Cave Symbols: The Official UIS List

UIS working group on cave survey and mapping

Introduction to the List

At the "Second International Meeting on subterrainean Topography" in Breitenbach (Switzerland), 1995, Cave Signature lists of different countries had been the subject of discusssion. The essential symbols had been integrated into a new list and published as a proposal of an international cave signature list. This proposal has been debated thoroughly at the UIS congress in La Chaux de Fonds and then voted and accepted by the national delegates of each country.

This list should be a comprehensive, international foundation, on which each country can, if necessary, introduce their own additional symbols. It is therefore not forbidden to use additional meaningful symbols.

Among active surveyors and draftsmen it turned out, that the plan with all its symbols and signatures is only "half" of the work, documenting a cave-system. The other, also very important part is a comprehensive description of the system, including phenomena that can't be sketched in a map. The written cave-description therefore is a very important factor in documenting the cave. Observing geology, sediments, climatic conditions, hydrology as well as watching fauna and flora, describing the location and path to the cave entrance, an abstract on the history of exploration, last not least lists on needed equipment, all those points belong to a comprehensive cave documentaion.

Assumptions on continuations of galleries just as theories on the genesis of a certain passage round up the cave description and form together with a welldone cave map a valuable foundation for further work.

It is therefore recommended, not only to sketch a cave plan and a developed section (see documentation on the 9th National Congress 1991, Charmey), but also the cave description mentioned above!

Address of the Author:

Philipp Häuselmann
Giebelweg 6
CH-3323 Baeriswil (Switzerland)

Tel: ++41-77-426 23 90
e-mail: praezis (at) speleo (dot) ch


Andreas Neumann
Böschacherstrasse 10a
CH-8624 Grüt (Switzerland)

Tel: ++41-44-944 72 66
e-mail: a.neumann (at) carto (dot) net

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