Cave airflow mechanism of a crevice-type cave: A case study from Czechia

Martin Kašing, VŠB – Technical University of Ostrava, Jan Lenart, University of Ostrava
2020 International Journal of Speleology  
At present, crevice-type caves are investigated mainly by means of geomorphic and geophysical methods. Microclimatic research of this type of caves is underrepresented and is often limited to temperature and humidity measurement only. Yet, microclimatic research of such caves can significantly help in the management and conservation of caves, speleological exploration or analysis of speleothems. Being the first ever research of ventilation within a crevice-type cave, a complex analysis of cave
more » ... x analysis of cave ventilation was performed within the Velká Ondrášova Cave, a crevice-type cave in the Outer Western Carpathians, Czechia. Longterm temperature recording, airflow tracing within the cave, and a total of nine monitoring field sessions (provided data on temperature and airflow inside and outside the cave, serving as a basis for an analysis of ventilation rates, airflow routes within the cave, instability of the cave airflow, and the general ventilation mechanism of the cave. Based on the data, the average cave airflow velocity 0.27-0.61 m•s −1 corresponding to the ventilation rates 540-1,260 m 3 •h −1 (~13,000-30,000 m 3 /day) was estimated as a rough value of the ventilation, given the complex morphology of the cave. The Helmholtz resonator appeared to be an unsuitable model for an explanation of the instability within the cave airflow velocity. A regression analysis of the cave airflow highlighted the temperature gradient as an important predictor explaining almost 80% of the analyzed cave airflow variability. However, statistical testing suggested the outdoor wind to be also a relevant driving force of the cave ventilation, accounting for the active cave airflow regime during summer. crevice-type cave, cave microclimate, cave airflow, temperature gradient, Outer Western Carpathians
doi:10.5038/1827-806x.49.1.2285 fatcat:iasbye2xjbdzbdi427m2skj734