La Pilita sinkhole, Sistema Zacaton
This sinkhole is one of the most interesting features in the unique Sistema Zacatón karst field.
Map of the site
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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 meters 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 the north-south direction and 90 m wide in the 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 a pleasant meadow.
Walls below the water level resemble the formations usually formed by hot mineralized 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 the smell of rotten eggs around this sinkhole.
- Marcus Gary, Sistema Zacatón, research homepage. Accessed in the 23rd June 2010
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This book illustrates the diversity of hypogene speleogenetic processes and void-conduit patterns depending on variations of the geological environments by presenting regional and cave-specific case studies. The cases include both well-known and newly recognized hypogene karst regions and caves of the world. They all focus on geological, hydrogeological, geodynamical, and evolutionary contexts of hypogene speleogenesis.
The Encyclopedia of Caves and Karst Science contains 350 alphabetically arranged entries. The topics include cave and karst geoscience, cave archaeology and human use of caves, art in caves, hydrology and groundwater, cave and karst history, and conservation and management. The Encyclopedia is extensively illustrated with photographs, maps, diagrams, and tables, and has thematic content lists and a comprehensive index to facilitate searching and browsing.