Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Degree Type

Master of Science


Around two centuries ago, changes were made to the entrances of Mammoth Cave and its passages. Today the Historic Entrance to Mammoth Cave is enlarged and the passage just beyond the entrance known as Houchins' Narrows has been cleared of rubble and filled with sediments. These enlargements have resulted in an increase in airflow throughout the Historic Section of the cave causing environmental conditions such as air temperature and airflow to fluctuate. These fluctuations have negatively impacted inhabitants and contents of the cave system. To restore natural conditions within the cave, Science and Resource Management personnel at Mammoth Cave National Park have been collecting large data sets on atmospheric conditions inside the cave. The author has access to data from eight sites within the cave. In this thesis, the author provides a brief introduction to the effects of the increase in airflow as well as a short discussion of the data gathered by Science and Resource Management. The author then proposes a natural cause for airflow (i.e., convection) in Mammoth Cave, constructs empirical models with this as the underlying driving force, and uses atmospheric data to verify the validity of the claim of convection as the force driving airflow in Mammoth Cave. Data from the site in Houchins' Narrows is used to predict atmospheric data at other locations in the cave. The author concludes this thesis with time series analysis on data from Houchins' Narrows.


Earth Sciences | Mathematics