Definition and process-based classification of caves




cave definition, cave classification, speleogenesis


Cave is re-defined in order to be linked to the cave formation processes, to cover the known cave types, to differentiate from porosity and contiguous spaces, to be applied also in a continuum of size and to avoid explorational bias. Despite the scientific basis, the proposed definition remains simple enough to be used by cavers and non-specialists. Following this definition, a classification scheme that is also process-based combines the known cave types. Clustering is based on five levels of classification, from which the first two levels define the major cave categories. The rest of the branching is the result of variation in settings and formation agents. A discussion on various classifications and definitions reveals the non-static character of such schemes that tend to change in relation to the progress of research cave census and improved communication of scientists on previously and new discovered caves.


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How to Cite

Lazaridis, G. T. (2022). Definition and process-based classification of caves. Acta Carsologica, 51(1), 65–77.



Original papers