The Caving is an area of geoscience involving a wide area of study which is responsible for analyzing many aspects that have the caves or caverns. There is a lot of information that we can acquire when we dedicate ourselves to studying these curious geological formations , from how they were formed to which zoological species inhabit them, including their geological profile , examining how stalagmites and stalactites are formed, their internal hydrology or the profile and processesof the bodies of water within the caves. It is also a very important science to be able to study and learn more about caves as habitats for paleontological and anthropological remains
What is caving?
It is a scientific discipline that is responsible for studying and exploring the characteristics of underground cavities and caves , as well as the living organisms that inhabit them.
- What caving studies
- What is it for
- Material and equipment for caving
- Featured cavers
- Speleology in the world
What caving studies
The caves are often a microcosm of ecology , therefore those with a professional interest in the biological sciences such as zoology, botany, mycology , entomology are also dedicated to studying spelunking with the aim to examine plants and native species of animals that grow and thrive within a cave system.
Cavers could also study how the resources found within caves can be exploited , or examine how they might have formed there. They can also work as cartographers , developing maps for caves used for either recreational or tourist use , in order to create the safest route through a cave in order to ensure their safety .
At the beginning, the people who visited the caves aimed to search for objects for their own benefit and not to improve knowledge. These pioneers of cave travel were the travelers and explorers of the 16th century. The search to improve and acquire more knowledge that occurred in Europe during the Enlightenment was responsible for giving each aspect of nature a greater importance in the natural environment, which made some scientists of the 18th and early 19th centuries investigate and carry out studies over the caves for the first time.
Improvements in the lives of the rising bourgeoisie and the migration of the rural population to the cities increased interest in sports and the environment . Naturalists emerged who were groups of young people who showed an interest in the environment.
By the late 19th and early 20th centuries , the specialization in science had grown and improved and geologists , biologists, and archaeologists had already begun to study caves. This caused the need for an interdisciplinary approach to study them, with the aim of studying the structures more deeply. Then the term “speleology” came into use to define the scientific study of caves , along with the basic specialization of scientists. The birth of caving was carried out by Édouard Alfred Martel, which made the first incursions into caves and founded in 1895 the first Speleological Society in France .
What is it for
Speleology is a science that serves to carry out studies on caves and caves , their morphology and topography . It also serves to classify underground discoveries that have to do with the area of geology or biology . It is used to study the different natural phenomena to obtain information about how our ancestors lived and the evolution of species of living beings.
The types of caving are the following:
- Karst caving : it is the type of caving that takes place in caves of Karst origin , which occur when water dissolves the rock or the material from which the ground is formed, such as limestone and dolomite . Glaciers can appear below, and exploring them can be difficult due to the temperatures , humidity, and freezing streams .
- Cave diving : it takes place inside underwater caves , and is considered the most dangerous specialty of spelunking.
- Volcanic caving or vulcan speleology : it takes place in caves formed by lava during the eruption of volcanoes. In this group we can find long vertical cavities or wells, although it is normal that they have little inclination.
Preserves underground resources , focuses on the study of rock types , lithic industry samples , ceramic remains , studies palaeoanthropological , the formation of cavities and chasms , the different spelotems , even the relationship of man with the caves.
Material and equipment for caving
To carry out caving explorations, the following equipment is necessary:
- Jumpsuits : These are usually made of polyester or polyamide.
- Gloves: made of PVC.
- Boots : made of rubber called pocero.
- Harness : that provides confidence and security.
- Chest harness: provides stability.
- Bagas or anchor lines.
- Descendants : can be simple or with brake.
- Blockers : the most used are the «fists» and the «crawl.
- Helmets : with electric lighting «led» or with mixed lighting (electric + acetylene ).
Among the most prominent cavers we can mention:
- Norbert Font i Sagué who was a member of the “Catalonia Excursionist Center” and the “Society of Natural Sciences” . In 1897 the Avenc de Can Sadumí descended, approximately 75 meters.
- Faura and Có de Triola who founded the Muntanyenc Club which specialized in speleological practice.
Rafael Amat i Carreras , a hiking member of Catalonia, founded the Societat de Mines y Aigües de Begues and was considered the forerunner of sports caving in Catalonia.
Speleology in the world
- Mexico : the Mexican territory has many places for caving, mainly in the Yucatan peninsulawhere you can find a large number of caverns , caves and cenotes .
- Spain : there is a Spanish Federation of Speleology that regulates the activity. Spain is considered one of the richest in cavities in the world, with large underground systems, and many kilometers in length.