New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting & Ft. Stanton Cave Conference — Abstracts

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Discovery, Exploration, Surveying, and Cartography in Fort Stanton Cave

John J. Corcoran

FSCSP, 510 Montego Dr SE, Rio Rancho, NM, 87124-3081, United States,

This presentation summarizes the general history of discovery and cartography as related to Fort Stanton Cave, Lincoln County, New Mexico. Evidence show that native Americans visited the cave sometime between 1100 AD and 1800 AD. The cave was rediscovered by U.S. Army soldiers in 1855 who began visiting the cave often through the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In addition to historic graffiti left in the cave, such as signatures, a scattering of newspaper articles were written about their experiences in the cave. In 1877, the U.S. Army documented the cave with a report and the first map. Soldiers from Fort Stanton and local civilians explored the cave gradually from 1855 through the 1890s and even through the 1950s when modern cave explorers started more methodical exploration, surveys, and cartography that expanded on previous knowledge. In 2001 a major discovery was made of the Snowy River Passage and associated complex of side passages. As of April 2022, the length of surveyed passages has reach 42.32 miles in length.

Surveying and Cartography has gradually evolved from 1877 through the present. Instruments, techniques, and Technology have been adapted to suit the cave environment and standards needed to produce quality surveys and maps over the last 167 years.


History, Cartography

2022 New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting & Ft. Stanton Cave Conference
April 7-9, 2022, Macey Center, Socorro, NM
Online ISSN: 2834-5800

Presentation Files

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Discovery, Exploration, Surveying, and Cartography.pdf 5.57 MB 04/06/2022 10:36:40 AM