Greetings from TN - New Cave 101

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Greetings from TN - New Cave 101

Postby rescuediver » Nov 14, 2011 11:18 pm

Hello all,

I was a member of NSS a couple of years ago, but unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to get involved as I would have liked and allowed my membership to expire, but now I have a little more time to dedicate. A little background; I'm a Public Safety Rescue Diver with the Nashville Fire Department and I'm also in law enforcement, but I'm a novice caver with little experience beyond commercial caves. With my professions, I definitely understand the concept of operational safety and personal limitations, so I'm not looking to be a John Wayne in Batman's underworld. :big grin:

The reason I joined this forum, is because I'm looking to expand my knowledge of the history and beauty of our caves. I am primarily interested in learning the techniques used in discovering new caves. I have a few books that touch on their formation in limestone, which has helped me identify what things to look for at the surface. So this past weekend, I utilized some of that information and began ridgewalking on some properties I own (in Columbia, TN) that I felt would be considered a karst landscape. I surveyed and wrote down GPS coordinates of dozens of sinkholes, fissures, sinking streams, springs, etc., and I now have a few targets that are of great interest, especially a couple that are blowing air.

I understand that many entrances have to be enlarged to gain access into a new cave system, so this is where I'm currently at. For all practical purposes, I am new at this and do not wish to cause unnecessary harm or damage that might jeopardize the environment or risk personal safety. So before I grab my pickaxe and sledge hammer, I'd like to gain as much knowledge as I can. I would be interested in talking to someone in the middle TN area who is well versed in locating new caves and that is involved with a local grotto.

(renewing my NSS membership and attending local meetings will also be a good start, but I thought I'd begin here first :grin: )
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Re: Greetings from TN - New Cave 101

Postby Cody JW » Nov 15, 2011 9:43 am

Welcome to the forum. I am not in your area but have been involved in cave digs up here in Indiana. I am not aware of any "correct" way to dig into a suspected cave. We just dig or use large pry bars to remove large rocks or sometimes even a come along . We do have a "rule" to get landowners permission but if you are the landowner I guess that part is covered. The first thing you might want to do is to look at any known caves in your area . It may be possible that what you have could be a previous known cave that had collapsed in or filled with flood debris . I have quite a few known locations plotted on Google Earth and took a quick glance at my list (likely not real complete) and saw some caves in the Columbia TN. area. Feel free to contact me at if you cannot find anyone more local to help you. If I can get the coords of your features I can check it against my list on google earth to see if anything known is near you. Good luck- There are many good people in Tennessee that should be able to help you also.
It only takes one person to surrender a dog to a kill shelter ,but it takes many to rescue it.
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Re: Greetings from TN - New Cave 101

Postby Squirrel Girl » Nov 15, 2011 10:18 am

Welcome to Cavechat! :waving:

There is a contingent of cave divers in the TN area, on down into GA. Since you're a rescue diver, you might think of trying cave diving, too. :big grin:
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Re: Greetings from TN - New Cave 101

Postby tncaver » Nov 15, 2011 12:24 pm

:scuba: :cavingrocks: :flag:
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