Glossary of caving and speleology
- Airbell - An enclosed air space in a flooded tube between the water and the roof
- Anthodite - A speleothem (cave formation) composed of long needle-like crystals situated in clusters which radiate outward from a common base.
- Belly crawl - A passage that is very low
- Biospeleology - A branch of biology dedicated to the study of organisms that live in caves and are collectively referred to as troglofauna.
- Boneyard - An intricate maze of limestone with many holes where material has dissolved away.
- Boulder choke - A collection of large rocks or rubble that obstructs the passage of a cave or mine. In order to progress through passages cavers often need to negotiate or clear boulder chokes.
- Buffoon - Also called a speleo-buffoon or cave-buffoon, a derogatory term referring to cavers who are unprepared and make poor decisions.
- Cave conservancy - A specialized land trust that primarily manages caves or karst features in the United States.
- Cave digging - The practice of enlarging undiscovered cave openings to allow entry.
- Caver - Someone who explores caves for recreation, a synonym for spelunker
- Caving - the sport of exploring caves, a synonym for spelunking
- Cupola (cave formation) - recess, indentation, or cavity in the ceiling of a lava tube, a kind of cave formation.
- Karst - A landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks.
- Pit - A vertical space for which ascending or rappelling equipment is required.
- Pseudokarst - Similar to Karsts, but created by different mechanisms.
- Speleogen - A geological formation within a cave that has been created by the removal of bedrock, rather than as a secondary deposit.
- Speleogenesis - The origin and development of caves, the primary process that determines essential features of the hydrogeology of karst and guides its evolution.
- Spelunker - Someone who explores caves as a hobby, a synonym for caver
- Spelunking - Exploring caves as a hobby, a synonym for caving
- Squeeze - A tight passage
- Stygofauna - Small aquatic animals living in caves and aquifers
- Sump - A cave that is submerged under water. A sump may be static, with no inward or outward flow, or active, with continuous through-flow. Static sumps may also be connected underwater to active stream passage. When short in length, a sump may be called a duck.
- Suspension trauma - Also known as harness hang syndrome (HHS), or orthostatic intolerance, is an effect which occurs when the human body is held upright without any movement for a period of time.
- Swallow-hole - The point where water drains from the surface into a cave system