New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Caves and caving, beginning caving, joining the NSS, etc.

Moderator: Moderators

New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Postby rescuediver » Jul 6, 2012 3:03 am

Hey guys, this is my second post and I'm a total newbie at caving. I've never set foot in a wild cave before, however, I always wanted to find one. Last year I started reading up on how caves are formed and what to look for, so I started ridge walking on some woodland property I own in Culleoka, TN (Maury County) - just East of Columbia, and I found a few places that I believed could be hiding caves.

This week I started digging on my primary target. It is an old dry spring bed that falls out at mid-elevation of a large ridge on my property. From my ridge walk last year, I knew there was air coming from a few holes in the ground there, but last week I went up there when it was 101 degrees and I took a laser thermometer. The air was 59 degrees blowing out of the holes. So yesterday I started digging the hole that had the most volume of air. I removed about 6 feet of rock to get down to the source, which was a small opening below a limestone outcropping. Then I removed enough dirt from the entrance to allow space to crawl in. Now you can stand back several feet away from the opening and feel the cool air blowing out. After clearing the entrance, I squeezed in and crawled back only about 20 feet since I didn't have the needed safety gear to go further. But today I got some gear together, and went back in and measured a distance of 150 feet with rope. It is a crawl all the way to this point, and has a wet floor. Thus far, it's about 3 feet high and varies between 3 to 6 feet wide. It looks like it opens up a little larger around the 170 foot mark before making another turn, but my bare forearms had about enough rocks and water by this point, so I turned around at 150 feet.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Now my questions is, what are the steps in documenting a new cave and giving real cavers access to explore and/or survey? I feel great having discovered a new cave, but now I believe I need to turn it over to the experts. Any advice or opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.
rescuediver
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 14, 2011 8:45 pm
  

Re: New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Postby batrotter » Jul 6, 2012 4:27 am

The Tennessee Cave Survey has the database for caves in your state. Someone may also live near you that can help. You will probably get a response this morning after a few of them roll out of bed.
batrotter
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Sep 6, 2005 9:20 am
Location: Columbus, Indiana
Name: Bruce Trotter
NSS #: 27849RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Indiana Cave Survey
  

Re: New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Postby trogman » Jul 6, 2012 6:43 am

Awesome! :clap: Congratulations on your discovery! That is so cool! So your first wild cave is a virgin cave- how neat is that?!

I am not a member of the TN Cave Survey, but here is the link to their website: +http://www.webwhisper.com/tcs/forms.htm
This page has a form for turning in new caves, although it seems to be set up where you cannot fill it out digitally. I guess you would have to print it and then either scan it or fax it. Or you could send it to them via snail mail. :yikes: (Who does that anymore?)

Now you get to name it, which can be fun but can also be tough. It is hard to come up with an original name in a state with ~6000 known caves. Be sure to check with the TCS folks about the name you have in mind, and they can tell you if the name has already been used. You might also want to make sure that it has been fully explored before you name it or turn it in.

I am sure you will get a few volunteers from your area that will be more than happy to help you explore it. If I lived a little closer, I'd be among them!
:cavingrocks:

Trogman :helmet:
User avatar
trogman
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1007
Joined: May 2, 2008 8:35 am
Location: North Alabama
Name: Stephen Brewer
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Gadsden Grotto
  

Re: New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Postby UnderGroundEarth » Jul 6, 2012 7:23 am

Contact Gerald Moni - moni7597 at gmail.com.
Unearthly Beauty Lies Underground for those who Venture In!
www.flickr.com/undergroundearth
User avatar
UnderGroundEarth
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 537
Joined: May 17, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Jasper, Tennessee
Name: Kelly Smallwood
NSS #: 58745 RL,FE
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Sewanee Mountain Grotto
  

Re: New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Postby BrianFrank » Jul 6, 2012 10:40 am

rescuediver: That is exciting! I'm jealous. Please keep us all updated with pictures and developments so we can take part in the exploration with you.
.
All TAG cavers join http://www.SCCI.org. A small price for a GREAT resource.
User avatar
BrianFrank
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Apr 5, 2011 11:25 am
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Name: Brian
NSS #: 52121
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Dogwood City Grotto
  

Re: New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Postby activeshooter » Jul 6, 2012 10:54 am

super cool, totally awesome, wow, I would just about drive from Kansas to help you check out virgin cave. you are super lucky, and i know you will have plenty of help.
User avatar
activeshooter
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Jan 22, 2009 9:27 pm
Name: greg herin
  

Re: New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Postby rescuediver » Jul 6, 2012 2:47 pm

One more picture that might be of interest...

Image

Thanks everyone for the information. I will definitely contact the TCS. :grin:
rescuediver
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 14, 2011 8:45 pm
  

Re: New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Postby wyandottecaver » Jul 6, 2012 4:24 pm

cambris...surface crayfish...a good sign. Wish I was in TN :)
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
User avatar
wyandottecaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Aug 24, 2007 8:44 pm
Location: Indiana
  

Re: New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Postby BrianFrank » Jul 6, 2012 5:02 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:cambris...surface crayfish...a good sign. Wish I was in TN :)

He looks healthy and well fed.

With the airflow you mentioned....you may have a lot of cave to explore :kewl:
.
All TAG cavers join http://www.SCCI.org. A small price for a GREAT resource.
User avatar
BrianFrank
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Apr 5, 2011 11:25 am
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Name: Brian
NSS #: 52121
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Dogwood City Grotto
  

Re: New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Postby pipewrench » Jul 8, 2012 11:26 am

Wow! That is so exciting. I would love to find a cave some day.
pipewrench
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 3, 2012 9:53 pm
Location: Georgia
Name: Jeff
NSS #: 63959
  

Re: New Cave Discovered - Columbia, TN

Postby Robert Sewell » Jul 9, 2012 4:31 pm

Sweet find, rescuediver! I'm the Treasurer of Columbia's grotto, Southport Chronic Cavers. We'd love to have you as a member!

But whether or not you're interested in joining a grotto, we'd also love to visit your new cave. If you'd like to show it off, would you contact me?
Why do they say we're psychotic as if it's a bad thing?
User avatar
Robert Sewell
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 8, 2005 11:30 am
  


Return to Caving General Discussion and Questions Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users