Main physical processes and phenomena causing periodic changes in the cave microclimate

Saeva Dupka Cave

Today, thanks to the efforts of generations of speleologists and researchers, a large amount of information has been accumulated about the cave’s microclimate (temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, CO2 content, radon, etc.). It was clarified that the Karst caves’ climate is significantly influenced by: the regional geological and morphological characteristics of the adjacent Karst massif, altitude, orientation and slope of its surface, annual distribution of total solar radiation, prevailing atmospheric fronts crossing its territory. Also, mechanisms for the influence of solar activity on the climatic characteristics of the cave atmosphere and the relationship of air volume in the Karst massif and the ground layer of air have been investigated for more than half a century.

In highly mountainous terrain, the altitude and the morphological features of the caves have a significant impact on the intensity of the air circulation and the thermal regime of the underground atmosphere. In a lot of the cases, other climatic factors also play an important role – the total atmospheric circulation, the number of cave entrances and their orientation in space, and the low-temperature water flows passing through the caves. The shape and structure of the caves enhance or weaken the influence of the physico-geographical, climatic and hydrological factors in the formation of microclimatic regimes of the underground air.

The report discusses the mechanisms of energy and mass exchange in the cave atmosphere, the influence of the external climate, the cycle of solar activity and galactic cosmic rays on cave microclimate.

Authors: Alexey Stoev, Penka Stoeva – Space Research and Technology Institute, BAS, Stara Zagora Department

Section: Symposium “Cave Climate and Paleoclimate – Best Record of the Global Change IV”

Type: poster presentation

Saeva Dupka Cave

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