Files

Download

Download Full Text (972 KB)

Publisher

British Cave Research Association

Publication Date

January 2016

Abstract

Recent archaeological research has discovered well preserved historic and pre-Columbian art covering numerous walls inside caves on Mona Island. Human visits can pose a serious threat to the long term conservation of these fragile engravings and paintings by increasing condensation corrosion rates. The quantification of environmental changes to caves related to human visitation is relevant for prediction of condensation corrosion processes and cave site management policies. This study addresses the threat of increased condensation corrosion to cave art. Data collected in two caves show changes in cave air temperature (T), relative humidity (RH) and CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) caused by visitation. Based on the environmental observations, cave air exchange times and condensation corrosion rates of different visitor group sizes were quantified. The corrosion rates increase with the number of visitors and also depend on the chamber ventilation characteristics. Periods of visitation might be the only times when condensation corrosion can occur, especially in cave chambers distant from the cave entrance. This evidence points out the need to develop a conservation management plan that takes account of visitation levels to ensure preservation for future generations.

Keywords

Caves, Rock paintings, North and Central America, United States, Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Mona, Isla

Description

1 online resource

Subject: topical

Caves; Rock paintings

Subject: geographic

North and Central America; United States; Puerto Rico; Mayagüez; Mona, Isla

Type

Article

Genre

serial

Identifier

K26-05458

Share

COinS