Date of Graduation

12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Matthew D. Covington

Committee Member

Van Brahana

Second Committee Member

Ralph Davis

Abstract

Dissolved concentrations of CO2 in a karst aquifer are a major control on calcite dissolutional processes, as CO2 combines chemically with water to form carbonic acid. As increasing amounts of CO2 are added to the system, greater resultant water aggressivity generates greater rates of dissolution. Spatial and temporal variations in carbon flux through the system may occur over a range of time scales, and high-resolution data collection is needed to truly understand and characterize such variability. Continuous CO2 monitoring in War Eagle Cavern, Arkansas, will suggest a number of influential parameters with varying degrees of importance throughout an annual cycle. Potential factors include: patterns of air flow reversals driven by seasonal temperature changes; precipitation and the effects of seasonality, rate, and antecedent conditions; and the release of CO2 through organic decay of guano deposits from a colony of approximately 75,000 to 100,000 gray bats (Myotis grisescens).

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