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H Res Sat Images to find Caves
Posted by: cachenut86
Date: April 13, 2010 09:44AM
I read an article on CNN about finding caves using high resolution satellite photos. They were searching for skeletons and found some in caves. The new link in the chain of evolution made the news. When they used the photos they went from 130 know caves to 630 known caves.

I wonder how they did it. I like to treasure hunt and also want to bear hunt successfully. What do they look for in the high res photo to find a cave? It may not be so easy as it seems. A hole in the ground, perhaps for a BIG cave but many caves have small openings. Animal trails, small streams coming out of ground, rocks surrounding dark shadows.

How would you find caves on a high resolution photo?

An old friend of mine during the Vietnam War found minefields looking at photos. He actually looked for signs that were posted to mark the minefields. As in Mines with arrow. No cave signs out ther!

Re: H Res Sat Images to find Caves
Posted by: goverton
Date: November 08, 2010 09:47AM
I would like this type of mapping too.....just don't think US Govt. will let us get that close to ground.

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Re: H Res Sat Images to find Caves
Posted by: edjcox
Date: November 08, 2010 11:52PM
Couple of things to keep in mind..

Geology of the area... Caves are often found where water and erosion combine to remve materials from a site. This can result from water that's slightly acidic moving through say limestone and removing the stone over long periods of time. One would then look for streams emanating from hillsides, animal trails, and even well watered vegetation clumped in areas surrounding an exit.

Some cartography maps will actually indicate caves. Where ther's one there may be more, so matching known cave locations with aerials and then looking for simlilar characteristics in the surronding topology might help. Gravitometric surveys might also give you indicators if an area is caved and less dense than surrounding areas.

Caves are often known to people in the area so look for place-names that might relate, ie Bear Cave Mtn, Sighing Cave hill, etc.


As a professional image analyst I can tell you there's not certainty in finding cave with overhead imagery. Short of sinkholes, or oblique photography picking up and entrance, very rare imagery indeed.






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