Jamaican Caving Notes
Big Well Cave
May 4, 2005
Team: Stewart, Conolley
Notes: RS Stewart
Main Entrance: WGS84 - 18
14" 07.0" N, 77 45' 37.6" W; Alt: 415; Accuracy: +/-
10m; Aspect: 330 deg true
This cave will be found easily by using the positions given above, and is 1250m at 330 deg true from the Accompong square. The Banana Field Sink Entrance position is particularly good (10 satellites, and WAAS), but the others will also get you there. We are calling the "Main Entrance" the one that people use to get water.
It will be noted in the table above that we have not listed the cave as either a sink or a rising, although it is hydrologically active. The cave gives access to part of an underground river that outside of flood times does not have an active sink, or rising - the cave is merely a window to a small river that has no surface activity.
Sesarma verleyi are present, and a leg was collected, with DNA analysis on that specimen, along with others, still underway by Dr Schubart.
We saw no bats, but we believe that this cave is an occasional roost for Artibeus. There is not enough dark-zone to make it suitable for other Chiropteran species. No accumulations of guano were present, but much of the floor is underwater. Faeces that would be found on dry sections may not last long, due to the presence of invasive roaches.
Amblypygids, phrynus spp, and one species of cave-adapted spider, were seen, which suggests to us that there is at least some use by Artibeus.
We didn't see any Cave crickets, but it is possible that there are a few (presence of Amblypygids suggests this).
No E. cundalli were noted, probably reflecting the lack of bush outside of the cave. It is surrounded by farmland.
The morphology is jointed, with a couple of jogs that show this well. The cross-section in these parts is typical meander stream-passage. The Banana Field Sink Entrance is a collapse into the stream passage. The passage is high enough (~6m), and loses water fast enough at the downstream end (near the Main Entrance end) that we saw no sign of it having flooded to the roof in the past.
We are listing this site with a medium vulnerability because there is a fair amount of siltation happening from wherever the sink for the cave is located. The land-use is mostly agriculture for a great distance in the upstream direction. It should be noted that in Accompong, like most other farming districts, agricultural chemicals are commonly used, and the run-off is possibly contaminating the "spring" near the Main Entrance where people draw water.
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