Project progress

The Taj Mahal cave system is divided into two parts, the part is connected to the north with the section of the Cenote Box Ek and the west part which includes the cave area of the Cenote Taj Mahal. The two parts are connected by only two galleries and the Cenote Sagrado.

 

The goal of my project and to carry out the mapping of the whole system with a high level of detail, which means that I have to divide the project into two parts to be able to publish them as a map. So I decided to start with the eastern part of the system, this part includes the cave area and sections very frequented by caving divers.

 

Another objective is to carry out the mapping of the cave part and to publish it in order to expose it on the dive site.

September 18, 2017, first dives of the project.

I decided to start with the Cenote Taj Mahal downstream, this part is a downstream and ends with a part called The Room of Cheers.

It was my first caving dive in Mexico in 2007, and ten years later who thought I was making the map of this system.

 

Dates: September 2017 to May 2018.

Number of dives: 27

Time spent underwater: 45 hours

Drawing sheet Downstream line.png
First map of the project.

The second section that I mapped was the cave area where the cave diving activity is carried out by the dive centers in the area. It lacked a detailed and precise map, that's why I decided to publish a map just for the caverna area and make it available to the diving community.

This section was complex to carry out because of the very large room, but also due to the attendance of divers.

 

Dates: December 2017 to May 2018.

Number of dives: 15

Time spent underwater: 27 hours

Capture_d'écran_Caverne_Taj_Mahal.jpg
Connection between Waterfall and Steve's Loft.

Waterfall passage and a downstream of the Taj Mahal cave system and is famous for the end of the gallery where you can see the flow of fresh water coming out of the wall thanks to the halocline.

 

This section has two main galleries, both are oriented northwest. Waterfall on the west side and Steve’s Loft on the east side, the two galleries are connected by several small transverse gallery. The line of Steve's Loft stopped at the top of a narrow below, during the mapping work of this part I realized the connection between the end of line of Steve's loft and the line of Waterfall, moreover I explore and map two other passages in the same area. Continuity is possible on both of the passages but the passage is relatively unstable and without the presence of current.

 

Dates: March to September 2018.

Number of dives: 22

Time spent underwater: 38 hours

Mnemo Taj Mahal 2.jpg
End of line downstream
End of line downstream

Drawing sheet Downstream line
Drawing sheet Downstream line

Drying drawing sheet
Drying drawing sheet

End of line downstream
End of line downstream

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Chinese Garden, a chalenge.

A legendary section for caving divers, at the beginning of the Waterfall gallery there is a small tunnel and a narrowing in the halocline that leads to this section.
This long gallery runs due west and is one of the dowmstreams of the system. The second bedroom is the one called Chinese Garden, there are many speleothems on each side of the cave line. many of these speleothems are very fragile and one of them, a stalactite of several meters and very fine, disappeared some time before I started mapping the area. Surely divers came close and we hit it, yet it was far from the line and it was surely photographer divers who broke it ...
The challenge of this part of the project was not to destroy this magnificent room anymore, so I put down the cartography preparation lines, being careful not to go under the speleothem zones and to stay well away from the columns so not to touch anything and that my bubbles do not end up in stalactites and breakages.
For the drawing phase, I installed several BiBlue video lights in order to have an overview and thus avoid my travels as much as possible.

 

Dates: September to December 2018.

Number of dives: 18

Time spent underwater: 38 hours

Chinese Garden, a chalenge.

A legendary section for caving divers, at the beginning of the Waterfall gallery there is a small tunnel and a narrowing in the halocline that leads to this section.
 

 

Dates: September to December 2018.

Number of dives: 16

Time spent underwater: 48 hours