progress report 25.10.2022, by Andi Smith

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progress report 25.10.2022, by Andi Smith

Post by David Gibson » Sat 29 Oct 2022 11:37

British Cave Monitoring Centre progress report 25.10.2022 - Andi Smith
posted for Andi Smith by David Gibson

Since the last progress report in 2021 the British Cave Monitoring Centre (BCMC) has been making
steady progress, although still has less student projects than had been hoped, probably an outcome
of universities getting to a new normal post COVID. The cave logging equipment has been
maintained throughout the year and whilst a recent trip has found some issues that need sorting, in
the main logging has been constant through the year. The soil temperature logging station has been
re-instated and is now giving good readings. The in cave Vaisala CO2 probe has been removed and
issues with incorrect voltage readback are being investigated. Since Alan’s retirement as cave
manager Robin has been helping with BCSC issues meaning that many battery change issues have
been sorted quickly.

Currently there are a number of water collection sites in the cave to support work being undertaken
by Dr Mike Rogerson (University of Northumbria) and this geochemical data will be made available
for use by the BCSC open access, as will rainfall collection data from a rainfall sampling site. This data
is still in production and requires adding to the website once it is complete. There has been one
student project published in 2022 from Lancaster University (Paula Garbin) and the work by a joint
BGS, St Andrews University and Lancaster University team working on microbial research with the
help of a CSTRF grant has also been published. Also published in 2022 was work by Matt Rowberry
and John Gunn on the atmospheric anomalies associated with the Tonga eruption.

Recent efforts have been made to promote student usership of the cave including the creation of a
mailing list and promotional flyer that has gone out to many active cave science
academics within the UK. We have had a couple of responses from this email but sadly mostly
previous users rather than new ones. A new poster highlighting the BCSC has now gone on display in
Pooles Cavern visitor centre to help give members of the public an idea of the science we are
undertaking and the role of the BCSC.

Work published in 2022
  • Shen, J., Smith, A.C., Barnett, M. J., Morgan, A, Wynn, P. M., 2022. Distinct Microbial Communities in
    the Soils, Waters, and Speleothems of a Hyperalkaline Cave System. Journal of Geophysical
    Research: Biogeosciences, 127 (9), e2022JG006866.
  • Garbin, P. 2022. Investigation of microclimatic change in Poole's Cavern following the impact of the
    COVID-19 lockdown. Undergraduate Thesis, Lancaster University.
  • Rowberry, M., Gunn, J., 2022. Atmospheric pressure anomalies at the British Cave Science Centre
    triggered by catastrophic volcanic eruption in Tonga on 15 January 2022. Cave and Karst Science, 49
    (1), 14-18.
Blogs published in 2022
  • Discovering life in inhospitable cave environments: new findings from Pooles Cavern. Dr Andi Smith
  • What is the true impact of visitors on cave climate? Dr Matt Rowberry (14.2.22)