Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

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

Moderator: Moderators

Should the NSS...

Leave things as is, with the definition of caves up to State Surveys?
15
79%
Create a single standard for the entire US? (if so, what would it be?)
0
No votes
Instruct State Surveys to designate all documented caves as caves
4
21%
 
Total votes : 19

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby caverdan » Aug 7, 2014 3:47 pm

The Madrats define a cave as anything that goes to total darkness. (We have been known to do most of our surveying at night. :shhh: )Everything else is a shelter cave. :argue:
Member: Colorado Madrats, SoCoMoGro,CWSG.
caverdan
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Nov 24, 2006 9:39 pm
Location: Colorado Springs
NSS #: 40262
  

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby GroundquestMSA » Aug 7, 2014 5:08 pm

trogman wrote:Why use minimum standards? Because we document caves and establish cave surveys, at least in part, for scientific purposes. There is nothing scientific about "if someone would call it a cave in conversation, it's a cave." That will vary widely from one person to the next. At least with a minimum standard, you have something at least somewhat reliable and repeatable to go by. What someone calls it in conversation is also a product of learning and habit. Here in AL, we have learned that anything less than 50' is not a cave; in other states it is looked at differently. So if it is less than 50', we don't call it a cave.

Definitions must have parameters that clearly spell out what is being defined. Using a definition of "if I feel like it meets the definition, then it does" is nonsensical.


There's also nothing scientific about changing the definition of a cave based on state borders. And let's be honest, our claimed "scientific purposes" are often nothing of the kind. We sometimes use the guise of science to enable, glamorize or "legitimize" what we really are doing for the pure joy of it. Counting caves isn't a Holy Mission that would be defiled by the inclusion of a few 47-footers. Any scientific use to which ACS data could be put would not be hindered by the inclusion of a few 47-footers. What happens, by the way, when an Alabama cavers stumbles across a new 47-footer and doesn't happen to have a tape handy? What does he call it? A possible cave? A potential cave? A pending cave? A likely karst feature?

Definitions indeed, must have parameters. That's what makes them definitions. Which is why the National Speleological Society, which I hear has something to do with caves, should define the word "cave", and they should make the definition broad enough so that any cave of interest to a reasonable individual can be called a cave, no matter where it is.

Anyway, inexperience is sometimes an asset, but usually a hindrance. As one who has had no dealings with State Surveys and their workings, I've made my argument. I respect differing views, especially yours, Stephen, because I know you've really thought about the matter. If you who voted for option 1 would like to add your personal reasoning, I would love to hear it, and promise to sit back and listen instead of butt in and bicker. :waving:
User avatar
GroundquestMSA
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1343
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm
  

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby caver.adam » Aug 7, 2014 8:11 pm

Can we not qualify the word with more detail? Example: Shelter cave is any cave big enough for a person to get all the way into, but not far enough for them to get out of sight of the light. Major/Arch cave is any cave big enough for a person to get out of sight of the light. Karst feature is any feature which does not have a hollow in which a person can get out from under the sky. Etc. Etc.
User avatar
caver.adam
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 8, 2012 12:26 pm
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Louisville Grotto
  

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby caver.adam » Aug 7, 2014 8:17 pm

I kind of like the idea of cavea minor and cavea major....but I may just be a word geek.
User avatar
caver.adam
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 8, 2012 12:26 pm
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Louisville Grotto
  

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby Crockett » Aug 7, 2014 9:18 pm

I have worked up a little something for you. I'm sure it will be very popular although I am concerned it may get me moderated...again.

The NSS Cave Definition Act

A cave is a naturally occurring space within a geological body which a human can traverse.

Caves will be measured in Standard Human Incremental Traversals.

A NSS recognized cave survey that establishes minimum recognized cave sizes in Standard Human Incremental Traversals will be designated as a Holistic Organizational Trust (HOT).

Organizations may opt to establish variable minimum cave sizes based on individual observed and reported field conditions. Surveys using these sizes will be designated as Basic Underground Length Limiters (BULL) of Standard Human Incremental Traversals.

Surveys that do not establish limits will be designated as Nonrecognized Organizations (NO) of the Standard Human Incremental Traversal.

The Average Human Size is 5'9” by 1'6” by 9 ½” and is established as the Standard Human Incremental Traversal (SHIT).

Cave surveys that establish a minimum recognized caves size in the standard manner will be designated as HOT-SHIT. Surveys that establish minimum cave sizes that vary based on their field observations will be designated as BULL-SHIT. Surveys that do no establish a standard size will be designated as NO-SHIT.

The Average Human Size may be larger than the average size of the actual cave survey team and result in traversal of naturally occurring spaces smaller than a Standard Human Incremental Traversal. In that case a cave survey may opt to establish a unit based on the average size of the survey team called the Traversal Undersized Regulating Dimension (TURD).

The “Accreditation of Surveys and Standards Commission” is established in the Department of the President to manage the Standard Human Incremental Traversal and related designations. The ASS Commission may establish a fee structure for designation services and management of the SHIT as necessary and to provide for the Basic Evaluation and Establishment Regiments (BEER). Said fees will be raised by a charge added to membership dues including a special additional assessment for Life Members not covered by their initial payment of dues.
Crockett
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Feb 5, 2006 7:10 pm
Location: Pineville, Kentucky
Name: Mike Crockett
NSS #: 33730
Primary Grotto Affiliation: East Tennessee Grotto
  

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby CaverCSE » Aug 7, 2014 11:27 pm

I like Crock's standards! ha ha! In all seriousness I actually do like the simple Alabama 50ft length+deep method best actually... Though Tennessee's survey has probably ended up with roughly the same caves as it would with the Alabama standards because of the TCS not counting a combined lenght+depth for the 50ft total length or 40ft total depth requirements..
User avatar
CaverCSE
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Dec 5, 2012 11:32 am
Location: Middle Tennessee
NSS #: 49706
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Upper Cumberland Grotto and Spencer Mountain Grotto
  

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby caver.adam » Aug 8, 2014 8:41 am

I'm on board with the new standard!
User avatar
caver.adam
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 8, 2012 12:26 pm
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Louisville Grotto
  

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby trogman » Aug 8, 2014 12:41 pm

GroundquestMSA wrote:
trogman wrote:Why use minimum standards? Because we document caves and establish cave surveys, at least in part, for scientific purposes. There is nothing scientific about "if someone would call it a cave in conversation, it's a cave." That will vary widely from one person to the next. At least with a minimum standard, you have something at least somewhat reliable and repeatable to go by. What someone calls it in conversation is also a product of learning and habit. Here in AL, we have learned that anything less than 50' is not a cave; in other states it is looked at differently. So if it is less than 50', we don't call it a cave.

Definitions must have parameters that clearly spell out what is being defined. Using a definition of "if I feel like it meets the definition, then it does" is nonsensical.


There's also nothing scientific about changing the definition of a cave based on state borders. And let's be honest, our claimed "scientific purposes" are often nothing of the kind. We sometimes use the guise of science to enable, glamorize or "legitimize" what we really are doing for the pure joy of it. Counting caves isn't a Holy Mission that would be defiled by the inclusion of a few 47-footers. Any scientific use to which ACS data could be put would not be hindered by the inclusion of a few 47-footers. What happens, by the way, when an Alabama cavers stumbles across a new 47-footer and doesn't happen to have a tape handy? What does he call it? A possible cave? A potential cave? A pending cave? A likely karst feature?

Definitions indeed, must have parameters. That's what makes them definitions. Which is why the National Speleological Society, which I hear has something to do with caves, should define the word "cave", and they should make the definition broad enough so that any cave of interest to a reasonable individual can be called a cave, no matter where it is.

Anyway, inexperience is sometimes an asset, but usually a hindrance. As one who has had no dealings with State Surveys and their workings, I've made my argument. I respect differing views, especially yours, Stephen, because I know you've really thought about the matter. If you who voted for option 1 would like to add your personal reasoning, I would love to hear it, and promise to sit back and listen instead of butt in and bicker. :waving:


Yes, it looks like we will just have to agree to disagree on this one, Jonah. :waving: That's OK.
When an AL caver in the past stumbled upon a new 47 footer, many of them simply turned it in and called it 50 feet. This is evident by the large number of caves in AL that are exactly 50' long. (260) That's why I strongly recommend carrying a laser when ridgewalking; they are small, light, and fairly inexpensive. If you don't have a compass or clino you can at least get a quick and approximate length to see whether or not it qualifies. Also this gives you a semi-accurate number to turn in to the state survey.

I respect your views as well, Jonah, and I do get where you are coming from. Like you, I find it a bit silly that something can be considered a cave in one state, but when you cross the border, it is suddenly relegated to "karst feature" status. Maybe we do need a national standard; but I could see this turning into a raging debate that could seriously get some folks riled up. :argue: That probably wouldn't be a good thing. :down: That was part of why I just checked box number one.

Trogman :helmet:
User avatar
trogman
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2, 2008 8:35 am
Location: North Alabama
Name: Stephen Brewer
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Gadsden Grotto
  

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby Marlatt » Aug 8, 2014 5:36 pm

This is all very interesting, but it seems to me that we're making a moulin out of a molehole.

swm
Psalms 95.4 / Proverbs 25.2
User avatar
Marlatt
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 9:38 am
Location: Colorado
  

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby trogman » Aug 8, 2014 5:59 pm

Marlatt wrote:This is all very interesting, but it seems to me that we're making a moulin out of a molehole.

swm


I don't know- it depends on precisely how you define a moulin. Or how you define a molehill. :laughing:

Trogman :helmet:
User avatar
trogman
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2, 2008 8:35 am
Location: North Alabama
Name: Stephen Brewer
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Gadsden Grotto
  

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby ohiocaver » Aug 10, 2014 12:18 pm

Ohio goes with the USFS/Maryland/Other definition of a cavity large enough for a person to fit into. That makes my slight, barely 5'1" tall daughter really popular when we find a potential new cave in NE Ohio. I've coined the term "cavelet" to cover those caves that barely qualify (and wouldn't be considered as "real" caves in TAG or Kentucky). :woohoo:
[url=http://postimg.org/image/lex35gcbv/][img]http://s9.postimg.org/lex35gcbv/curt_Bryants_Cave_Indiana.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=http://postimg.org/image/eta4ctvar/][img]http://s21.postimg.org/eta4ctvar/cn_oh_isl_coils_cave_curt_sketch.jpg[/img][/url]
User avatar
ohiocaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Mar 5, 2009 6:34 pm
Location: Ohio
Name: curt harler
NSS #: 22735RCL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Cleveland Grotto
  

Re: Cave length/depth requirements: Poll

Postby GroundquestMSA » Aug 10, 2014 2:42 pm

Hey Curt,
Has that definition been "officially" assigned to Ohio? I'm curious to know if that was the standard when the OCS was initially proposed and active. Since there is no official survey, do you send new cave info to Erin or anyone else? Or do you just hold it yourself?
User avatar
GroundquestMSA
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1343
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm
  

Previous

Return to Caving General Discussion and Questions Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot]