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

Paper No. 161-5
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


EVANS, B. Alexander and LARSON, Erik B., Natural Sciences, Shawnee State University, 940 Second St, Portsmouth, OH 45662, evansb6@mymail.shawnee.edu

Compass® cave mapping software is currently one of the most widely used free cave mapping softwares available. Many cave systems in the U.S. have been mapped using this software. Inside the Compass software is the ability to view cave statistics (e.g. total length, average diameter, and cave volume); additionally, these statistics can be viewed in an add-on software to Compass called CaveXO. Along with the rendered map, many of these statistics are reasonably accurate. One statistic however that is inaccurate is the cave volume statistic.

In an attempt to determine true cave volumes idealized passages were created and the actual volume of the passages was compared to the volume obtained by Compass and CaveXO. After analysis of the data it was determined that passage diameter affects the volume calculation for different idealized passage shapes (straight, obtuse, right and acute angles); although passage length does not appear to affect the correction factors. Doing this over a series of idealized angled passages which included two different obtuse passages, two different acute passages, and a right angle passage a spectrum of corrective multiply factors for CaveXO’s volume calculation tool were developed that can be applied to previously collected or new cave data based on the cave diameter and sharpness of the angle. Doing this, it was determined that CaveXO is able to more accurately calculate the volume of passages as they approach a straight passage. Additionally, it was found that larger cave diameters attributed to increased miscalculations. The application of these correction factors in calculating more accurate cave volumes based on standard cave surveying techniques is significant as LiDAR technologies are still cost prohibitive, yet there is a demand for improved cave volume approximations.