2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 161-3
Presentation Time: 2:00 PM


MYRE, Joseph, Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas, 216 Ozark Hall, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701 and COVINGTON, Matthew D., Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas, 216 Ozark Hall, Fayetteville, AR 72701, joemyre@gmail.com

Cave survey techniques are dominated by line-plot and sketch methods. While this approach has been refined by the experience many cavers over the years, much of the information about the 3-dimensional (3D) character of the cave system is discarded simply to maintain efficiency in the field. To recapture this detail, LIDAR has been used in numerous caves to record previously intractable structure and scale. Unfortunately, LIDAR is monetarily prohibitive for many cavers and cave scientists.

Within the last decade, modern 3D imaging has produced numerous low-cost devices and methods for recording 3D structure. These offer practical alternatives to LIDAR that are usable and affordable for most cave scientists. The Microsoft Kinect 3D imaging device and 3D photogrammetry provide excellent alternatives to LIDAR, while having a set up cost in the range of hundreds of dollars (USD). Both of these systems provide cave scientists cheap 3D scanning platforms capable of 1mm resolution.

With these techniques, we are able to record and analyze 3D surfaces in karst systems. Specifically, we use the collected 3D surfaces as real-world geometries to investigate the physical processes influencing morphogenesis and speleogenesis. Such techniques can also be applied for educational, navigation, and preservation purposes.