Cenote

Cenote Landform

Cenote Landforms Have 2 Main Characteristics:

  1. Pit in the ground
  2. Formed naturally from collapsed limestone formations

Example of a Cenote Landform:

  1. Dos Ojos, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
  2. The cenote picture above is of Ik-Kil Cenote, Chichen Itza, Mexico

What is a Cenote Landform?

A cenote is an opening in the ground that occurs naturally with groundwater present. A cenote is often connected to an underground water-filled cave system. Divers sometimes use cenotes as an entry point to explore underwater caverns.




How are Cenotes Formed?

When groundwater dissolves a limestone formation below the ground surface, this can cause the ground to collapse, leaving the groundwater exposed in the pit.

Where Can a Cenote Be Found?

Cenotes can be found where the water table is high and limestone formations are present near the surface. A large number of cenotes exist in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Very few rivers or streams are present, so that cenotes were the primary source of water available for the native population living there until recently.

How Big is a Cenote?

A cenote can be less than 30 feet in diameter, while an unusually large one may be hundreds of feet across.

Famous Cenotes

 Dos Ojos, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
 Bottomless Lakes State Park, New Mexico, USA
 Ewens Ponds, South Australia

Dos Ojos, meaning “two eyes” in Spanish, is located in the Yucatán Peninsula. Two cenotes connect to a very large undergound cavern between them. They are part of an underwater cave system that includes a total of 28 cenotes found so far. The water is extremely clear which makes it an excellent diving location.

This cave system has been the subject of 2 documentaries and was also filmed for part of a movie, “The Cave” released in 2005. It includes a pit with a depth of 391 feet, and the system is connect to the second largest dry cave system in the world called Sistema Sac Actun in Mexico.

In the Bottomless Lakes State Park of New Mexico there are nine small lakes along the Pecos River that were formed by cenotes. The largest is called Lazy Lagoon, formed from 3 cenotes, and covers 26 acres. Ewens Ponds of South Austtralia is a system of 3 cenotes that are connected below. This is an exceptional diving location with unusually clear water and a garden of underwater plant life, and the rare golden pygmy perch and other fish species.

Cenote definition:

An opening in the ground where an underground limestone formation has collapsed, exposing groundwater

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