Where to find temperature data ???

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Where to find temperature data ???

Postby tolip » Sep 6, 2007 3:27 am

Anyone know of any long term temperature records from caves?

Since it is common for cave temps reflect an approximate annual average of the local climate,,,

It seems like a no-brainer for a research paper if anyone can point me in the direction of some long term data.

Either the data(if exist) shows a trend or it does not, this inquiring mind wants to know.

Even a sporadic data source may be useful if it has been obtained over many decades.
I'm most interested in viewing original documentation, mud and all.
I'm willing to travel to documents.
Prolly important to personally inspect the collection sites too :)

I _did_ a search of threads, if I missed any on this topic linky please.

Thx in advance.

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Postby John Lovaas » Sep 6, 2007 8:55 am

Hi T-

Well, it may not be "long term", but since 2003 we've been collecting temperature data at a number of sites in and above Coldwater Cave, Iowa.

The temperature is recorded at 10 minute intervals. The original intent of the datalogger project was to observe water temperature change as a way to observe flood pulses as they passed through the cave's infeeders, down the mainstream passage, and on out to the primary resurgence, Coldwater Spring.

We've expanded the water temperature logger locations to include other surface resurgences, as well as creek locations that lose water into the cave. Stage and air temperature data have been collected in the mainstream passage since 2004. We've also begun adding an air temperature logger to every infeeder location that currently has a water temperature logger. We've also been collecting rain and other climate data at the surface since 2004.

I'm currently integrating the precipitation and water temp data into a GIS, using ArcGIS' Linear Referencing feature.

We've had a Canadian climatologist utilize some of our air temp data, and Pat Kambesis utilized the water temperature data as part of her MS thesis work at WKU.

If we have anything you could use, just holler!

jl
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Postby tolip » Sep 6, 2007 4:57 pm

Thx for the reply John,

What an excellent few hours tangent reading about Coldwater Cave exploration!

As usual one tangent leads to many others.

Have you computed annual averages for temps from your data?
If so, how does it coincide with the average water temp?
(approx. 47F if I read it right)

Spring water temps might be more prevalent, and much easier to obtain, but less fun than gathering cave data!

I'd definitely like to have a gander at your data.
How big are the files? email able? (I have a 10 meg limit)
I am in the NW burbs too, I could swing by for data if needed.

Yikes, over 52,000 readings a year per sensor, that's some serious data collection.

I dabble in making data loggers out of very low power mixed signal microprocessors.
What started as a logging digital altimeter project for skydiving has become a fascination with inexpensive very low power mixed signal micro's. (amateur research on a budget)

Another tangent cave related project idea I have is, a cave survey instrument that only needs to be carried, gathering data from compass/inertia sensors.
Add a laser profile collector and automate the whole process.

Back on topic,
What kind of data loggers do you use?
What kind of temp probes do you use?
Are your loggers NIST calibrated?

Don't be fooled by my use of the phrase 'write a paper'.
I am just a layman.
That my be obvious based on my ramblings above, but I do not want to remain ignorant if I am making some incorrect assumptions! :)

Thx again for the reply!

tolip aka 'jumpin Jan'
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Postby Squirrel Girl » Sep 6, 2007 5:39 pm

Fred Wefer (RIP) used to do a lot of cave atmosphere studies. You might try doing some searches on his name to find some refs.
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Postby wyandottecaver » Sep 6, 2007 5:50 pm

a couple things to consider. both cave and outside temperatures have been recorded at most indiana bat hibernacula for decades. BUT saying "cave temperature" is misleading because cave temperatures can vary widely. In a cave that moves a lot of air you can have temperatures closer to atmospheric hundreds of feet in. where a large cave with no airflow may be very stable. temperatures inside Wyandotte Cave (10+ miles) can vary as much as 5 degrees or more at the same time in various points in the cave.

So, if your trying to match trends between outside temperature and interior cave temperature you need to consider the size of the cave and its airflow. even the entrance morphology can greatly impact interior temperatures by creating "cold air dams" or other effects.
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Postby baa43003 » Sep 6, 2007 5:55 pm

A study on temperature at Wind Cave can be found in the NSS Bulletin 51(2): 125-128, December 1989 or at:

http://www.nps.gov/wica/naturescience/nss-bulletin.htm
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Postby John Lovaas » Sep 7, 2007 1:30 pm

tolip wrote:Have you computed annual averages for temps from your data? If so, how does it coincide with the average water temp?
(approx. 47F if I read it right)


We did so for the climatologist- 9 point something degrees Celsius, for one year's data that we worked with.

Now depending on where and when you are in the cave, you could see lows of 37F or highs of 70F. The air temp data at the infeeders is showing very slow seasonal air temp changes, on the order of 2 degrees C or so. In one location, the water temperature has varied more than 1 degree C in 4 years.

As far as caves go, it's a pretty well sealed cave.


How big are the files? email able? (I have a 10 meg limit)
I am in the NW burbs too, I could swing by for data if needed.


The native data format is very compact, but the exported DB files are quite bulky. Yes, if you are ever in the neighborhood, I could show you what we have.

What kind of data loggers do you use?
What kind of temp probes do you use?
Are your loggers NIST calibrated?


We have used Onset Computer's Water Temp Pro(discontinued) and the new HOBO Pendant temp loggers. The new Pendants are pretty much bombproof, tiny(matchbook sized) and have user replaceable batteries. They can hold almost a year's worth of data.

We don't buy the NIST models, but in the temperature range we are working at, they are pretty accurate. And they're only $49 apiece. When I have a little extra cash leftover, I buy a few. You can never have too many loggers ;-)

ps Hi Bonnie!
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