A prototype mass spectrometer for in situ analysis of cave atmospheres


Material Information

A prototype mass spectrometer for in situ analysis of cave atmospheres
Series Title:
Review of Scientific Instruments
Patrick, Edward L.
Mandt, Kathleen E.
Mitchell, Evelynn J.
Mitchell, Joseph N.
Younkin, Kerri N.
Seifert, Clarissa M.
Williams, Gregg C.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Hydrogeologic Activity ( local )
In Situ ( local )
Caves ( local )
Wns ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


Research in cave environments has many applications: studying local hydrogeologic activity, paleoclimate studies, analyzing white nose syndrome in bat populations, analogs for underground atmospheres in mining facilities, carbon sequestration efforts, and terrestrial analogs for planetary caves. The atmospheres of many caves contain tracers of current geological and biological activity, but up to this point, in situ studies have been limited to sensors that monitor individual components of the cave atmosphere. A prototype cave mass spectrometer system was assembled from commercial off-the-shelf parts to conduct surveys of atmospheric compositions inside four local Texas caves and to perform atmospheric analysis of two aquifer wellheads to a depth of 60 m. We found increased levels of CO2 in all caves and, surprisingly, increased levels of O2 in Bracken Bat Cave. Aquifer wellhead measurements showed indications of methane, other hydrocarbons, and other constituents not anticipated.
Original Version:
Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 83 (2012-10).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



Download Options


No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.