Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Data sources for cave search

Yay, a delivery! I got the third book in the series of cave, canyon, and boulder books from Tuomo Kesäläinen and Aimo Kejonen! Very excited to read this as well!

But this is also a good opportunity to talk about the data sources for cave search in general.  For known caves, there's of course the cave part of the trilogy -- "Suomen Luolat" -- but also Retkipaikka, Planetcaver's map of caves, Jarmo's page, and the Finnish Caving Association's cave map page.

But that is not so interesting in my opinion as looking for new caves. This actually why I ordered the new book about rocks and boulders. It may point me to areas where there are collections of loose boulders, and possibly caves underneath. But of course, the authors being cave enthusiasts they probably already looked at most of it.

Another source is regular maps -- e.g., the one in karttapaikka.fi. Jarmo's page is also very helpful with the easy access to Porkkala remnants locations, a large collection of different overlaid maps (including 1950s air photos), historic artefact locations, and Planetcaver's locations.

I've also enjoyed a lot the government research report on valuable rock areas ("Suomen arvokkaat kivikot"), even if that doesn't cover all rock areas. But for those that it covers, it can identify wonderful, large areas of boulders. And again, often caves underneath!

To find out more, I talked to one of the authors of that research report Jukka Räisänen from GTK. He pointed me to one further data source: The Maankamara server. This is a web resources for map data on ground materials. You can click on or off a wealth of information, from primary ground rock type to geothermal status, and my personal favourite -- Littorina sea borders. My theory is that many of the interesting caves in the Finnish coastal areas are actually sea front caves rather than pure ice age effects like the traditional theory is. Experiment with clicking on the different map layers!

Finally, there's the rubber boot method -- just walk your favourite places. Much recommended. You may also direct your walks to the areas with most cliffs and some boulder markings on the map.

See more caving stories at Planetcaver.net, and all Planetskier and Planetcaver stories at Blogspot and TGR! This article, pictures and videos is (c) 2020 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

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