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https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-751
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-751
19 Apr 2024
 | 19 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Brief communication: Stalagmite damage by cave-ice flow quantitatively assessed by fluid-structure-interaction simulations

Alexander H. Jarosch, Paul Hofer, and Christoph Spötl

Abstract. Mechanical damage to stalagmites is commonly observed in mid-latitude caves. Former studies identified thermoelastic ice expansion as a plausible mechanism for such damage. This study builds on these findings and investigates the role of ice flow along the cave bed as a possible second mechanism for stalagmite damage. Utilizing fluid-structure interaction models based on the finite element method, forces created by ice flow are simulated for different stalagmite geometries. The resulting effects of such forces on the structural integrity of stalagmites are analyzed and presented. Our results suggest that structural failure of stalagmites caused by ice flow is possible, albeit unlikely.

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Alexander H. Jarosch, Paul Hofer, and Christoph Spötl

Status: open (until 01 Jul 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-751', Anonymous Referee #1, 21 May 2024 reply
Alexander H. Jarosch, Paul Hofer, and Christoph Spötl
Alexander H. Jarosch, Paul Hofer, and Christoph Spötl

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Short summary
Mechanical damage to stalagmites is commonly observed in mid-latitude caves. In this study we investigate ice flow along the cave bed as a possible mechanism for stalagmite damage. Utilizing models which simulate forces created by ice flow we study the structural integrity of different stalagmite geometries. Our results suggest that structural failure of stalagmites caused by ice flow is possible, albeit unlikely.