Definition of Cavern

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Definition of Cavern

Postby Leitmotiv » Jan 9, 2019 5:33 pm

What literature exists for the definition of a cavern? My understanding is that it is pretty broad and generic, often referring to a cave itself, or a large room in a cave, though Wikipedia suggests it is a specific type of cave - a solution cave. This seems to be in error and I aim to fix it, unless I am wrong. Any help?
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Tlaloc » Jan 9, 2019 8:47 pm

"A cavern is a karst cave." - Karst by J.N. Jennings

No, a cavern is NOT a large room in a cave.
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Tlaloc » Jan 9, 2019 8:50 pm

You are wrong. Wikipedia is apparently right. What do you propose to change it to?
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Leitmotiv » Jan 9, 2019 8:55 pm

Stating I'm wrong isn't helpful. Supplying sources why I'm wrong is, however. Oxford dictionary notes a cavern is any cave or large room within a cave. The source on Wikipedia is a school class pdf that does not explicitly state where it got its info from and is probably no authority on the matter.

While a cavern may be a solution cave, it clearly applies to much more than that in common language. I would like to see as many sources on this subject if possible. I intend to change "cavern" to the common definition, with maybe a supplemental definition. I'm very aware that the different definition of cavern may or may not be mutually exclusive.
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Tlaloc » Jan 9, 2019 8:55 pm

The newer edition is titled Karst Geomorphology:

https://www.amazon.com/Karst-Geomorphol ... t+jennings
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Leitmotiv » Jan 9, 2019 8:56 pm

Tlaloc wrote:"A cavern is a karst cave." - Karst by J.N. Jennings

No, a cavern is NOT a large room in a cave.


Oxford and the common tongue would at least, in part, disagree with Jennings. While a cavern may be a karst cave. It appears to be much more than that as well.
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Tlaloc » Jan 9, 2019 8:59 pm

Leitmotiv wrote:...While a cavern may be a solution cave, it clearly applies to much more than that in common language...


Wikipedia is an encyclopedia so you should probably stay away from "common language" in favor of the strict definition - a karst cave.
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Tlaloc » Jan 9, 2019 9:00 pm

Also Wikipedia wants reliable sources like Jennings.
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Leitmotiv » Jan 9, 2019 9:01 pm

I've been a Wikipedia editor for 10 years. Encyclopedias are what most people use, just like the common folk refer to American cavers as spelunkers, and spelunker is still a valid term. Ignoring the problem won't make it go away. There are layers to this. Also Oxford addresses a broad definition - because clearly the word cavern is being used very broadly, by nearly everyone.
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Tlaloc » Jan 10, 2019 10:30 am

In my opinion your job as a Wikipedia editor is to educate people, not cater to their ignorance.
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Squirrel Girl » Jan 10, 2019 12:22 pm

Leitmotiv wrote:What literature exists for the definition of a cavern? My understanding is that it is pretty broad and generic, often referring to a cave itself, or a large room in a cave, though Wikipedia suggests it is a specific type of cave - a solution cave. This seems to be in error and I aim to fix it, unless I am wrong. Any help?


Like so many words in the English language, "cavern" is used in a multitude of ways related to "caves." As a cave diver, "cavern" has a very specific definition as being within the daylight zone of an underwater cave. Even that has restrictions with depth and length from the entrance, as well as visibility. What is within the cavern zone when the water quality is good, is not when the water becomes murky. In the cave diving sense, a cavern could be part of or the entirety of a lava tube.

The National Park Service has Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The famous cave is Carlsbad Cavern and it is a humongous cave, by any measure. The other karst features in the park include Spider Cave, Lechuguilla, and they are not named "caverns."
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Leitmotiv » Jan 10, 2019 1:44 pm

The only ignorance here it seems is that cavers aren't realizing that cavern has multiple definitions. Language is defined by usage, not by strict rules of the minority. Oxford Dictionary seems to agree with me.

Squirrel Girl wrote:
Leitmotiv wrote: As a cave diver, "cavern" has a very specific definition as being within the daylight zone of an underwater cave.


Ooh, Squirrel Girl, do you have a source? What I'd like to see with the term on Wikipedia is have a small paragraph defining the different uses of the term cavern.
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby kdarnell » Jan 10, 2019 4:22 pm

Here's a definition:

https://innerspacecavern.com/schools_pa ... nology.pdf

Note its footnote reference, also.
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 10, 2019 8:14 pm

Leitmotiv wrote:The only ignorance here it seems is that cavers aren't realizing that cavern has multiple definitions. Language is defined by usage, not by strict rules of the minority. Oxford Dictionary seems to agree with me.


Similarly to "cave", "cavern" has no strict definition. So-called authorities have as many definitions as do common people. Getting fussy about precise definitions for vague and variable terms is a common and comical occurance among cavers.
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Re: Definition of Cavern

Postby Tlaloc » Jan 10, 2019 8:33 pm

Leitmotiv wrote:...What I'd like to see with the term on Wikipedia is have a small paragraph defining the different uses of the term cavern...


Wikipedia is NOT a Dictionary. see [[WP:NOTAD]]. Entries like the one you suggest are strictly forbidden on Wikipedia.
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