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Dunco Spring Cave

May 5, 2005 - 9:00-11:00 EST

 

District: Accompong

Parish: St Elizabeth

WGS84 L/L: 18 14 42.7; 77 45 43.4

 

JAD69: 169295 E, 177015 N

JAD2001: 669406 E, 677304 N

Altitude: 360m WGS84

Accuracy: +/- 15m horizontal; +/- 15m vertical

Type: Stream passage

Accessibility: Crawl

Depth: 0m

Length: 358m

Explorers: NSS - 1986

Survey: NSS - 1986

JU Ref: Text - pg 163; Map - pg 163

 

Entrance size: 3m W x 1m H

Entrance aspect: 180 deg true

Vegetation in general locale: Bush

Vegetation at entrance: Meadow

Rock type: Yellow - White Limestone junction

Bedding: Moderate

Jointing: Moderate

Speleothems: Stals, flowstone

Palaeo resources: None

Archaeo resources: None

Hydrology: Wet

Siltation: Moderate

Sink: Active

Rising: N/A

Stream passage with surface activity: Minor flow

Stream passage without surface activity: N/A

Dark zone: >99%.

Climate: Cool, humid.

Bats: <500

Bat guano: Little

Guano mining: None

Guano condition: No accumulation

Eleutherodactylus cundalli: Some

Neoditomyia farri: None

Amblypygids: None

Periplaneta americana: Some

Cave crickets: Many

Sesarma: Some

Other species: None

Visitation: None

Speleothem damage: None

Graffiti: None

Garbage: Some - rafted-in

Ownership: Forestry Reserve

Protection: None

 

Vulnerability: Medium. Siltation is occurring from the catchment in the glade, and garbage is being washed in.

 

Dunco Spring Cave

May 4, 2005

Team: Stewart, Conolley

Notes: RS Stewart

It took us two tries to nail this one, but we definitely got it, and the position is good.

This cave is not a "spring", it is a sink, primarily taking water seasonally from a medium-sized cockpit that it sits on the north edge of.  The entrance is not easy to find, because there is a long stretch of low bedding-plane passages cut into the hill that all seem to take some water. We looked at several spots along this on our first visit, without being sure that we had the right site. The second time, we crawled into the right place, found the passage, and followed it for about 60m until lack of air-space above the water, and rainy-season, suggested that we go no further.

During rains, there is a real flood-risk in this cave. Where we turned around, the water would have only had to risen about 50cm to cut you off from the entrance, if you were further in. In low caves that take water from a cockpit, this can happen very quickly if a large storm pulls in.

A small colony of bats is using the outer part of the cave, mostly in the twilight zone, but not entirely. We saw no trog inverts. It floods to the roof in much of it.

S. verleyi were present in the passage. E. cundalli are using the outer part.

The cockpit, which is the catchment, was not in cultivation when we were there, but it has been in the past. The topsoil made available for the run-off during those times continues to be present in the cave. Garbage has also been rafted-in.

We are listing this site with a medium vulnerability, due to the potential for agriculture to resume in the cockpit. Whatever chemicals are used will soon find their way into the cave, and siltation will begin again. If one looks at the WGS84 plot of this site on the topo, it will be seen that these passages are the only route out for rains that fall on the glade.



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