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Use of radon and CO2 for the identification and analysis of short-term fluctuations in the ventilation of the polychrome room Inside the altamira cave

Abstract: A study is presented on rapid episodes of air exchange in the Polychrome Room of the Altamira Cave (Cantabria, Spain) using continuous monitoring of radon and CO2 tracer gases, as well as environmental parameters such as internal and external air temperature. For this, criteria have been developed to carry out an inventory of these types of events during the 2015-2020 period. Most of the degassing-recharging events occur over several hours or days, especially during spring and autumn. This means that the room can be significantly ventilated during these short periods of time, posing an exchange of energy and matter with potential impact in the preservation of the rock art present inside. In addition, the hypothesis that temperature gradients between the internal and external atmosphere is one of the main factors that induces degassing has been tested. To this end, correlation analisis has been carried out between the different magnitudes involved in this study, such as radon and CO2 concentrations, and air temperature gradients. A total of 37 degassing-recharging events have been analyzed for the 5 year studied period. The distribution of the duration of the events have been described, as well as that of the correlations between the degassing and recharge stages of each event, showing significant values of r coefficients for the correlation with temperature gradients between the internal and external atmosphere.

 Authorship: Sainz C., Fábrega J., Rábago D., Celaya S., Fernandez A., Fuente I., Fernandez E., Quindos J., Arteche J.L., Quindos L.,

 Fuente: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2022, 19(6), 3662

 Publisher: MDPI

 Year of publication: 2022

 No. of pages: 11

 Publication type: Article

 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19063662

 ISSN: 1661-7827,1660-4601

 Publication Url: https:// doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063662