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Mandy Clarke
Indiana University Press

Last modified: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

IU Press publishes guide to caves and karst in Indiana

April 17, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A new field guide from Indiana University Press provides a starting point for anyone planning a visit to one of Indiana's tourist caves, looking to explore some of the state's wild caves or just curious about Indiana geology.

Samuel S. Frushour's compact and comprehensive book, "A Guide to Caves and Karst of Indiana," explains how caves are created, examines the different geological features in them and tells about the types of animals that inhabit them.

Frushour is retired head of the field services section of the Indiana Geological Survey, a state geological research agency based at Indiana University Bloomington.

The field guide, written in conjunction with the Indiana Geological Survey and scheduled for publication this month, contains practical information on safety and cave etiquette, equipment and caving organizations, as well as descriptions of individual caves and their unique history.

Features of karst topography -- formed by the dissolution over many years of limestone bedrock and characterized by caves, sinkholes, caverns and other formations -- are pictured and described. A section of the book by southern Indiana cave biology experts Julian Lewis and Salisa Lewis provides information about the unusual animals that live in caves.

"A practical guidebook with something to offer both beginning and experienced spelunkers," Library Journal writes. "Readers interested in the geology or topography of the region will also find it worth a look."

The book is especially valuable for its information on obtaining permission to visit Indiana caves. The majority of Indiana caves are on private property or require visitation permission from county, state or federal agencies.

News media: For review copies and interview requests, contact Mandy Clarke at IU Press, 812-855-4522 or