La Pilita sinkhole, Sistema Zacaton

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Rising DEPTHX robot out of La Pilita, Mexico. Travertine walls seen
Rising DEPTHX robot out of La Pilita. Travertine walls seen / Marc Airhart, Wikipedia, public domain

This sinkhole is one of the most interesting features in the unique Sistema Zacatón karst field.

La Pilita sinkhole seems to be comparatively small – diameter of waterbody at the surface is just some 20 – 35 m. But this deep blue pool with slightly acidic water is more than 120 metres deep!

Sinkhole in process of closing

At greater depth La Pilita becomes wider – at the depth of 45 m it is 120 m wide in north – south direction and 90 m wide in east – west direction.

It has not always been that – earlier La Pilita has been wide also at the surface level. This is testified by a wide travertine rim around the sinkhole. This plain travertine is covered with pleasant meadow.

Walls below the water level resemble the formations usually formed by hot mineralised springs. These walls are covered with bright red, pink and green microbial mats, often hanging down like stalactites.

Water in La Pilita is more than 31° C warm (the warmest of five central cenotes), it contains little dissolved oxygen. There is felt smell of rotten eggs around this sinkhole.

References

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

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La Pilita sinkhole, Sistema Zacaton 22.994214, -98.158778  La Pilita sinkhole, Sistema Zacaton

Coordinates: 22.9942 N 98.1588 W
Categories: Sinkholes, Lakes and streams
Values: Geology, Biology
Rank: 8
Address: North America, Mexico, Tamaulipas, southern part of the state, 12 km north-west from Aldama town
Alternate names: Poza La Pilita
Depth: < 120 m

Wonders of Mexico

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El Castillo pyramid, Chichen Itza / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Few countries of the world can offer such array of unique and astounding attractions as Mexico.

Area of this country was cradle of several highly developed indigenous civilizations and some regions in the country are dotted with remnants of ancient cities with temples, palaces and pyramids.

Sinkholes

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World’s deepest sinkhole – Xiaozhai tiankeng, with tourist route visible / Brookqi, Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Category includes outstanding sinkholes – large natural depressions or holes, which for most part represent collapsed caves.

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