Assesment of natural and antropogenic processes in micrometeorology of Postojna cave system by numerical models and modern methods of data aquisition and transfer

applied research project
Basic Info


Postojna cave is one of the World's most prominent show caves, visited by over 500,000 tourists a year, 90 % of them from the abroad. Sustainable management is a big challenge in show caves. While direct physical impact of the touristic infrastructure on cave environment can be relatively easily assessed, the assessment of indirect impacts of tourism is a difficult task. Tourism is changing the cave climate, which has a fundamental role in many natural processes in cave and is a crucial factor of the cave ecosystem. However, an in-depth understanding of cave microclimate and assessment of potential impact of tourism, can only be based on good numerical models, verified and validated by modern monitoring system. The modelling will be done on two levels. Basic models in simple geometries will be developed and applied to explore interaction between the outside and cave atmosphere. These models will help us understanding  the physics behind the more complex cave climate model of Postojna cave. Microclimatic model of Postojna cave system will be based upon Ventsim Visual, which is basically a mine ventilation modelling environment, but contains all the necessary physics for simulating natural ventilation in caves: atmospheric thermodynamics, compressible flow in confined spaces, heat exchange between atmosphere and surrounding rock strata, advective transport of gasses and dust. The complex geometry of cave system, and the fact that all cave maps are insufficient, presents a big challenge in model development. Time dependent boundary conditions of an outside atmosphere will be monitored, and forecasted by MEIS group with the WRF meteorological model in high locally spatial resolution.

Postojnska jama
cave climate