Home PlanetYucaEnvironment Texas A&M University researchers map Cozumel cenotes

Texas A&M University researchers map Cozumel cenotes

by Yucatan Times
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They will define the physical, chemical, biological, fauna, extension, and depth characteristics of the cenotes.

Researchers from Texas A&M University arrived in Cozumel to carry out fieldwork to define the physical, chemical, biological, fauna, extension, and depth characteristics of the island’s cenotes.

One of the first to be explored and in which information has been collected is the one located in the Environmental Interpretation Park of the Ecology Subdirectorate, which has already been determined to have a length of at least double the 500 meters. that had been explored in the past, by Germán Yáñez Mendoza, head of the municipal agency.

Among the group of speleologists is the doctor in Marine Biology from Texas A&M, Fernando Calderón Gutiérrez, a researcher of Mexican origin and an old acquaintance on the island, who has explored these underground water deposits.

The scientist stressed that it is important from an environmental and biological perspective to know the island’s cenotes in depth since when one of these is destroyed, unique organisms in the entire known universe can be lost and extinct.

With the restart of cenote mapping, it will be possible to have information on whether there are more than 36 that were censused in 2023, whether they present contamination, or whether there is a risk of collapse due to anthropogenic activity, explained Gustavo González, member of the underwater census and monitoring team.

The explorer announced that organisms have been found in those underground waters that will be investigated and analyzed to find out if they are new species. The work began on Monday and seeks the conservation of these bodies of water and the organisms that live there, in case a building intended to be built on them collapses over time. “We still don’t know what size the cenote is and we are here precisely to understand where it goes and how deep it is,” he stated.

For his part, Dr. Fernando Calderón explained that there are two teams, one for mapping and another for biological and scientific exploration. He recalled that the Chu-Há cenote has been mapped in the past by people like Germán Yáñez and pointed out that to reach the point where there is a known line, it is necessary to dive for an hour and from there you can dive meters or more kilometers.

The Chu-Há well became relevant in April 2023, when it was the subject of the first immersions as part of a water quality study program on the island, promoted by the Yucatán Scientific Research Center (CICY), with which The 2021-2024 city council signed a collaboration agreement for the monitoring and study of water quality.

The results were only made known in a general way with quality levels from good to average, through a bulletin from the Social Communication Department dated May 25 of that year.

However, on June 5, during the presentation of the awards for “Environmental Merit Isla Cozumel” created by the mayor, it was she who announced in her speech that the monitoring carried out by the CICY researchers concluded that the Underground rivers are contaminated with human feces.

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