Atmospheric CO2 concentrations can reach high levels inside natural caves, representing a hazardous condition for both humans frequenting the underground environment and its safeguard due to the corrosion of speleothems induced by the acidification of atmospheric moisture. These issues are particularly critical for the eco-sustainable management of caves protected as nature reserves and undergoing touristic exploitation. In this paper we present the results of the C6 project, which was activated in 1999 for the monitoring of air quality inside three caves protected as nature reserves in Sicily (Italy). Near-real-time and spot measurements of air temperature and CO2 concentration have been carried out since the year 2000, giving the opportunity of evaluating the gas hazard for visitors and its potential impact on the protected underground environments, as well as the influence of meteorological and hydrological conditions in driving carbon dioxide accumulations. The analysis of data acquired in the hypogeal atmosphere, and their comparison with analogous epigeal measures, indicates that carbon dioxide accumulation is controlled by a complex interaction among cave topography, meteorological dynamics, gaseous exchanges between groundwaters and the atmosphere, and human fruition. This last factor, under particular conditions, can surprisingly diminishing underground CO2 concentrations.

Paolo Madonia, Marianna Cangemi, Giulia Casamento, Cipriano Di Maggio, Rosario Di Pietro, Marco Interlandi, et al. (2022). Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations in Caves Protected as Nature Reserves and Related Gas Hazard. ATMOSPHERE, 13(11) [10.3390/atmos13111760].

Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations in Caves Protected as Nature Reserves and Related Gas Hazard

Marianna Cangemi
;
Cipriano Di Maggio;
2022-10-26

Abstract

Atmospheric CO2 concentrations can reach high levels inside natural caves, representing a hazardous condition for both humans frequenting the underground environment and its safeguard due to the corrosion of speleothems induced by the acidification of atmospheric moisture. These issues are particularly critical for the eco-sustainable management of caves protected as nature reserves and undergoing touristic exploitation. In this paper we present the results of the C6 project, which was activated in 1999 for the monitoring of air quality inside three caves protected as nature reserves in Sicily (Italy). Near-real-time and spot measurements of air temperature and CO2 concentration have been carried out since the year 2000, giving the opportunity of evaluating the gas hazard for visitors and its potential impact on the protected underground environments, as well as the influence of meteorological and hydrological conditions in driving carbon dioxide accumulations. The analysis of data acquired in the hypogeal atmosphere, and their comparison with analogous epigeal measures, indicates that carbon dioxide accumulation is controlled by a complex interaction among cave topography, meteorological dynamics, gaseous exchanges between groundwaters and the atmosphere, and human fruition. This last factor, under particular conditions, can surprisingly diminishing underground CO2 concentrations.
Settore GEO/04 - Geografia Fisica E Geomorfologia
Settore GEO/08 - Geochimica E Vulcanologia
https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4433/13/11/1760
Paolo Madonia, Marianna Cangemi, Giulia Casamento, Cipriano Di Maggio, Rosario Di Pietro, Marco Interlandi, et al. (2022). Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations in Caves Protected as Nature Reserves and Related Gas Hazard. ATMOSPHERE, 13(11) [10.3390/atmos13111760].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/577610
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