Texas Karst Database Records

Category Count
Database Date: 2016-11-22
Database Records: 15,065
Caves: 5,621
Sinks/Cavities: 4,453
Shelters: 950
Springs: 3,255
Undefined: 237
Rumored: 312
Aesthetic caves: 149
Archeologically significant: 442
Bad air caves: 247
Bat caves: 344
Biologically significant: 757
Endangered species: 342
Geologically significant: 256
Historically significant: 274
Hydrologically significant: 491
Paleontologically significant: 155
Number of Texas counties with karst records: 200
Number of records with linked Maps: 2,905
Records with linked photos: 1,808
Records with location coordinates: 11,104
Records with only the topographic map specified: 2,557
Lost Caves - no location or topographic Map: 844



NOTE: The numbers in the right hand column won't add up to the total number of database records because some records have multiple designations, such as cave and spring.

Database records:

The total number of database records representing prominent karst features: caves, sinks, cavities, shelters, and springs.


A humanly passable subsurface cavity at least 5 meters in traverse length, where no dimension of the entrance exceeds the length.


Prominent karst features that don't meet the definition of a cave, shelter, or spring.


A humanly enterable horizontal recess in a cliff face created by an overhang.


A naturally occurring cavity or area from which water emerges. Can also be a cave.


Karst records that haven't been identified as a cave, sink, cavity, shelter, or spring.


A record entered on the basis of a reported rumor that hasn’t been verified.

Archeologically Significant:

A record flagged due to known archeological activity or observed material.  Typically a sensitive location for visitation.

Biologically Significant:

A record flagged due to presence of biological species of unusual diversity and/or uniqueness.

Endangered Species:

A record flagged due to presence of biological species of endangered status.

Geologically Significant:

A record flagged due to presence of unusual or unique mineralogical, structural, and/or lithological features.

Historically Significant:

A record flagged due to presence of artifacts, signatures, and/or other material older than 50 years that has historical importance, yet is not prehistoric. May be site of historic event.

Hydrologically Significant:

Caves or features of notable importance to aquifers for their capacity to recharge and discharge groundwater, relatively high potential to pollute aquifers if they recharge contaminants, and/or their utility in monitoring karst aquifers.

Paleontologically Significant:

A record flagged due to presence of paleontological material that is recognized or inferred to be of importance.

Number of Texas Counties with recorded karst data:

The number of counties in the State of Texas with at least one record in the database.

Number of records with location data:

The number of records in the database having a recorded location in both UTM and LAT/LON.  The TSS currently records location data using the NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Number of records without location data - Topographic Map defined:

The number of TSS records without a UTM or LAT/LON location but with a Topographic Map Defined.

Lost Caves - no location or Topographic Map:

The number of caves without any location data, i.e., UTM or Lat/Lon and no topographic map.  Some of these have very thorough maps and reports.