Southeastern Section - 60th Annual Meeting (23–25 March 2011)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 10:40 AM


SCOTT, Heather, Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, 4044 Derring Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061, SCHREIBER, Madeline E., Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, 1405 Perry St, Blacksburg, VA 24061, SCHWARTZ, Benjamin, Department of Biology, Texas State University- San Marcos, 206 FAB, Freeman Aquatic Station, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666 and ORNDORFF, William D., Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Natural Heritage Program, 8 Radford St, Suite 102A, Christiansburg, VA 24073,

Temperature data provide information that may be used to quantify patterns of air and water movement within karst systems and to examine how the in-cave temperature signals are related to environmental drivers at the surface. In this study, we collected nearly continuous (10 min intervals) measurements of air and water temperature at three epikarstic drip sites in James Cave, Virginia, in addition to temperature measurements at the surface and within a cave stream, over a three year period. Data show pronounced seasonal variations in temperature at the drip sites that contain a temporal lag when compared with surface temperature. Data also show between-site variations in temperature within the cave. These temporal and spatial patterns are being analyzed to clarify the relationship between cave air and water temperature and surface air temperature, and to elucidate the relative influences of the dominantly conductive heat transfer through the overlying epikarst (soil and weathered bedrock) and convective heat transfer associated with movements of air in response to changes in barometric pressure and external temperature.