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CHIOS OLYMPI CAVE Microclimate (Temperature – Humidity – CO2)

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Note: the measurements took place after a placement of the indicator in central parts of the cave as well as the recession of the operator for at least a half of hour so that the measurements become safe and exact avoiding his breath. Consequently, an average rate of CO2 considered to prevail in the cave during the measurements was 0,12% (or 1200 ppm per volume of dry air). We have to note here that the existed collection of CO2 at the atmosphere worldwide is almost 318 ppm. The above collection rate was corrected later to wet air volume, so that to be considered the relative high percentage of humidity in Sykia cave.

The corrected composition of the air in the cave, based on the relative humidity, is shown on Table 3.

TABLE 3: The composition of Sykia cave into dry and wet air.

Component

% per dry air volume at Sykia cave1

1% per wet air volume at Sykia cave2

2

78.02%

78.22%

2

20.92%

20.44%

CO2

0.12%

0.117%

Argon

0.93%

0.908%

H2O

2.30%



  • 1: Based on “Cleaning Our Environment the Chemical Basis of Action”, American Chemical Society, Washington D.C., 1969, page 24, the composition % per dry air volume in sea level is 78.09% N2, 20.94% O2, 0.0318% CO2, and 0.93% Ar.
  • 2: The rates N2, O2, CO2 and Ar per dry air volume have been corrected based on the calculated humidity percentage of the cave.

    Baker et al., (1998) has written down about collections CO2 in caves, which vary from 340 ppm to 10.000 ppm.

    Temperature

    The temperature has been measured with the portable radio emanation named “AlphaGUARD PQ2000Pro” of Genitron Instruments in combination with the Multisensor Unit of AlphaGUARD with pressure difference measurement poles and temperature sensors. The temperature outside during the measurements varied from 22o C (the minimum during the night) to 34o C (the maximum under shadow). It is obvious that the temperatures in the cave are always lower than the temperatures out of it. There is a decrease of the temperature that is observed during the day (from 15.00 to 18.00) though the lights are stabilized at 17.9o C. So far, the outward temperature does not seem to influence the inward temperature at least during the period of time where the measurements took place.

    The interior of the cave, during the day, seems to have an invariable temperature, equal to 18o C. At the caves of Europe, the average rates of temperature vary from 8o C to 13o C; in Greek caves, on the other hand, these rates vary from 15o C to 16o C (Houtzeos and Houtzeos, 1989).

    The average temperature in a cave at Kozani Prefecture (Komilis et al., 2001) was equal with 15.5o C, as it was written down on October 2001. Temperature records have shown that, in caves, which have been exploited by tourism, the variables to 1o C are a usual phenomenon at the entrances of those caves and the temperature comes to the initial levels after 15 – 120 minutes (Cigna, 1993). Based on this, we consider that the visits of tourists in the caves won’ t have any serious consequences at the parameter named “temperature”.

    Humidity

    The relative humidity (RH) has been measured with the portable radio emanation named “AlphaGUARD PQ2000Pro” of Genitron Instruments. After a period of stabilization, the relative humidity was stabilized at about 95%. Humidity initial rates were almost 81%; while a gradual increase took place afterwards and finally there was a stabilization of the humidity at 95.5% after 20 hours. The initial relative low rates may occur because of the air, which is caused by the transference of people in the cave. This might have as a result the decrease of the humidity in the cave, as it is generally observed by the removal of visitors inside the caves. (Baker et al., 1998). According to Grobbelaar (2000), the usual rates of relative humidity are close to glut, that is, about 100%.

    Considering now that the ruling humidity in the cave is almost 95.5%. Humidity’s profile, as it will be presented later, shows that the conditions inside the cave are being stabilized about after 12 hours. Certain estimates show that the humidity occurs almost the 2.3% per volume unit of (wet) air at the cave (Table 3).


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