Author Topic: Draughtproofing  (Read 12282 times)

Offline mudmonkey

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Draughtproofing
« on: February 23, 2004, 05:14:50 pm »
On a recent trip (into a leader-only, gated system...) the leader (and discoverer) of the cave pointed out that the gate they'd put in was draught-proof. The idea is that changing air-currents by opening up passages can dry out pretties/sediments/etc., just wondered if anyone else was doing similar draught-proofing on digs? If not, should we be doing so? Maybe even before it goes??

Offline SamT

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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2004, 08:30:10 pm »
There are similar things in Peak/Speedwell (following the JH to Speedwell connection) as air flow in the Tourist caves is important due to Radon gas.

I think it depends on how the draft will affect the system.

Was there a draft already present, is that what you were following, if so then installing a draft proof gate would be detrimental also.

As for time, then if a gate is installed a few weeks after the breakthrough, there should be no problem with drying out sediments as those kind of effects are slow to happen and would not be perminant.

If a certain connection is made in Bagshawe - then a draft gate will be installed since the seal is currently a sump (ie totally draft proof), when its down (very seldom) a howling draft is present. Should a permanant dry connection be found, its likely to have a draft also, that wasn't present before the connection.

Offline Johnny

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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2004, 11:43:07 am »
I feel the same way about this as I feel about allot of conservation subjects. Cave research is still developing and there may be effects that are, as yet unforeseen.
To hypothesise for a moment, breaking into sealed passage will initiate an exchange of air or gasses if those gases are part of a system, say precipitation of minerals, then the system will be altered and the sooner the passage is re-sealed, the better.
In the absence any scientific study or research I think that we should try to minimise impact as much as possible by keeping the system as near to its original condition as possible.

Are there any scientific bods out there who can think of any detrimental effects of altering air circulation, temporary or permanently?
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2004, 07:19:05 pm »
Hill & Forti write, p.250, in Cave Minerals of the World, 2nd edition about macro- and monocrystalline speleothems, the description of conditions for their growth concludes "such conditions often exist in closed caves (i.e. those which have no natural entrances or those which have experienced recent entrance collapse).

A good example where opening a cave has meant the loss of such lovely reflective macrocrystalline "facets" would be the Mendip showcave of Gough's Cave - Diamond chamber (aptly named) was originally heralded as a superb chamber, the description of which quite clearly related to macrocrystalline facets. This chamber no longer exhibits this - perhaps as a result of the opening of the cave but maybe other factors are involved.

Anyone not familiar with macrocrystalline "facets" speleothems can see film of this in Third Eye Film's "A rock and a hard place" where the "discoverers" enter a chamber beyond Tor Hall, remarking "I've never seen flowstone like that before" & "Twinkly!".

It would be good to get some feedback on whether air sealing a previously closed cave would help conserve such formations; I have no expertise in this area - Hill, Forti, Maltsev et al spring to mind as authorities who could shed more light on this.

P.S. I'm getting fed up of the post-a-reply feature in this software which has a bug in it whereby it proves necessary to retype the whole reply again; this has happened to me too many times recently and has occasionally meant that I've typed something in, lost it and then simply not bothered to retype it again; in this instance I've decided to plug on and redo the work. Have others experienced this problem? Also, if I use the "back" feature in Microsoft Internet Explorer after selecting a topic from the main forum index, I am taken back to the old greenish forum index where the conservation topic isn't even listed so that's another bug, presumably. Other than that, everything seems to work fine.

Offline bubba

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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2004, 07:25:19 pm »
Never had those problems - which version of IE are you using?

Try this:
- Empty all your temporary internet files
- Delete any cookies you don't want, but especially delete the ukcaving.com cookie

This usually sorts out any login problems, which it sounds like this might be. Also, which forum style are you using?
=:blubba:=

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Offline Johnny

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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2004, 09:22:43 am »
Quote from: "Cap'n Chris"
Anyone not familiar with macrocrystalline "facets" speleothems can see film of this in Third Eye Film's "A rock and a hard place" where the "discoverers" enter a chamber beyond Tor Hall, remarking "I've never seen flowstone like that before" & "Twinkly!".


It sounds very much like the flowstone cascades in Millers Chamber, Eldon Hole, Derbyshire.

Quote from: "Cap'n Chris"
It would be good to get some feedback on whether air sealing a previously closed cave would help conserve such formations; I have no expertise in this area - Hill, Forti, Maltsev et al spring to mind as authorities who could shed more light on this.


I for one would be extremely interested in any information on this.

Quote from: "Cap'n Chris"
Hill & Forti write, p.250, in Cave Minerals of the World, 2nd edition


Do you know the publishers? I wouldn't mind a copy.
Onwards to glory!

Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2004, 09:25:00 am »
National Speleological Society (USA) ISBN 1-879961-07-5
463 pages

Not cheap! My copy set me back £45. Perhaps you can source it for less now that the dollar exchange rate is in our favour. Try Amazon.

Titch98

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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2004, 02:02:12 pm »
Sorry to move away from the post topic....

Quote from: "Cap'n Chris"
Also, if I use the "back" feature in Microsoft Internet Explorer after selecting a topic from the main forum index, I am taken back to the old greenish forum index where the conservation topic isn't even listed so that's another bug, presumably. Other than that, everything seems to work fine.


Quote from: "Bubba"
Try this:
- Empty all your temporary internet files
- Delete any cookies you don't want, but especially delete the ukcaving.com cookie


Also, get hold of a INDEX.DAT cleaning utility and clean those out. Had the same problem on other sites until I cleaned out my .DAT files.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2004, 07:55:26 pm »
Many thanks for your advice; `twas but a short task and is now complete. Have cleared up index.dat stuff too but what are cookies and where do I find them (is there a monster nearby?). You should be able to email me as it has been necessary to update my address, too, after a change of ISP.

Offline bubba

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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2004, 08:30:07 pm »
There's usually a cookies folder somewhere on your C drive, and they can also be stored in your temp internet files. Run a search...
=:blubba:=

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Offline Peter Burgess

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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2006, 11:48:22 am »
Pardon me for resurrecting this subject.

I have recently been on a bat monitoring trip with the local bat group into a set of mines which have been gated for some years now. Many years ago, the gates were simple affairs with a small hole which gave access to the lock inside. We used to pretend that the hole was also there to encourage bats.

Some years back, the entrance gates were improved. They are now heavily engineered steel gates with large horizontal gaps, specifically designed to encourage bats. Another effect is that it also encourages air flow. This has rendered the entrance areas colder and drier in the winter months, which, I am told, has caused an increase in the number of bats using the sites. From a conservation point of view, is this not a good thing?

I don't think it has had a detrimental effect on the mines, and is probably putting them back to how they would have been when open.

I appreciate that conservation issues in mines and caves can differ markedly, but if draughts are encouraged in caves, then it might not necessarily be a bad thing. I suppose it depends on specific circumstances.

Offline AndyF

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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2006, 06:52:05 pm »
Sealing an entrance sounds like a great way to build up the Radon levels...  :?
"Life's a pitch, then you fall down one..."

Offline graham

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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2006, 07:42:29 pm »
As with all conservation issues the answer is site specific.

In Carlsbad Caverns, they installed a lift down into teh show cave some years ago. Not only did that change teh air flow pattern by giving an extra route, the movement of the lift actually pumped air around. The consequence was that a part of teh cave which had previously been quite humid, with much active stal, dried up completely. When they sealed teh shaft, the humidity returned.
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Offline graham

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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2006, 07:43:27 pm »
Quote from: "AndyF"
Sealing an entrance sounds like a great way to build up the Radon levels...  :?


Splendid - keep the professionals away.  :lol:  :D  :P
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andymorgan

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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2006, 07:45:47 pm »
Quote from: "Peter Burgess"
I am told, has caused an increase in the number of bats using the sites. From a conservation point of view, is this not a good thing?


No, if you give an organism an unatural advantage, it maz destabilise an ecosystem. For example more bats=more insects being eaten=less food for other organisms, or rare species of insects going extinct.

   Ok, an extreme example, but what i'm saying is that so called 'conservationists' and 'ecologists' do not always know the long term consequences of their actions..

Offline Peter Burgess

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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2006, 08:11:07 pm »
It could be argued that on balance man has given organisms an unnatural disadvantage in too many cases. On this island especially, very little of the environment can possibly be called 'natural'. Given that we have made this island what it is, and created an artificial equilibrium, should we not maintain that equilibrium as much as we can, rather than create further instability, and cause yet more distress to the 'natural' environment? 200 years ago, where did bats hibernate in places where there are no natural caves, such as the south east? Many of them probably used man-made underground spaces. I couldn't possibly say whether those bat populations would have been greater or smaller without man-made spaces. But the species has adapted to the presence of humans by taking advantage of what we have done. I don't think we should walk away from our responsibilities, passed down to us by our predecessors.

Offline AndyF

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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2006, 09:54:46 pm »
Fitting a door to an entrance where there wasn't one before to protect cave beyond a breakthrough point will change the enviornment between the entrance and that point.

I think this is a a minor point compared to turning 10kg of petrol into CO2 on the drive to the cave ......

In the Carlsbad example, allowing 500000 people visit the cave each year irradiating 1kw of heat and walking on miles of concrete constructed walkways has had a bigger effect than anything else. I've been there, and they are obsessed with small details, rather than taking an overview of the damage opening the cave to the public has done!
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darkplaces

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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2006, 09:58:24 pm »
I think the planet would do just fine if we stoped poking and fidding with it with our arrogant idea that we have damaged the planet.

As someone more famous said 'the planet is fine, its us who are f%$ked'.

I'd prefer much less fidding going on, like I disaggree with 'woodland managment' what a crock of poo. Woods dont need managment, they need to be left, and used. What ever you do, open a cave, close a cave you have changed something and the weaker will die, a process that made us today. Too much thinking going on, just take your rubbish home but dont use a street bin as street bins are not for that kind of rubbish.

Offline Anon

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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2006, 10:09:32 pm »
Quote
Sealing an entrance sounds like a great way to build up the Radon levels... Confused

If it was a part of a cave that had no draught to start with then surely it would make no difference anyway.. And for those who wish to explore the cave regardless - its a privilege not a right to explore any cave so if you don't like radon then don't go there!

Quote
where did bats hibernate in places where there are no natural caves, such as the south east?

Good question, there must have some populations but where, would be interesting to know the answer to that.

Quote
It could be argued that on balance man has given organisms an unnatural disadvantage in too many cases.

In some cases maybe, but in others not - man has an imense impact on the land and some species thrive whilst others dwindle.. Who is to say that bat populations weren't higher before man started trashing the landscape, thus mans abandoned activities may help bats out. Its like birds - they were happy with fields of insects until insecticide came along and destroyed a good food source, but now we have garden feeders to try and help them out... :?

Offline Peter Burgess

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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2006, 10:43:14 pm »
Darkplaces wrote:
Quote
I'd prefer much less fidding going on, like I disaggree with 'woodland managment' what a crock of poo.


For more information on the 'crock of poo' see

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-6dccen

darkplaces

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« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2006, 12:24:16 am »
Quote from: "Peter Burgess"
Darkplaces wrote:
Quote
I'd prefer much less fidding going on, like I disaggree with 'woodland managment' what a crock of poo.
For more information on the 'crock of poo' see
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-6dccen
Exactly - Money & Jobs... To be seen to be doing something.

Mans mineing activities has created huge underground places for bats so it could be said that man has helped bats hugly. I am also told in Box bat populations have been rising for the past 10 years dispite so called 'unauthorised' visiting.

I do take issue with this idea of privilege that 'Dunc' has raised. I think this is a bit arrogant and over the top (sorry Dunc). You should respect the place you visit and not take it for granted.  I just dont like the word 'privilege' it does imply 'lesser people' then yourself should not enter and enjoy a natural thing.

As to draft gates I think  they should only be concidered if your protecting something extreamly very interesting.

Offline Anon

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« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2006, 03:27:21 pm »
Quote
I do take issue with this idea of privilege that 'Dunc' has raised. I think this is a bit arrogant and over the top (sorry Dunc). You should respect the place you visit and not take it for granted

Sorry? You will be! only joking :lol:  I see your point on the usage of that word, the point I was trying to make was relating to the 'build up of radon' post, in other words if an air-plug was removed and subsequently altered the draught then installing a draught-proof gate to protect the environment as it was is fine. If radon levels remain the same (lets say they are high) its not a problem, if you don't like subjecting yourself to radon don't go.. The post by AndyF seemed arrogant (sorry Andy!) by suggesting that high levels of radon would perhaps prevent humans from exploring certain passages, to me it said we should allow the environment to be altered so we can explore it for our own gain - hence usage of the words privilege/right..

Offline gus horsley

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« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2006, 09:13:38 am »
As far as blocking or unblocking entrances are concerned, I had a nasty experience in Ogof Pant-y-llyn in West Wales.  There were two entrances, one being a duck and squeeze below a large unstable boulder, the other a 15ft vertical drop into a low wet tube and muddy ascent into a chamber.  Being out of the way, the cave received very few visitors.  On the day of the incident I entered the cave by the "safe" entrance (the vertical drop) only to find that there was little oxygen in the crawl at the bottom.  I managed to exit ok but it created a brief panic because it was quite restricted.  The other entrance had been sealed by the unstable boulder and the draught had been disrupted, leading to a build-up of carbon dioxide in the other entrance.

Gus

Offline graham

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« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2006, 10:10:02 am »
Quote from: "c**tplaces"
I think the planet would do just fine if we stoped poking and fidding with it with our arrogant idea that we have damaged the planet.

As someone more famous said 'the planet is fine, its us who are f%$ked'.

I'd prefer much less fidding going on, like I disaggree with 'woodland managment' what a crock of poo. Woods dont need managment, they need to be left, and used. What ever you do, open a cave, close a cave you have changed something and the weaker will die, a process that made us today. Too much thinking going on, just take your rubbish home but dont use a street bin as street bins are not for that kind of rubbish.


Woods don't need managing????????????? WTF are you talking about? There is virtually no woodland in the British Isles (and absolutely none in England) that has not been "managed" by man at some point. Our entire landscape is the result of man's interference and anyone who thinks differently clearly has not studied the subject.
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Offline AndyF

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« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2006, 10:57:01 am »
Quote from: "graham"
Quote from: "c**tplaces"
I think the planet would do just fine if we stoped poking and fidding with it with our arrogant idea that we have damaged the planet.

As someone more famous said 'the planet is fine, its us who are f%$ked'.

I'd prefer much less fidding going on, like I disaggree with 'woodland managment' what a crock of poo. Woods dont need managment, they need to be left, and used. What ever you do, open a cave, close a cave you have changed something and the weaker will die, a process that made us today. Too much thinking going on, just take your rubbish home but dont use a street bin as street bins are not for that kind of rubbish.


Woods don't need managing????????????? WTF are you talking about? There is virtually no woodland in the British Isles (and absolutely none in England) that has not been "managed" by man at some point. Our entire landscape is the result of man's interference and anyone who thinks differently clearly has not studied the subject.


I agree, of course woods now need managing. If not they got to pot, overgrown, straggly trees - a right mess. How come it didn't need it in the past? Well before man came along there were things in the forest that helped keep a balance. Wild boar grubbed up the forest floors, stopping overgrow, deer roamed free dropping manure and eating vegetaion below a certain level, red squirrels worked in the treetops. Man yes MAN has scr****d all that up, so now we have to do the work that these creatures once did. Unless we do the balance goes wrong and woods turn into wildlife unfriendly jungles.
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