Consider a Cylindrical Cave: A Physicist's View of Cave and Karst Science

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Karst, Speleology, Physics, Mathematical modeling, Cave meteorology, Hydrology, Speleogenesis


We review the current understanding of the physics of caves and karst. Our review focuses on research that has used simple physically based models to improve understanding of processes that occur in karst. The topics we cover include cave atmosphere dynamics, transport within karst conduits, and models of speleogenesis and related processes. We highlight recent advances in these subjects and attempt to identify promising areas for future work. In our judgment, many of the most intriguing open questions relate to the interactions between these three groups of processes.


Principal Investigator: Matthew Covington

Acknowledgements: M.D.C. and M.P. acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation under grant no. 1226903, M.P. acknowledges support of the Slovenian Research Agency through Research Programme P2-0001.