From 2001 to 2005 the CO2 concentration of the air in the interior and exterior of the Nerja Cave was studied and its relation with the air temperature and visitor number. The average annual CO2 concentration outside of the cave is 320 ppmv, whilst inside, the mean concentration increases to 525 ppmv during autumn and winter, and in the order of 750 ppmv during spring and summer. The temporal variation of CO2 content in the air of the cave is strongly influenced by its degree of natural ventilation which is, in turn, determined by the difference between external and internal air temperatures. During autumn, winter and spring, a positive correlation between the CO2 content of the air inside the cave and the temperature difference between the external and internal air was observed, such that when this difference increased, there was a higher level of CO2 within the cave. Then, the ventilation is high and CO2 levels are mainly of human origin. During summer, there was a negative correlation between CO2 and the temperature difference between the air outside and that inside the cave: when the temperature difference increases, the CO2 content within the cave is lower. At this time of the year, the renovation of the air is much slower due to the lower ventilation. A positive correlation between CO2 concentration of the air in the cave and the visitor number can only be observed during August, the month that receives the most visits throughout the year averaging 100,000.
Liñán, Cristina; Iñaki Vadillo; and Francisco Carrasco.
Carbon dioxide concentration in air within the Nerja Cave
(Malaga, Andalusia, Spain).
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol37/iss2/2