Archive for exploration

Longest underwater cave system in North America discovered in Florida

They say space is the final frontier, and it probably is. However, there is a frontier to explore underneath the earth as well, and cave divers recently discovered a link in Florida’s underwater system of caves that turns out to be the longest underwater cave system in North America!

Right under our feet.

In the Tallahassee area, Leon Sinks and Wakulla Springs are connected, according to this article in the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Cave divers recently found a tunnel that connects the two, and at 28 miles long, that makes this system the longest in our continent. This is huge! (The longest was previously thought to be at Manatee Springs. Another long system is at Peacock Springs.) Next, the divers hope to find a connection from Wakulla Springs to the Gulf of Mexico, showing this system is even larger.

Because Leon Sinks and Wakulla Springs are connected, it shows the importance of protecting underground water sources from contamination at the surface, the article points out.

Many people have thought groundwater could be affected by what happens above ground, yet pollution continued. There had been an ongoing debate over a spray field near Wakulla Springs that was irrigated with treated wastewater. Many people were concerned the wastewater would contaminate the springs. In other parts of Florida, sewage is treated and pumped directly into the ground as a means of disposal, despite many residents’ objections over concerns for water quality.

Now we have a proof of a connection between an above-ground area to an underwater cave leading to a spring.


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