Sistema Sac Actun

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Sistema Sac Actun

Postby chac » Feb 6, 2011 1:10 am

I would like to share a bit of great exploration news from Quintana Roo Mexico. Robert Schmittner connected Sistema Aktun Hu to the Nohoch Nah Chich region of Sistema Sac Actun. His team made this connection on 30 January 2011 to establish what could be interpreted as the 4th longest cave in the world. Sac Actun is presently the longest cave in Mexico, and the longest underwater cave in the world. It is my great pleasure to congratulate Robbie and all the many cave explorers that have surveyed in the numerous regions of this marvelous cave. :banana_yay:

Sistema Sac Actun was discovered in 1987. The first map of Sac Actun and tales of cave explorations are reported in AMCS Activities Newsletter #17 (December 1988). Further explorations and the eventual connection of Sac Actun to Sistema Nohoch Nah Chich are reported in AMCS Activities Newsletter #30 (June 2007).

Explorations in Sistema Actun Hu began in January 2007. Aktun Hu cave was surveyed to include the Cenote Outland cave. Outland was first explored by Mike Madden in 1992. Mike's explorations were abandoned due to logistical and landowner issues. Explorations in Aktun Hu bloomed during 2008, 2009, and 2010. The Hu exploration team certainly told the world Who where they were (sorry).

For the enthusiasts of pure underwater cave survey, Sac Actun has a 215246m length and a depth of -71.6m. Since a cave is a cave whether it's filled with water or air, the total length of Sac Actun including all wet and dry passages is 217363m (depth of 77.6m).

This new length for Sac Actun, 217363m, is a bit longer than the reported 217133m length of Wind Cave (NP) reported by Rod Horrocks on the NSS GEO2 cave page at this date. Having a 230m surplus of surveyed passage over Wind Cave is hardly a significant length advantage for Sac Actun. I expect the Wind Cave explorers to make up this difference quickly. I also expect further explorations to find an ever evasive connection from Sac Actun to Sistema Dos Ojos.

Again my congratulations to all cave exploration teams in this area.:clap:

Jim
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Re: Sistema Sac Actun

Postby Squirrel Girl » Feb 6, 2011 8:22 am

That's awesome, Jim!
:scuba:
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Re: Sistema Sac Actun

Postby apitkin » Feb 6, 2011 10:45 am

Jim,

Fantastic news.

For those of us who haven't been following as closely as we should over the past few years, could you give us a summary of which smaller systems comprise those 'mega-caves' and the order in which they were connected to make the big system?

Andy
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Re: Sistema Sac Actun

Postby Aaron Addison » Feb 6, 2011 2:33 pm

Thanks for the update. What an incredible accomplishment!

AA
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Re: Sistema Sac Actun

Postby SDcaver » Feb 7, 2011 10:04 am

The current length of Wind Cave is 135.73 miles(218441 meters) so it is still a bit longer. However, we expect the divers to push past us soon! Congrats to all of those who have been involved with that, it truely is amazing!
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Re: Sistema Sac Actun

Postby chac » Feb 18, 2011 2:03 pm

As many of you know, Sistema Sac Actun got a little larger when it was connected to Sistema Aktun Hu. Sac Actun is in a horse race with Wind Cave when considering cave lengths. Wind Cave maintains their lead at this date.

Sistema Actun Hu contains a very deep underwater pit, and full of some remarkable remains. Here's some interesting news:
http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blo ... found.html

For those cave divers planning to visit the Hoyo Negro, please don't. Please find somewhere else to go as further recreational traffic in this area is damaging the remains. There may be an opportunity for you to join the research team in the future, but for now let's avoid this vulnerable area. :big grin: Thanks!

Jim
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