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Cenotes of the Yucatan

Author Xeres
#1 | Posted: 12 Aug 2008 09:49 
Full name of site: Cenotes of the Yucatan
Country: Mexico
Short description of site (also include multiple locations if applicable): The cenotes of the Yucatan are sinkholes filled water, that connect to underground aquafiers which in turn connect to the sea. This creates a region where the heavy salt water is sitting below the lighter fresh water, changing in only a few meters: a rare phenomenon in nature. The cenotes are an important example of underground water erosion. Many types of animals and plants make their homes in the cenotes, including some endemic species: such as blind fish and blind crabs. The cenotes have cultural importance to the Maya, and several of them are archaeological sites.
Criteria (cultural, natural, mixed): VIII, X
Outstanding universal value / comparative analysis: comparable to other karst formations, around the world, the cenotes are never the less, unique. the hydrology of the cenotes in which they are connected to the sea, is very rare. Also, the cenotes of the Yucatan provide the greatest concentration of large sinkholes in the world, and show a different aspect of karst formation, in that the dissolution of limestone creates holes instep of spikes (such as in South China Karst, Tsingy, Ect)

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 Cenotes of the Yucatan

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