- Ventilation of Vietnamese tropical caves is stronger in winter-dry season
- High soil CO2 input and weak ventilation lead to cave air CO2 enrichment in summer
- Soil moisture fluctuation shows a correlation with variations on cave air CO2
- Streams and large pools of hydrologically-active caves buffer the air CO2 variations
- Visitation may be a cause of high CO2 during daytime and in show section
In this study, air, water, and host rock in show caves in a Vietnam’s karst region was monitored and analyzed to identify the ventilation regime and track the cave air CO2 sources. In general, the studied caves are well ventilated. In dynamic – multiple entrance caves, air ventilation is described with the use of U shape model. In static – single entrance cave, air circulation is explained by cold air trap model. Both ventilation models suggest that air is more circulated in winter than in summer. Seasonally, the cave air CO2 increases from early spring to summer. Value in the deepest part of the single-entrance cave is approximately 1,000 ppmv and 8,000 ppmv in early spring and summer, respectively. In multiple-entrance and wet caves, CO2 level is fairly constant all over the show section, increasing from 500 ppmv in early spring to 2,000 ppmv in summer. Data of microclimate, CO2 content, and particularly δ13C show that cave air, particularly in single entrance cave, has higher CO2 concentration during summer due to a stagnation of cave air circulation and an elevated CO2 input from soil and epikarst. The cave air CO2 increase is also observed after intense rainfalls. A factor that increase cave air CO2 in show caves during the festive days could probably be huma n exhaling but the extent of human factor in these studied cave systems should be further investigated. Cave waters including cave pools and streams mediate CO2 level in wet caves. Above all, the atmospheric fraction of CO2 is always dominant (>60%) in all cave sections.
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Trinh, Duc A.; Quan H. Trinh; Angel Fernández-Cortés; David Mattey; and Javier G. Guinea.
First assessment on the air CO2 dynamic in the show caves of tropical karst, Vietnam.
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol47/iss1/8