Another way of classifying cave length?

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Another way of classifying cave length?

Postby Oddball » Mar 20, 2014 6:54 am

I recently watched a Youtube video, sorta related to a thought that has perplexed me for a while. The video was on Sinuosity, mostly related with rivers.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinuosity for a better explanation I'm about to give, but in simple form "as the crow flies".
The perplexion I have had is, a cave may have a certain surveyed length, but as "as the crow flies" how far is the farthest part of the cave from the entrance?
So I thought that this may make an interesting "top long cave list" with shortest path being the determined factor instead, side passages, mazes, and meandering passages.
But at work I kept thinking that this could be a way to classify caves or their passages just like they use sinuosity to classify rivers. For example we could say the imaginary "Oddball Cave" has a sinuosity of 1.33 for the first 1,421 feet (Borehole) then has a sinuosity of 3.26 for 2341 feet (passage with many changes in direction) with a passage that then terminates with 34.97 (maze). But an over all sinuosity classification would be simplest and tell a lot about a cave just by the number. A cave with a figure (passage length/ shortest distance) that is high would indicate a maze or many different branches or sections. A low figure would indicate it is a very straight cave, or has few branches.
I know this concept needs work and thought. I have thought of pits ( that have no other passage) and considered their value to be "undefined" but a zero would work to make the point it is a pit. That also brings up the 2D thought of this classification or should it go 3D?
Any thoughts on this would be helpful. If it the community thinks it's a good idea I will work to perfect it. Or maybe someone else has.
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Re: Another way of classifying cave length?

Postby caver.adam » Mar 21, 2014 8:31 am

I would assume a pit would have a [horizontal] sinuosity of 1, which is to say that if you walk from wall to wall there are no curves at all.
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Re: Another way of classifying cave length?

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Mar 25, 2014 11:06 am

Look up "Total Horizontal Control" or "Total Horizontal Cave" This somewhat odd measurement sometimes still used in Indiana and TAG. It is similar to what you are proposing.

http://www.forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=8813
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Re: Another way of classifying cave length?

Postby Oddball » Mar 26, 2014 8:31 am

Thanks for the reply. But what I'm really suggesting is a example like this:
Mammoth Cave : 405 miles long in Kentucky which as a state is about 380 miles long in width. Obviously the cave does not extend out of state borders.
What I was really thinking was how far does the cave "actually" go?
Another example: A good cave that you can do a through trip. I enter in entrance A and come out at entrance B. The cave is surveyed at 3 miles but my walk back to my truck at entrance A is only 2 miles.
That is what I think would be interesting information and maybe something to put on a survey (and also use that ratio in other ways).
It could be as simple as:
Surveyed length: 5643 ft.
"Distance": (sorry. don't know what to call this yet) 2045 feet 272 degrees north
Basic trig would be able to add this even to old maps....

It was just a thought. It has only been in my thoughts because in high school I told my ex-girlfriend about a cave I went to near the Tennessee line with Alabama that was surveyed at 2 or 3 miles. I forget, but she made the comment, "you probably went into Tennessee." I knew this was wrong but that issue stuck in my mind.
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Re: Another way of classifying cave length?

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Mar 26, 2014 10:39 am

It sounds like you are more interested in the "footprint" of the cave than it's length. For example, Jewel Cave is 169 miles so far, but all of that fits within 3 square miles.
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Re: Another way of classifying cave length?

Postby caver.adam » Mar 26, 2014 6:01 pm

Another term that seems to fit the examples is: "As the crow flies"
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Re: Another way of classifying cave length?

Postby Oddball » Apr 12, 2014 4:06 am

caver.adam wrote:Another term that seems to fit the examples is: "As the crow flies"


I used that term in my initial post... But thanks for bringing it up again.
Last Sunday I sat down a did a lot of trig, cal, and just drawings of two small caves I have maps for and came up a formula, or more like an algorithm for my "proposed" system. Cave 1 was surveyed at 1754 ft. Cave 2 was surveyed at 1023 ft.
Seems Cave 1 is only 33 ft (not a pit but maze) and Cave 2 (squeeze and then borehole) was surprisingly close at 867 ft.

Interest has fallen on the topic so I will still have the code and small program I wrote but will not work any longer on it. I was doing it as a hobby to benefit the caving community now I live on the gulf for a job and miss TAG . But hobbies that obviously means nothing to anyone else are a waste of time
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Re: Another way of classifying cave length?

Postby trogman » Apr 12, 2014 8:14 am

Oddball wrote:
caver.adam wrote:Another term that seems to fit the examples is: "As the crow flies"


I used that term in my initial post... But thanks for bringing it up again.
Last Sunday I sat down a did a lot of trig, cal, and just drawings of two small caves I have maps for and came up a formula, or more like an algorithm for my "proposed" system. Cave 1 was surveyed at 1754 ft. Cave 2 was surveyed at 1023 ft.
Seems Cave 1 is only 33 ft (not a pit but maze) and Cave 2 (squeeze and then borehole) was surprisingly close at 867 ft.

Interest has fallen on the topic so I will still have the code and small program I wrote but will not work any longer on it. I was doing it as a hobby to benefit the caving community now I live on the gulf for a job and miss TAG . But hobbies that obviously means nothing to anyone else are a waste of time


Sometimes you have to sacrifice your hobbies for the sake of making a living...at least temporarily. But if caving is what you love doing, don't give up on that. I'm not sure what your field of employment is (I've been doing a lot of job-hunting myself lately, having been recently unemployed), but there are a LOT of job openings in the Huntsville/Chattanooga area. At least there are in my field. Unfortunately, I live about 100 miles south of that area, and sometimes wish that I hadn't sunk my roots in so deep in my current location. If my latest job prospect comes through, though, I may pull up those roots and move to TN or extreme north AL. I guess what I'm saying is, if you have a passion and love for something like caving, while it may not be meaningful to others, if it is meaningful to you, then you should follow up on that. You only have one life- don't allow yourself to be miserable for a large portion of it. Find something career-wise that you enjoy and are good at, and hopefully something that offers employment in a cave-rich area of the country. It should be possible to have both.

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