Caves can be difficult to navigate and often require physical modification to allow easy access for visitors. Single entrance caves double
the access impact of each visitor. Visitors in tourist caves have direct physical effects such as the introduction of concrete and steel
structures; transport of mud, dust, and nutrients; installation of lights and the exhalation of water vapour and carbon dioxide into the
air. Indirect physical effects include alteration of the microclimate, both through physical modifications that change the ventilation
regime and through the presence of visitors leading to changes in temperature, humidity and CO2 within the cave environment.
Anthropomorphic changes to cave physical environments to aid access or to reduce backtracking can have adverse effects on the internal
microclimate of cave systems with subsequent changes to the cave environment affecting the quality of decorations and cave art and the
diversity of cave fauna. Although often stated that caves operate at or near a constant temperature, closer examination indicates that
cave temperatures are neither static nor constant. The degree of variation depends largely on the structure and physical characteristics of
the cave. Air temperature and humidity gradients between the inside and outside cave environment can result in air density differences,
which create airflow, which will in turn affect the cave microclimate. As part of the development of a management framework for King
Solomons Cave, Tasmania, a study of the microclimate was carried out on behalf of Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. Analysis of
the variables showed significant differences in air temperature within each site and between sites. These differences range from 4 1C
variation at one site to 0 1C at another site. The data were used to model potential airflow between the cave and the external environment.
Results indicate that part of the cave is dominated by airflow between the chimney and the cave entrance leading to microclimatic
fluctuations, while stable climatic conditions occur at the end of the cave. Future management strategies that propose a passage from the
chamber to the surface via the current end zone would create a potential for airflow induced microclimatic change, leading to a change in
both the temperature and moisture regimes, necessitating the construction of an airtight double door system.