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Världens största undervattensgrottsystem

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Världens största undervattensgrottsystem heter numera Sac Actun efter det att utforskarteamet GMA har lyckats koppla ihop Sac Actun (tidigare #2) och Dos Ojos (tidigare #4).

Snapshot nedan från teamets pressrelease.



The largest flooded cave in the world is part of the Great Mayan Aquifer

- The largest flooded cave in the world, has been discovered in Quintana Roo, México the length of the cave is 347 kilometers, (some 220 miles)
- The underwater exploration team of the Great Maya Aquifer, connectrd two of the largest flooded cave systems in the world, and had documented, a portentous cave.

January 12, 2018. Cancún, Quintana Roo | The Underwater Exploration Group of the Great Maya Aquifer Project (GAM), managed to connect this past Wednesday, January 10, two of the largest flooded cavern systems on Earth, which had become the largest flooded cave in the world.
The team achieved - after an intense 10-month working season - the connection of two of the world's largest flooded cave systems, known as Sac Actun and Dos Ojos in Tulum, Quintana Roo.

The exploration director of the GREAT MAYA AQUIFER project, Robert Schmittner and a team of cave divers, (Marty O Farrell, Jim Josiak and Sev Regehr), began this phase of the project in March 2017; Although, Schmittner has been looking for this connection for 14 years and adding new tunnels and galleries to this water labyrinth.

Until a couple of days ago, the Ox Bel Ha System, located south of Tulum, was the longest with 270 kilometers; the Sac Actun System, located northeast of Tulum, had 263 km and was in second place in extension. The third on the list is the KooX Baal System with 93 km and the fourth was the Dos Ojos System, which had 84 km; the latter is now added to the Sac Actun System, as a result of this intensive exploration.

According to the rules of caving, when two cave systems are connected, the largest cave absorbs the smallest, so the name of the latter disappears. Thus, the Sac Actun System is now considered the largest in the world, with a length of 347 kilometers of flooded cave, the distance between Cancun and Chetumal, approximately. Therefore, the name of the “SISTEMA DOS OJOS” ceases to exist.

Now the goal is to connect Sac Actun with the other three underwater cave systems, which are very close to each other, and that are located in the municipality of Tulum.

According to the Quintana Roo Speleological Survey, only in the north of Quintana Roo there are 358 submerged cave systems, which represent about 1400 km of flooded passages of fresh water.

In addition, and as a result of this search, the GAM exploration group has registered another important system with a length of 18 km called "The Mother of all Cenotes" whose maximum depth is 20 meters and is located north of Sac Actun. The Mother of All Cenotes, is AT the moment an individual system but the GAM team is very close to connecting it with the Sac Actun System, too.

"This is an effort of more than 20 years, to travel hundreds of kilometers of caves submerged in Quintana Roo mainly, of which I had dedicated 14 years to explore this monstrous Sac Actun System; now everyone's job is to conserve it, "says Robert Schmittner.

These hundreds of kilometers of underground passages have become true tunnels of time and protect, among other things, the remote and recent history of Quintana Roo.

"This immense cave represents the most important submerged archaeological site in the world, as it has more than a hundred archaeological contexts. Along this system, we had documented evidence of the first settlers of America, as well as extinct fauna and, of course, the Mayan culture. says Guillermo de Anda, researcher at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and Director of the Great Maya Aquifer Project.

This finding is also very valuable, because this system supports a great biodiversity that live thanks to this huge reserve of fresh water. This aquifer, had given life to this region of the Yucatan Peninsula, from ancestral times, to the present day .

With this and other efforts of the GAM, we seek to better understand the underground of the Yucatan peninsula, its biodiversity and the relationship of the humans with these ancestral waters, with the aim of achieving an adequate use of the natural resources that depend on this aquifer.

The next phase of this ambitious project includes the analysis of the water quality of the whole Sac Actun System, as well as the study of the biodiversity that directly depends on this aquifer, and of course its adequate conservation; in addition to giving continuity to the mapping and detailed record of submerged archaeological contexts.

Tulum has become the mecca of cave diving on the planet, underwater explorers from different latitudes, have devoted much of their lives to explore the bowels of the earth. Among them Bil Phillips, pioneer of the exploration of the Mayan aquifer, who founded together with James Coke, the Quintana Roo Speleological Survey, a database with detailed maps of these complex systems and that today are a valuable tool to understand and protect the aquifer .

Bil Phillips explored this wonderful underwater world until the last days of his life. For more than 40 years he devoted himself to understand the aquifer through the investigation of these ancestral waters. The GAM team dedicates this important and valuable achievement to Bil Phillips, who was the underwater cartographer of the project and who passed away in November 2017.

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Karla Ortega
Gran Acuífero Maya


Jonas Pavletic
Jonas Pavletic 2018-01-17 19:53:22
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Huvudinlägg Världens största undervattensgrottsystem Jonas Pavletic 2018-01-17 19:53
svara Sv: Världens största undervattensgrottsystemAnders Palm2018-01-18 12:07
svara Sv: Sv: Världens största undervattensgrottsystemPeter Blomqvist2018-01-19 22:01
svara Sv: Världens största undervattensgrottsystemPaul Stellmach2018-01-18 14:51


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