Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby WVCaver2011 » Apr 11, 2010 9:39 pm

Cavemud wrote:Keep chasin that air Allen! :woohoo:


During the next hot spell we get im going to take a little talcum powder into the cave and trace that airflow and see if there's another entrance. If everything works out like planned we'll pop out at the surface. If everything doesn't go as planned the airflow will flow out of a small crack that connects to the surface. I found out from a few resources that this is very likely to be a chimney effect cave for the most part and if so, then there must be another connection to the surface which would be nice because I dearly hate that 400 foot crawlway that we have to crawl through to get to the rest of the cave. It's not the crawl in thats so bad, its the crawl out that I REALLY dislike. A 10 degree average slope within along a distance of 379 feet just isn't cool. At this rate this cave would have a major chimney effect in no time.
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby tncaver » Apr 12, 2010 7:30 pm

The human sense of smell is not as powerful as most animals, yet it is still one of our most powerful senses. It is possible to insert a strong
smelling substance and smell it a LONG way from the source in a cave.
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby ArCaver » Apr 19, 2010 7:47 am

WVCaver2011 wrote:
Cavemud wrote:Keep chasin that air Allen! :woohoo:


During the next hot spell we get im going to take a little talcum powder into the cave and trace that airflow and see if there's another entrance. If everything works out like planned we'll pop out at the surface. If everything doesn't go as planned the airflow will flow out of a small crack that connects to the surface. I found out from a few resources that this is very likely to be a chimney effect cave for the most part and if so, then there must be another connection to the surface which would be nice because I dearly hate that 400 foot crawlway that we have to crawl through to get to the rest of the cave. It's not the crawl in thats so bad, its the crawl out that I REALLY dislike. A 10 degree average slope within along a distance of 379 feet just isn't cool. At this rate this cave would have a major chimney effect in no time.


Try this stuff, it's worked well for me in the past. Most well stocked sporting goods stores carry it. http://www.huntersheadquarters.net/Croo ... -smoke.htm

You can get a chimney effect without another major entrance. The makeup air may be coming through a surface breakdown choke, or if there is a lot of jointing/faulting in the area then it could just be the cumulative air from the numerous cracks in the limestone. If there's enough limestone, you may have a remnant upper level of cave hiding above a breakdown pile.
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby WVCaver2011 » Apr 20, 2010 4:26 pm

Thanks very much for the link!!! I'm not a hunter myself but I have heard of the stuff before, probably from my dad. He may have a bottle or two just laying around somewhere...if not i'm almost certain that I could find some at Walmart or someplace like that....

Regarding the cave--- It is definately joint controlled and I wouldnt be shocked if their was just a mass of rocks jumbled together to form a place for the air to flow in and out from the surface....
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby rlboyce » Apr 20, 2010 4:52 pm

If you can't find Smoke In A Bottle, your talcum powder idea may suffice. Careful not to inhale that stuff too much though.

I've been doing a little research on the hunting product, and as far as I can tell it's just chalk in a bottle. If you can find a bottle with a similar spout to properly disperse the powder, just put some of your talcum powder or other fine powder in it and you're in business! Flour may even work as long as you don't get it wet. If you're not experimentally minded, I plan on doing it myself for one of my digging projects and I'll let you know if it actually works. There's good potential to save a few bucks... especially if you need more than one bottle.

But yeah, I agree with the others... do some more explorin'! :grin:
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby WVCaver2011 » Apr 20, 2010 6:54 pm

rlboyce wrote:If you can't find Smoke In A Bottle, your talcum powder idea may suffice. Careful not to inhale that stuff too much though.

I've been doing a little research on the hunting product, and as far as I can tell it's just chalk in a bottle. If you can find a bottle with a similar spout to properly disperse the powder, just put some of your talcum powder or other fine powder in it and you're in business! Flour may even work as long as you don't get it wet. If you're not experimentally minded, I plan on doing it myself for one of my digging projects and I'll let you know if it actually works. There's good potential to save a few bucks... especially if you need more than one bottle.

But yeah, I agree with the others... do some more explorin'! :grin:


mmm...This brings up a good point...I have some cerium oxide in a bucket in my room that I use to use for polishing telescope mirrors...The size is 3M (3 microns) which of course is microscopic in size...I should try putting this in a squeeze bottle and seeing if it will do the trick... Does anyone here on cavechat have any idea if this powder would be a bad idea to use?
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby rlboyce » Apr 20, 2010 9:57 pm

Never heard of cerium oxide until just now. Sounds expensive.

In my line of work, when you want to know about how safe a material is, you find its MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

Here's one for cerium oxide:
http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9923351

As far as I can tell, you won't want to be breathing this stuff in large amounts. I probably wouldn't advise bringing this stuff in a cave.
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby WVCaver2011 » Apr 21, 2010 6:49 pm

rlboyce wrote:Never heard of cerium oxide until just now. Sounds expensive.

In my line of work, when you want to know about how safe a material is, you find its MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

Here's one for cerium oxide:
http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9923351

As far as I can tell, you won't want to be breathing this stuff in large amounts. I probably wouldn't advise bringing this stuff in a cave.


Oh yea, I'm taking this stuff in a cave for sure!! :kidding: Yea, I remembered all the other grits and powders I used caused silicosis if breathed in considerable amounts but I thought I had one that didnt have any side effects (at least none that would potentially kill you) and I thought that cerium oxide was the one...I guess not...Oh well... back to the smoke in a bottle!!
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby rlboyce » Apr 22, 2010 7:35 am

Well, as the father of a two year old I have some things available to me, such as a babydoll bottle. So... I decided to use it for some experimenting.
:rofl:

First, I put some flour in the bottle. I took it outside and squeezed it. It was immediately apparent that either the flour or the bottle wasn't the best to be using. If you tilted the bottle close to 90° from the vertical, it allowed the flour to disperse from the bottle. However, it was almost more of a squirting that a dusting. Some dust was present, but a large amount simply dropped to the ground.

Next, I found another thing that's available to the father of a two year old: chalk. I crushed up half a stick until it was powerderized, but for some strange reason the chalk seemed to cohere to itself if put under great pressure. Not what I expected. Anyway, I put the chalk in the bottle, shook it up and gave it a good squeeze. A MUCH better result. The only problem was that with each successive squeeze, less powder exited the bottle. Loosening the powder by shaking the bottle allowed the powder to adequately exit the bottle again.

I think I'll be taking this in a cave to see how it fairs, but to be honest, I doubt it's as effective as smoke in a bottle. Using a finer powder or a bottle with a spout that was closer to the powder would no doubt dramatically improve results. That said, I still think it a baby bottle (or less embarassing equivalent) filled with chalk should be useful enough to gauge airflow direction.

In summary, if you don't want to fool around with it, just spend the money for Smoke in a Bottle. $5 isn't that bad.
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby WVCaver2011 » Apr 22, 2010 9:56 am

rlboyce wrote:Well, as the father of a two year old I have some things available to me, such as a babydoll bottle. So... I decided to use it for some experimenting.
:rofl:

First, I put some flour in the bottle. I took it outside and squeezed it. It was immediately apparent that either the flour or the bottle wasn't the best to be using. If you tilted the bottle close to 90° from the vertical, it allowed the flour to disperse from the bottle. However, it was almost more of a squirting that a dusting. Some dust was present, but a large amount simply dropped to the ground.

Next, I found another thing that's available to the father of a two year old: chalk. I crushed up half a stick until it was powerderized, but for some strange reason the chalk seemed to cohere to itself if put under great pressure. Not what I expected. Anyway, I put the chalk in the bottle, shook it up and gave it a good squeeze. A MUCH better result. The only problem was that with each successive squeeze, less powder exited the bottle. Loosening the powder by shaking the bottle allowed the powder to adequately exit the bottle again.

I think I'll be taking this in a cave to see how it fairs, but to be honest, I doubt it's as effective as smoke in a bottle. Using a finer powder or a bottle with a spout that was closer to the powder would no doubt dramatically improve results. That said, I still think it a baby bottle (or less embarassing equivalent) filled with chalk should be useful enough to gauge airflow direction.

In summary, if you don't want to fool around with it, just spend the money for Smoke in a Bottle. $5 isn't that bad.


Haha,
you're turning out to be a mad scientist with that expirimenting... With the chalk, was it light enough to remain in the air or did it settle rather quickly, making it possible to visually see chalk deposits on a cave floor when used?
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby driggs » Apr 22, 2010 10:59 am

It's too bad that there is no readily-available product on the market which lets you easily produce smoke for long periods of time, in both a visible form, as well as a form which could be detected with the sense of smell from the other side of a potential entrance.

Whoops, no time for CaveChatting, my incense stick needs replaced and I'm about to step out and have a smoke.
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby rlboyce » Apr 22, 2010 11:19 am

Whoops, no time for CaveChatting, my incense stick needs replaced and I'm about to step out and have a smoke.


LOL, y'know, that was so subtle I almost didn't catch your drift. I've considered cigs for their smoke production, but detest their odor. I doubt they'd smell much better in a confined area. An incense stick has the same problem, but at least it's fragrant and you don't have to worry about second hand smoke. Actually, I think an incense stick is the best bet so far.

With the chalk, was it light enough to remain in the air or did it settle rather quickly, making it possible to visually see chalk deposits on a cave floor when used?


The effectiveness of the chalk seemed to largely depend on how the bottle was squeezed and the direction I held it in. When I shook it before squeezing and squeezed it hard with the bottle in an upright position, nearly all of the chalk remained airborne for about 10-20 seconds before the outside air broke the cloud up.

If I sat in a cave and squeezed the bottle all day you'd probably see a colorful spot of chalk on the cave floor, but I'd say if you were holding the bottle upright and squeezed it as much as 50 times (an absurd amount) there's still no way chalk would be visible on the cave floor. I found it doesn't take much chalk to create a cloud.
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby WVCaver2011 » Apr 22, 2010 11:21 am

driggs wrote:It's too bad that there is no readily-available product on the market which lets you easily produce smoke for long periods of time, in both a visible form, as well as a form which could be detected with the sense of smell from the other side of a potential entrance.

Whoops, no time for CaveChatting, my incense stick needs replaced and I'm about to step out and have a smoke.


If you're implying that we should try smoking a cigarette in a cave, I believe that it would be not only bad for the cave enviornment, but also would be harmful to individuals who do not like second hand smoke...This is why I did not imply that we should try smoking cigarettes...
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby WVCaver2011 » Apr 22, 2010 11:24 am

Ryan,

It sounds like I'll be finding a decent squirt bottle and some chalk to be crushed!! Thanks for the advise and let me know how it goes when you try it in cave!!
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Re: Is the air in this cave barometrically driven?

Postby Caveair » Apr 28, 2010 7:55 pm

WVCaver2011 wrote:I have been surveying a cave that is located in Pendleton County, West Virginia and most of my survey trips to the cave were during low pressure events however, just this past week I revisited the cave and there was a high pressure system setting right overtop of WV. ((The cave's air reversed from it's usual outward flow to an inward frow of approximately the same magnitude.)) I entered the cave at around 7pm and left the cave at around midnight on friday it was low 80's when we went in and mid to upper 50's when we left...The temperature had no effect on the airflow because it stayed the same while we were in the cave (it continuously preceded to blow inward). This is why i'm asking this question.

During the low pressure events the air will blow out of the cave with enough force to allow a piece of survey tape to flap parallel to the floor (depending on how low the pressure actually is at that time).

Is it possible that the cave is, or could be barometrically driven?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Hello WVCaver2011,

Greetings From CaveAir,

Check your above post. I have put a couple of double quotes "(( ))" around the part that caught my interest. Yes, it sounds possible that you may have a barometric cave wind here - because you stated that the air flow reversed, and was of equal intensity in both directions.

If this wind were caused by chimney effect, it would have behaved differently. You stated that the outside air temperature started out at 80 oF at 7 p.m., and the outside air temperature dropped down to the mid 50's at midnight. Now assuming that your cave-limestone has an average temperature also in the mid 50's - your cave wind should have almost stopped in velocity - not reversed direction, with the same velocity.

First test is : Barometric Wind 1 - Chimney Effect Wind 0

I'd really like to see some more barometric caves discovered. Right now the closest one to you is Breathing Cave, Virginia. The next closest one after that is in Florida.
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