Cenote Azufrosa and La Cristalina, Sistema Zacatón

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 22.9932 N -98.1561 W
No:111        (list of all attractions)
Category:Sinkholes, Springs, Lakes, bays and streams
Values:Geology, Biology
Address:North America, Mexico, Tamaulipas, southern part of the state, 12 km north-west from Aldama town
Alternate names:Poza Azufroza, Posa Asufrosa, La Azufrosa
Depth:> 50 m

This unusual system of geological features consists of Cenote Azufrosa - large sinkhole with double bottom and La Cristalina - cave with spring. These natural wonders belong to the unique karst system of Sistema Zacatón.

Sistema Zacatón is area with incredible characteristics unparalleled in the world. In total area contains some 20 unusual features - sinkholes, caves, springs created by deep groundwater heated by volcanic processes. Karstification processes here continue today as well - acidic groundwater continues to strip away the limestone and deposits it in unusual travertine formations.

Cenote Azufrosa

Cenote Azufrosa at the first moment seems to be just a shallow pool of light blue colored water. Water in this pool though is highly sulfurous, with the characteristic odour of rotten eggs. Sulfur here precipitates and floats on the surface of water. Water of this lake discolors and tarnishes metals.

Geophysical research shows that the bottom of this pool is far from usual- it is a travertine lid with deep, isolated waterbody below it.

La Cristalina

At the southern rim of this cenote is located La Cristalina - unusual cave with deep blue water in it. This enormous spring has been dived up to 50 m depth in 1990. Sometimes it is considered to be a discharge of the nearby Las Quarteles caves.

Temperature of water in the spring is 30° C.


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  1. Marcus Gary, Sistema Zacatón, research homepage. Accessed in the 23rd June 2010

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