Word to describe small "caves"

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Word to describe small "caves"

Postby Squirrel Girl » Oct 7, 2009 6:31 pm

I am looking for a single word (or very short phrase or even an acronym) to describe all small, cave-like cavities in the earth, regardless of origin-but with an opening to the surface. Can anyone come with a word that encompasses small "caves," "karst features" (in the lingo of the NPS), vugs, enlarge joints, rock shelters, etc?

TIA,
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby Phil Winkler » Oct 7, 2009 6:43 pm

Earth holes....
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby Squirrel Girl » Oct 7, 2009 6:50 pm

Phil Winkler wrote:Earth holes....

Doesn't quite have a "speleological" sound to it. Too informal (to me). Hmmmm. Hmmmm.

Thanks for the suggestion, though.
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby Steven Johnson » Oct 7, 2009 7:31 pm

Squirrel Girl wrote:I am looking for a single word (or very short phrase or even an acronym) to describe all small, cave-like cavities in the earth, regardless of origin-but with an opening to the surface.


"cavelet" ?
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby ArCaver » Oct 7, 2009 8:54 pm

Would proto-cave work or is that only used for solution cavities? How about "porta"?
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby NZcaver » Oct 7, 2009 10:34 pm

"Leads?" "Potential digs?" "Dry holes?" :doh:
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby Squirrel Girl » Oct 8, 2009 3:24 am

NZcaver wrote:"Leads?" "Potential digs?" "Dry holes?" :doh:

Dood--we're in "speleology" not "exploration"!!! :roll:

ArCaver wrote:Would proto-cave work or is that only used for solution cavities? How about "porta"?

Can't do. "Proto" means "early" indicating an evolving scenario. I think there's a protoceratops because later there's a triceratops.

Steven, Not totally happy with cavelet, but it's a thought.

Perhaps an acronym is the best plan (but something better than I've done): OCCVVRSE: Overhangs, cracks, crevices, vugs, voids, rock shelters, etc.
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby wyandottecaver » Oct 8, 2009 8:14 am

SOEV....Surface Opening Earth Void ?
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby Phil Winkler » Oct 8, 2009 8:15 am

How about karst cavity?
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby John Lovaas » Oct 8, 2009 8:56 am

Barbara-

Maybe we've come full circle back to "cavity"?

In a literary sense, "cavity" could imply a small and defined size; a "void" could imply an undefinable (and potentially large) space.

I've used the term "cavelet" before; "that cave is less than 1 I.C.U. (Iowa Cave Unit) long, so it is a cavelet." I've heard a number of karst folks use the term. If it is too short to survey, doesn't have a distinct overhang (which would make it a rock shelter), isn't lined with crystals or mineralizations (which would make it a vug), but is humanly enterable- yes, a cavelet.

But if it isn't humanly enterable, is it a cavelet? If a raccoon can use it, but not a human, it's more a cavity than a cavelet.

Then there's the term "pud cave". As in "it's not worth surveying; it's just a pud cave."
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Oct 8, 2009 9:23 am

When I did a lot of ridgewalking back in AZ I used to call these "micro-caves." I found a lot of them, but being from TN I could not bring myself to call anything less than 50 feet a "cave." So anything less than 50 that I could get into became a micro-cave.

Jean Krejca refers to the little bedding plane partings and anastomoses that are too small for humans but provide habitat for small creatures as "mesocaverns." Maybe this would work for you. Mesocaverns at least sounds sort of speleological if that is what you are going for.
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby onebat » Oct 8, 2009 10:17 am

"wannabes"
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 8, 2009 11:29 am

"karstivots"
"karstimples"
"innies"
"den"
"karsthole"
"punt" w
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby caveflower » Oct 8, 2009 1:13 pm

Around here we call them Dudholes. Karst features. DGA's Don't go anywhere.
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Re: Word to describe small "caves"

Postby NZcaver » Oct 8, 2009 1:34 pm

Squirrel Girl wrote:
NZcaver wrote:"Leads?" "Potential digs?" "Dry holes?" :doh:

Dood--we're in "speleology" not "exploration"!!! :roll:

Ah, but if you're not 'exploring' them, how do you know they exist? :shrug: :roll:
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