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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2018-18
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
25 Apr 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).
Pipes to Earth's subsurface: The role of atmospheric conditions in controlling air transport through boreholes and shafts
Elad Levintal1, Nadav G. Lensky2, Amit Mushkin3, and Noam Weisbrod1 1Environmental Hydrology and Microbiology, The Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben - Gurion University of the Negev, Midreshet Ben - Gurion 8499000, Israel
2Geological Survey of Israel, Jerusalem 9 550161, Israel
3Department of Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98105 , USA
Abstract. Understanding air exchange dynamics between underground cavities (e.g., caves, mines, boreholes, etc.) and the atmosphere is significant for the exploration of gas transport across the Earth-atmosphere interface. Here, we investigated the role of atmospheric conditions in air transport inside boreholes through in-situ observations. Three geometries were explored: (1) a narrow and deep shaft (0.1 m and 27 m, respectively), ending in a large underground cavity; (2) the same shaft after the pipe was lowered and separated from the cavity; and (3) a deep large-diameter borehole (3.4 m and 59 m, respectively). Absolute humidity was found to be a reliable proxy for distinguishing between atmospheric and cavity air masses and thus to explore air transport through the three geometries. Airflow directions in the first two narrow-diameter geometries were found to be driven by changes in barometric pressure whereas airflow in the large-diameter geometry was correlated primarily to the diurnal cycles of ambient atmospheric temperature. High CO2 concentrations (~ 2000 ppm) were found in all three geometries, which can indicate that the airflow to the atmosphere is also significant to the investigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
Citation: Levintal, E., Lensky, N. G., Mushkin, A., and Weisbrod, N.: Pipes to Earth's subsurface: The role of atmospheric conditions in controlling air transport through boreholes and shafts, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2018-18, in review, 2018.
Elad Levintal et al.
Elad Levintal et al.
Elad Levintal et al.

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