We will offer the following courses.

Image: Techniques for Cave Exploration.

I. Techniques for Cave Exploration including Rescue Topics

Main topic of this course is to learn solid basic skills in cave exploration. There will be topics about ropes and knots, security, rescue, rappelling in shafts, rope ladders and single rope techniques (SRT).

II. Cave Survey

A detailed cave plan is essential for cave research. You will learn the basics techniques of cave survey and how to draw a cave plan by hand and with a computer. You will train the usage of different survey equipment as compass, clinometer, DistoX and also work with a theodolithe.

III. Biology, Fauna and Eco-Systems in Caves

Methods for gathering information and documentation of the cave fauna will be shown. You will take probes in a cave and learn how to write documentation and interpret the data. The result should be to get a feeling about the status of flora and fauna in the cave and become more sensible about the cave as a fragile biological system.

Image: Geology - fossilized coral from the reef museum Gerstetten.

IV. Geology

Geology is investigating how caves form but also delivers valuable information for cavers. We will learn the basics of geology as reading of geological maps, profiles, tectonics, mineralogy and sediments which can show the climate during the last thousands of years. Depending on the weather situation, we will do practical field work in the Geo-Park Schwäbische Alb (Swabian Jura). We will hike to a meteor crater, visit remains of volcanism and collect fossils.

V. Electronics in Caves

Electronic Radio Direction Finding, Communication in caves thru wire and wireless, GPS navigation. Theoretical presentations and practical work.

Image: Practical Hydrology - measuring the production of the Blautopf.

VI. Logging of Climate Data in Caves

Equipment for measuring climate relevant parameters and transferring that data to the surface. Theoretical basics and practical usage of the equipment will be demonstrated.

VII. Cave Climate; Theory and Data Evaluation

Introduction into cave climate. What is climate in caves, why is it done, cave protection and exploration. Air temperature, air circulation measurements in theory and practice. How to plan an own project and how to do the data analysis.

VIII. Applied Hydrology

Measurements of water drain and water pile up experiments will be done to calculate unknown cave volumes behind springs. We will also do salt tracer experiments and analysis. Theory and practical work will be shown.


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