© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

America's largest underground springs gets even bigger with the discovery of another cave connection

 Divers exploring the massive underground rivers and streams that comprise the Wakulla Cave System
Woodville Karst Plain Project/used with permission
Divers exploring the massive underground rivers and streams that comprise the Wakulla Cave System

Scientists had long suspected a link between the Wakulla and Chip's Hole cave systems.

America's largest underground springs lies beneath Wakulla and Leon counties. Now scientific explorers have found that springs is even larger than they thought.

The question was whether the so-called Chip's Hole caves north of Crawfordville were somehow linked to the larger Wakulla Cave System. This past Saturday, Woodville Karst Plain Project Director Casey McKinley said divers had their answer.

"They pushed through a small restrictive area in the cave and came across a survey guideline from the Chip's Hole system that they'd established in 2016."

The confirmed connection, said McKinley, further reinforces the unique status of what he calls the "fast-moving interstate highway of water beneath our feet."

"The Wakulla System and now the combined Wakulla/Chip's System at more than 45 miles in length and 30 different entrances is the largest underwater cave system in the United States."

All the more reason, says McKinley, to protect this gigantic fresh-water resource from pollution and contaminants that can quickly circulate far and wide throughout the system.

Copyright 2023 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.