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Searching for the void: improving cave detection accuracy by multi-faceted geophysical survey reconciled with LiDAR DTM

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This paper presents results of last studies in karst area of the Kleśnica Valley in the Sudetes (SW Poland), known for spectacular discoveries of new cave passages in 2012 – 2014. We used digital terrain model based on airborne laser scanning data and geophysical measurements (ground penetrating radar GPR and 2-dimensional electrical resistivity tomography ERT), combined with detailed underground mapping, representing a complex multi-faceted approach for resolving karst voids distribution issue. The combination of multisource data allowed us to reconcile the structural control on marbles cavities extent and point out the relationship between cave conduits pattern and topography. LiDAR data allowed analysis of the geomorphological features of slopes and detection of lithological boundaries. ERT inversion models supported a precise imaging of underground conduits levels in the Niedźwiedzia Cave, moreover indicating some potential locations for the new passages ca. 100 –120 m above the Kleśnica Valley floor and farther to the south. Likewise, the GPR method resulted in a satisfactory accuracy of cave chambers detection in the depth range of 15 – 20 metres. Presented methodology resulted in karst voids geophysical imaging, explicitly improving our understanding of the Niedźwiedzia Cave passages distribution, both known ones as well as not recognized nor explored by speleologists hitherto.
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Keywords: ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY TOMOGRAPHY; GROUND PENETRATING RADAR; LIDAR DTM; NIED┼╣WIEDZIA CAVE; SUDETES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2017

This article was made available online on 08 March 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Searching for the void: improving cave detection accuracy by multi-faceted geophysical survey reconciled with LiDAR DTM".

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  • Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie main volume is a peer-reviewed international journal presenting original contributions of high scientific standard from all fields of geomorphology, encompassing basic research and applied studies. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie (ZfG) invites the submission of original papers from the entire field of geomorphological research, both applied and theoretical. Authors are encouraged to submit their papers to the editor-in-chief. Please peruse the instructions to authors (PDF) before submitting your paper.

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