How many new US caves are being discovered...

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How many new US caves are being discovered...

Postby GroundquestMSA » Oct 7, 2015 7:32 pm

...each year over the last decade or so?

I don't know if this is an answerable question, surely not with any degree of precision, but I wonder if anyone has any general ideas, or has suggestions on how to begin to find an answer.
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Re: How many new US caves are being discovered...

Postby caver.adam » Oct 7, 2015 9:12 pm

17.3 per year. Just kidding. I think it would be hard to measure this. Many cavers are very secretive. In other cases a cave might be "discovered" that was previously discovered in the 60's.
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Re: How many new US caves are being discovered...

Postby Bumbalawski » Oct 7, 2015 9:48 pm

It depends what you call a cave. In our area, if your head sticks out one end and your feet stick out the other, it is a cave. Seriously, we find several small "for record only" caves per year and sometimes a couple larger ones. It seems like in some places like Randolph County WV, you can throw a rock and hit a cave. Yes, I am envious.
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Re: How many new US caves are being discovered...

Postby Caving Guru » Oct 7, 2015 11:04 pm

I would estimate that approximately 1,000 new caves are discovered each year in the United States.
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Re: How many new US caves are being discovered...

Postby CaverScott » Oct 8, 2015 7:21 am

The Alabama Cave Survey can give you an exact number for at least the ten years as far as Alabama goes. I suspect Gerald Moni (TCS) can do the same.
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Re: How many new US caves are being discovered...

Postby rlboyce » Oct 11, 2015 9:30 am

Such a metric would be very easy to obtain if the NSS actively encouraged a national cave database. I can see positives and negatives for such a system.
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