The karst of Yucatan: its origin, morphology and biology


The karstic environment of the state of Yucatán, México has its origin on the coral reefs and marine sediments that, after being exposed to surface conditions, formed limestone. Solubility and precipitation processes of this rock have promoted the absence of surface water currents, a slightly undulated relief with plains, depressions and mounds, fractured outcrops and presence of sinkholes. The different levels of porosity and hardness of the rock have allowed the formation of small hollows, soil pockets hollows, as well as complex systems of dry and wet caves. The management of this kind of areas must consider its origin, morphology and biology to guarantee the sustainable use of the natural resources. Special attention needs to be paid on the management of the extraction of limestone rocks, the touristic and productive activities related to the use of water from the aquifer, as well as the volume and quality of the water discharges to soil and sinkholes.
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