High Resolution CO2 Measurements to Better Understand Visitor Impact on Cave Water Quality

Primary Investigators

USGS Investigators: Karl Haase

NPS Investigators: Rebecca Weissinger

Project Details

Start Year: 2023

Category: Synoptic

2023 2024
$35,000 $35,000
Project Location

NPS Park: Timpanogos Cave NM

USGS Center:

States: UT

This study will provide better understanding about how natural processes and visitors inside the Timpanogos Cave National Monument (TICA) can cause the water chemistry inside the cave to change. The chemistry  of the water in the cave regulates formation growth through the formation of calcite mineral deposits. The concentration of CO2 in cave air can cause the water to become acidic, slowing or reversing formation growth. To achieve this understanding, the USGS will build several special CO2 gas sensors that will operate in the cave for a year, measuring CO2 on an hourly basis. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide information that can be used to better manage the cave resources at TICA.