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The aim of the research detailed here has been to apply a new approach in assessing cave environmental changes – the so-called Cave Disturbance Index (CDI), relating to relief, water objects, air, vegetation and fauna (as the main geographical components of the cave environment) plus cultural aspects of recent cave use. Indicators coming under each of these categories are considered in detail and a quantitative estimation of total CDI then proposed. Practical application of the CDI method is then demonstrated by reference to caves situated in the Muradimovskoe Uschelie Natural Park (Southern Ural Mountains).
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