Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 28 Number 2: 55-69 - April 1966

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Barometric Wind in Wind and Jewel Caves, South Dakota
Herbert W. Conn


Strong winds blow in and out of Wind and Jewel Caves in South Dakota's Black Hills. Altough thought to be barometrically caused, they are stronger than winds of this origin in other caves. The theory of barometric wind in a one-entrance cave is explored. Expressions for calculating wind flow from the barometric records are found for two simple cave forms, the balloon-shaped cave and the tube-shaped cave. A device for recording cave wind velocity was developed, and wind and air pressure measurements were taken over periods of 11 to 16 days at the entrances to both caves. Correlation of the measured and calculated wind supports the barometric theory for these caves, as opposed to other theories such as the chimney effect. From the data, cave volume can be estimated and other characteristics of the caves deduced.

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