Glossary of caving and speleology
There are a number of terms that are used in connection with caves, caving and speleology. The following is an incomplete list.
- Anthodite - A speleothem (cave formation) composed of long needle-like crystals situated in clusters which radiate outward from a common base.
- Belly crawl - A passage that is very low
- Biospeleology - A branch of biology dedicated to the study of organisms that live in caves and are collectively referred to as troglofauna.
- Boulder choke - A collection of large rocks or rubble that obstructs the passage of a cave or mine. In order to progress through passages cavers often need to negotiate or clear boulder chokes.
- Buffoon - Also called a speleo-buffoon or cave-buffoon, a derogatory term referring to cavers who are unprepared and make poor decisions.
- Cave conservancy - A specialized land trust that primarily manages caves or karst features in the United States.
- Cave digging - The practice of enlarging undiscovered cave openings to allow entry.
- Karst - A landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks.
- Pit - A vertical space for which ascending or rappelling equipment is required.
- Pseudokarst - Similar to Karsts, but created by different mechanisms.
- Cave rescue - A highly specialized field of wilderness rescue in which injured, trapped or lost cave explorers are medically treated and extracted from various cave environments.
- Speleogen - A geological formation within a cave that has been created by the removal of bedrock, rather than as a secondary deposit.
- Speleogenesis - The origin and development of caves, the primary process that determines essential features of the hydrogeology of karst and guides its evolution.
- Spelunker - Someone who explores caves as a hobby
- Spelunking - Exploring caves as a hobby
- Squeeze - A tight passage
- Stygofauna - Small aquatic animals living in caves and aquifers
- Sump - A cave that is submerged under water. A sump may be static, with no inward or outward flow, or active, with continuous through-flow. Static sumps may also be connected underwater to active stream passage. When short in length, a sump may be called a duck.
- Suspension trauma - Also known as harness hang syndrome (HHS), or orthostatic intolerance, is an effect which occurs when the human body is held upright without any movement for a period of time.
- Terrace - A series of dams made of rimstone that slopes gently.
- Troglobite - An animal that lives entirely in the dark parts of caves
- Troglofauna - Small, non-aquatic cave-dwelling animals
- Whaletail - A type of descender produced from a block of aluminium block applies a variable degree of friction.
- Window - A hole in a thin wall that connects two chambers or passages.