The loggers provide continuous data at the first permanent cave monitoring centre in the UK.
The British Cave Research Association (BCRA) is a registered
charity whose object is to promote the study of caves and
associated phenomena. The BCRA has established the British Cave
Monitoring Centre (BCMC) at Poole's Cavern in conjunction with the
Buxton Civic Association (BCA), another charity and owner of the
Cavern. With its extensive and impressive limestone caves, Poole's Cavern is
a major regional attraction, popular with the general public and
also school groups.
The goal of Project is to implement a long term cave climate and
environmental monitoring station, with the data used as part of
cave related scientific studies. It is the only site of its type in
Great Britain and one of only a handful throughout Europe. It is
intended that the site will become a focus for cave science and
will promote cave science among young researchers. The site has
already been used in a few studies such as these, but with the
establishment of a permanent monitoring station the number of
scientists able to investigate cave based phenomena will increase
and the quality of science improve. The scope of school visits can
also be expanded in to the maths and science curriculum for
example, taking advantage of the availability of historical and
long term data. In addition, the plan is to allow remote data
access to interested parties. Remote data access will also provide
a valuable resource in the Visitor Centre, educating visitors about
the unique environment within the caves.
The BCMC Project has been initiated by BCRA Chairman Professor
John Gunn from the School of Geography, Earth & Environmental
Sciences at the University of Birmingham and will be run by Dr
Andrew Smith, Isotope Geochemist at the British Geological Survey.
The BCRA approached Gemini Data Loggers to enquire about initially
installing a network of permanent temperature, relative humidity
and drip count data loggers inside the cave that could be accessed
remotely via the internet.
To fulfil the requirement for continuous and remote data access,
and to meet the physical challenges of the cave's layout and
environment, robust, waterproof Plus Radio data loggers have
been installed throughout the cave system. Temperature data is sent
automatically for viewing on a PC via a receiver placed in a small
office outside the cave entrance. One of the Plus Radio data
loggers has been connected to a Driptych Stalagmate sensor to count drips, and
an outdoor Plus Radio temp/RH
logger is also part of the system. The radio data loggers are
carefully positioned to ensure communication is maintained with the
receiver, however in the event of a temporary obstruction, the
loggers will record locally until connection with the receiver can
Future plans for the BCMC include adding sensors to record air
movement, atmospheric pressure, carbon dioxide and radon.
Gemini Data Loggers is delighted to have been involved in the
setting up of this Project which is expected to become a focus for
cave science within Britain and beyond. The Plus Radio data loggers are
ideally suited to withstand the harsh, damp conditions within the
cave and provide a robust system to ensure the integrity of the
data at all times.