North-Central Section (44th Annual) and South-Central Section (44th Annual) Joint Meeting (1113 April 2010)
Paper No. 18-53
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM-12:00 PM

METEOROLOGICAL MEASUREMENTS OF THREE SOUTH TEXAS CAVES IN DIFFERING GEOLOGICAL FORMATIONS

DURAN, Lisa, Engineering Science, St. Mary's University, One Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, TX 78228, lduran1@mail.stmarytx.edu and MITCHELL, Evelynn J., Physics and Earth Sciences, St. Mary's University, One Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, TX 78228

The amount of carbon dioxide emitting into the outer atmosphere was examined from three caves in the San Antonio area from the Austin Chalk, Glenrose Limestone, and Edwards Limestone. These caves are close geographically, stacked near each other in geologic sequence. Data taken from within these caves assisted in discovering how their meteorological effects differ, and what quantity of CO2 may be venting to the outer atmosphere. The first hypothesis made was that there would be more CO2 present in the Austin Chalk cave due to geologic differences and because of the reports of difficulty breathing in Austin Chalk caves. Since the Austin Chalk formation was expected to have higher levels of carbon dioxide, it was also expected to emit more CO2 into the atmosphere. Within each cave, data loggers were set up to gather carbon dioxide, barometric pressure, temperature, and airflow data. Daily cycles were examined to determine if significant differences in any of the parameters were present within each cave environment. Results showed differences in temperature between and within the caves. The temperature changes appeared to correlate with changes in barometric pressure. Area differences between the passage sizes were found to be a great contributing factor to CO2 volumes exiting in each cave. Data has shown from the daily cycles that each cave has an inhalation and exhalation period during the day. Calculations revealed the quantity of carbon dioxide estimated to be released during the exhalation cycles from the caves, showing the contribution that is made to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The Austin Chalk cave was found to have a greater volume of CO2 within its entrance passages however, the Glenrose cave emitted more CO2 into the atmosphere. Comparisons of data between summer collections and winter collections are also discussed.

North-Central Section (44th Annual) and South-Central Section (44th Annual) Joint Meeting (1113 April 2010)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 18--Booth# 53
Undergraduate Research (Posters)
Branson Convention Center: Taneycomo A
8:30 AM-12:00 PM, Monday, 12 April 2010

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 2, p. 67

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