Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 477–487 | Cite as

PCO2 variations of cave air and cave water in a subtropical cave, SW China

  • Junbing PuEmail author
  • Aoyu Wang
  • Jianjun Yin
  • Licheng Shen
  • Daoxian Yuan
Original Article


Cave CO2 is an important part of the carbon cycle in a karst system. From 2008 to 2009 the partial pressure of CO2 (PCO2) of the cave air and cave water (cave stream and dripwater) in Xueyu Cave was studied. The PCO2 for cave air and cave water over two years showed that CO2 concentrations vary seasonally in all field sites, with higher CO2 concentrations in the wet season and lower concentrations in the dry season. These seasonal CO2 variations of cave air and cave water are attributed to seasonally variable soil CO2 production that is controlled by outside temperature fluctuations. Cave ventilation controls synchronous sharp variations of PCO2 from wet season to dry season or dry season to wet season in cave water and cave air. In the wet season, there were no obvious spatial differences of mean PCO2 in cave stream and cave air from upstream to downstream cave. Conversely, there were significant spatial differences of mean PCO2 in cave stream and cave air from upstream to downstream cave in the dry season because of cave ventilation. Mean dripwater PCO2 in D1 site where near cave entrance is much higher than that of the D2 and D3 sites where located in inner cave because D1 has a shorter flowpath from cave ceiling to soda-straw tip and lesser CO2 degassing along the flowpath. Further work in Xueyu Cave needs to clarify the quantitative relationship of CO2 cycle between cave air CO2 and cave water and focus on the influence of CO2 cycle on speleothem form.


PCO2 Cave stream Cave dripwater Cave air Seasonal variations Spatial variations 



We especially thank Miss Erin Lynch for her valuable comments and text editing, which greatly improved the original manuscript. Financial support for this research was provided by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NOs. 41572234, 41202185), the Special Fund for Basic Scientific Research of Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (NO. YYWF201636), the Key Research and Development Fund of Ministry of Science and Technology of China (NO. 2016YFC0502501), the Guangxi Natural Science Foundation (2016GXNSFCA380002), and the Geological Survey Project of CGS (DD20160305-03). Thanks are given to Shangquan Xu, Yuchuan Sun for their help with field sampling and in the laboratory.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junbing Pu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aoyu Wang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jianjun Yin
    • 1
  • Licheng Shen
    • 2
  • Daoxian Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Karst DynamicsMLR and Guangxi, Institute of Karst Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological SciencesGuilinChina
  2. 2.School of Geography SciencesSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Sichuan Earthquake AdministrationChengduChina

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