News

Carbon Dioxide Meter Installed at Kartchner

Howdy Everyone,

We successfully installed the carbon dioxide meter at Kartchner Caverns yesterday. Dr. Sarah Truebe has skills with zip ties. In A) we have already linked together several zip ties, tied them around a post outside of the entrance to Katchner and hung the meter on it. Dr. Truebe is preparing another linked zip tie to go around the meter. B) A successfully installed meter and two smiling scientists. CO2MeterComp

Housing

Howdy All,

Tonight witnessed the building of a field deployable housing for the carbon dioxide monitor that will be installed at Kartchner Caverns. Here is a picture during construction. I used a leatherman (front-center) to cut holes in the plastic housing (center) for the carbon dioxide monitor (left). I also added a picture hook on the back of the housing so it can be hung on a post (screwdriver front-center-right). After I finished cutting holes in the housing, I covered them with the air filter (back-center-left) and glued the filter to the housing with the loctite glue (right).

Housing

Ready For Kartchner

Hello Everyone,

The exciting news of the hour is that the carbon dioxide meter is now ready to be installed at Katchner Caverns.  The meter will be installed outside of the entrance of the cave to monitor changes in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere caused by cave breathing. In the figure below Dr. Wolfgang Fink is showing the custom battery pack we built for the meter and is pointing to a geologic map of Mars in the background. We plan to measure the composition of cave air near the entrance of Kartchner Caverns as a first step in measuring the composition of cave air on Mars.

WFinkCO2Mars

Links to recent articles

Hi Everyone,

The free downloads associated with the links to my recently published articles in Astrobiology and Earth and Planetary Science Letters have expired. I have replaced those links to those of the articles. The links to those articles can also be found here.

– KW

Webster KD, Drobniak A, Etiope G, Mastalerz M, Sauer PE, Schimmelmann A (2017). Subterranean karst environments as a global sink for atmospheric methane. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 485, 9-18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2017.12.025

Stelmach KB, Neveu M, Vick-Majors T, Mickol R, Chou L, Webster KD, Tilley M, Zacchei F, Escudero C, Flores Martinez C, Labrado A, Fernández E (2018). Secondary electrons as an energy source for life. Astrobiology, 18(1), 1-13. http://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2016.1510