Saturday, June 15, 2024

Playa sinkhole opens up a large cave beneath highway

A sinkhole that opened up on the highway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Quintana Roo, has exposed a large water-flooded cave filled with the fossils of ancient sea snails and rocks that date back to the Pleistocene era.

Speleologists, or cave explorers, used the Playa del Carmen sinkhole as a portal to enter the cave, which is approximately 60 meters long and eight meters deep.

In addition to 2 1/2-million-year-old sea snail fossils and old rocks, they found crustaceans, mollusks, shrimps and other living creatures in the cave’s crystal-clear water.

The members of the Mayab speleology club also completed studies to make a topographic map of the cave, which is located beneath a stretch of road that will be near the Playa del Carmen-Tulum section of the Maya Train railroad.

They dubbed one section of the cave “Snail’s Heaven” because of the large numbers of sea snail fossils adhered to its walls.

The sinkhole on the Playa-Tulum highway.
The sinkhole on the Playa-Tulum highway.

Roberto Rojo, a biologist and speleologist, said that the cave has conduits that allow water from the Caribbean sea to flow into the cave and vice versa. He said that filling in the sinkhole and thus closing off the portal to the cave would be “ecocide.”

Rojo and other experts are preparing a report that will detail the characteristics of the cave and provide recommendations for its conservation.

The Yucatán Peninsula has an elaborate aquifer system that includes thousands of natural sinkholes called cenotes.

Some experts have warned that construction of the Maya Train poses environmental risks to the region’s underground water networks as well as the long-term survival of the jaguar.

Construction of the US $8-billion project started this month and is scheduled for completion in late 2022.

Source: La Jornada (sp), Milenio (sp) 

Have something to say? Paid Subscribers get all access to make & read comments.
Two damaged SUVs after a car accident.

President-elect Sheinbaum unharmed after a deadly accident involving her motorcade

The crash killed an elderly woman and injured another person. No injuries were reported among Sheinbaum and her team.
Young fruit seller looks at his cell phone in Mexico City

Over 80% of Mexicans are now internet users, up 9.7 points from 2020

Connectivity has increased steadily in Mexico, particularly among the young, though there is still a digital divide between urban and rural areas.
A lake with low water levels in Toluca

Below-average rainfall worsens drought conditions as Mexico awaits summer rains

The country is in the grip of one of the worst droughts in the last decade, with half the usual amount of rain so far this year.