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Name: Natalie
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: HI
Country: USA
Date: Spring 2011


Question:
Is it possible for there to be free oxygen in an underwater cave? If it is, then how does it work?



Replies:
Yes it is possible as I have personally experienced.

If the cave roof rises to a level above the water, air dissolved in the water will slowly out gas until the water is at the same level at all places. A pocket of breathable air will form.

In many caves the roof dips below water level in one place but it above it on both sides. Think of a U shaped tube where the bottom of the U is blocked by water. This is called a siphon and I have passed through many of these to find breathable air on the other side.

R. W. "Bob" Avakian Oklahoma State Univ. Inst. of Technology



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