Picture above is El Zacatón, the largest water-filled sinkhole in the world.  Floating grass
islands called zacate drift about on the surface of the 350 meter deep pit.
(Photo by Art Palmer).

ou are visiting the research homepage of Marcus Gary, a graduate student of the Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, at The University of Texas at Austin. The focus of study for this project is to understand the hydrogeology and speleogenesis of one of the deepest and most fascinating underwater caves in the world, Sistema Zacatón.  These karst features exist in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, and are composed of a diverse series of caves and water-filled sinkholes that are interesting to geologists, biologists and cave explorers.

Research at Sistema Zacatón encompasses a variety of methods and techniques, all of which will greatly expand our knowledge of karst aquifers.  One of the  primary goals is to understand the physical geometry of the cave system.  By utilizing emerging and yet-to-be-developed technologies related with robotics and instrumentation, these unique environments can be explored and documented to levels of detail previously impossible.  A detailed hydrogeologic investigation is underway to document the physical and chemical processes that have formed such a unique and immense cave system.  By understanding how the groundwater system operates today, and inferring how processes have evolved through time, we aim to develop an accurate model to describe the natural conditions that have created such a amazing cave system.

Site Index for Zacaton
Site Description, Study Area  &  Geology Hydrogeologic Research Articles and
3-D Mapping DEPTHX
© 2006 Department of Geological Sciences at UT Austin