selective guide, so doesn't include many of the sites in that total (plus it was published halfway through those 10 years).

Agree with Mike that guide books will not be the best source for more recent years. But they do contain discoveries going back well into to Victorian times; if Rob is interested in long term stats then guide books will probably be the easiest source, for the greater part of the main period when our pastime has been on the go.

MU is still fairly comprehensive; I can only think of one example where it's not (for good reason) and that may be better not elaborated on in a public forum. Caves of the Peak District is excellent and fairly recent (in the great scheme of things) - and the O.P. will be familiar with much of what's happened since. As for Wales - don't ask me; it's a long time since I was tempted away from the Dales and Peak District to go caving there.

Online Rob

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Re: Figures for cave exploration
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2019, 08:07:51 pm »
Many thanks for all the considered replies.

Pete, your figures compiled by Estelle for Mendip and Scotland are an excellent start, and exactly the sort of information i need to begin some approximations for my current requirement.

Reading through the other posts, it is clear that there seems at least some enthusiasm so have this data compiled and collated, even if there are a few hurdles. I agree any research about historic figures is likely to be only an approximation but that doesn't mean it's not a useful resource. I will have a look at those mentioned sources.

There seems to me little reason not to start collating new discoveries in the UK now, so I will start exploring mechanisms to put this into place... Please PM if you are keen to assist.
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