The term speleology comes from the Greek, more specifically from the combination of two words, spelaion, which means cave, and logos, which means knowledge or study . Therefore, speleology deals with the study of caves, grottos and trenches that are found in the depths of the earth. It is a scientific discipline and, at the same time, a sporting activity.
As a scientific area
The exploration of caves has been carried out since the origin of humanity. However, speleology as a scientific discipline was only consolidated in the 19th century, when some scholars of prehistory entered underground caves in search of human tools. Speleology
Currently, scientists are studying underground caves to investigate other issues as well: the topography of the subsoil and the geological structure , the analysis of water resources , the presence of animals, the search for fossils, etc.
A high-risk sporting activity
In the past, speleologists used wooden ladders to descend vertical underground caves; this made the activity very risky. In recent decades, the techniques have been improved and started to use ropes with blockers to facilitate the descent and ascent in the cavities. Speleology
Like all risky sports , extreme safety measures are required . Experts consider that some measures are mandatory to keep security to a minimum. Among them, we can highlight two basic measures:
1) do not practice caving alone,
2) use a specialized material and equipment for this activity (helmets with lighting systems, jumpsuits made of reinforced fabric to prevent skin injuries, different types of harness, anchor ropes, etc.).
Different sports modalities
The practice of speleology as a sport has several modalities: spelunking, volcanic spelunking and karst spelunking. The first is a combination of speleology and diving and is practiced in underwater caves (Mexico’s Riviera Maya has large underground rivers and for this reason many of its fans from all over the world gather in this location). Volcanic Caving or Vulcan Caving is practiced in volcanic caves formed from the lava of a volcano.
Finally, karst speleology is practiced in caves with large gaps and cavities excavated by the force of subterranean currents. Speleology