CTD Castaway shallow water cast Mexican North Caribbean/Manatee Lagoon Quintana Roo Protected Natural Area.
The Manatí lagoon belongs to the Chacmochuc Lagoon System, and is part of the coastal wetlands in the Mexican Caribbean. Currently, the Chacmochuc and Nichupté Lagoon System have been fragmented from the lagoon complex by the urban sprawl of the city of Cancun and Ciudad Mujeres, mainly by means of communication such as the highways that connect the city of Cancun with Punta Sam and Ciudad Mujeres, as well as the José López Portillo, Bonampak, Intermunicipal Highway and Kukulkán Boulevard avenues. Currently, the Manatee Lagoon has an area of 234 Ha belonging to the Environmental Management Unit 22B, of the Local Ecological Planning Program of the Benito Juárez Municipality. The conservation space was decreed as a Protected Natural Area with the category of Zone Subject to Ecological Conservation, a state refuge for flora and fauna, located in the Municipality of Benito Juárez on August 9, 1999. The exploration of this lagoon by the Universidad del Caribe begins in 2020, but CTD measurements began on March 20, 2021. The general depth of the lagoon is 1.5 meters to 2 meters. Within this lagoon there is an underwater cenote called Borbotón, in this cenote, the thermocline begins at a depth of 3 meters and the halocline at a depth of 12 meters. The salinity up to 10 meters deep is between 3 and 4 UPS, but from 11 meters it begins to increase up to 34 UPS, this already at 14 meters. In October 2021, under the coordination of Ana K. Celis, cave divers carried out the first exploration of the cenote Borbotón. The observation of key fauna led to the characterization of the cenote as a potential habitat of the tarpon fish (Megalops atlanticus) inside the Natural Area. Underwater surveys carried out in September 2022 confirmed that the entrance to the cenote is located 4 meters deep and has a diameter of between 9 and 13 meters. The access consists of a vertical shaft 2 meters thick from which a cavern opens. The interior of the cavern presents turbidity, abundant accumulated organic matter (dissolved and particulate) on the walls and bottom, and an evident stratification of the water column. Between 6 and 8 meters deep, stalactites were observed, indicative that in the past, this sinkhole went through dry stages in which surface water infiltration favored the construction of speleothems. The maximum depth recorded in the cavern is 18 meters and its maximum diameter is 25 meters in an east-west direction.
Springs, Coastal lagoon, halocline, saline intrusion
21.175292N, 21.160493S, -86.797951E, -86.819924W
Device CC1502004. File name CC1502004_20201114_145811