Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 22 Part 1: 92-100 - January 1960

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Meteorological Observations in Martens Cave, West Virginia
William E. Davies


Measurements of flow and temperature of air and water in Martens Cave near Lobelia, West Virginia were made from 1948 to 1960. The main passage of Martens Cave, 800 feet long, extends through a low hill. Air temperature in this part of the cave reflects seasonal variation in surface temperature with a slight time lag. The highest temperature in the main passage is 53°F which is the same as the mean annual surface temperature; the coldest is 27°F. In other parts of the cave temperatures are 49° to 53°F throughout the year. The stream flowing through the main passage loses heat at a rate of 2°F per hundred feet in the cave in summer to a stable temperature of 53°F. In winter it gains very little heat except from a small side stream which joins it 500 feet inside the cave causing a temperature rise of 2°F. In the rocks enclosing the cave there is a net yearly heat gain of about 7,000,000 BTU.

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