This is the fruit of our labor. Maps of the Yucatan Peninsula's underground rivers help us understand where the vital fresh water resources originate, and where they exit into the sea. The cave systems have wide ranging effects on the ecosystem of the jungle and mangrove out to the coral reefs in the sea. Knowing where the major flows of water are directed can help determine where dumps, septic systems and major developments can occur with the least amount of damage to this fragile ecosystem.
This map represents all exploration as of the end of December 1999. In all 232,792 feet (44 miles, 70,000 meters, 70 kilometers) has been surveyed since exploration began in May 1998. There are approximately 44 cenotes that are interconnected and 3 fresh water exits into the Caribbean Sea. It is possible that a diver could enter from the ocean and swim 2.5 miles into the jungle without ever seeing the light of day!
Mapping is done in the field as we explore using both hand drafted techniques and computer modeling, the map is then imported into Adobe Illustrator and what you see before you is created.
Average depth of the system is 45-50 feet (16 meters).
Maximum depth encountered 110 feet (33 meters).
Halocline (saltwater/freshwater interface) is found on average at a depth of 40 feet (13 meters).
Longest Penetration dive upstream (from Cenote Ya'ax Kai to Jigsaw Reach) 10,200 feet one way, 6 hour bottom time.
Longest penetration dive downstream (from Cenote Del Mar to Orion Line) 14,200 feet one way, 8 hour bottom time.
NOTE: This map is protected under International Copyright Laws. It has taken us considerable time and effort to compile the data necessary to make it. Copies of the map are available for sale if you wish to purchase one. All proceeds will help pay for future maps and projects.
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© G.E.O. Grupo de Exploración Ox Bel Ha
Dedicated to the continued exploration of the world's largest underwater cave system.
Cave diving in cenotes and underground rivers in the Yucatan Peninsula,
Mayan Riviera, Quintana Roo, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Mexico