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1981 Agua de Cerro Expedition

Departure Date: February 4, 1981

Duration: 121 days

Destination: Nita Nanta, Sistema Huautla, Oaxaca, Mexico

Number of Personnel: 14

Expedition Leaders: Bill Stone (USA) and Mark Minton (USA)

Exploration Team: Tony White (UK), Steve Zeman (USA), Robert Hemperly (USA), Ron Simmons (USA), Alan Warils (Aus), Bob Jefferys (USA), Lisa Wilk (USA), Diana Lowrey (USA), Bob West (USA), Tommy Shifflett (USA), Bill Steele (USA), Neil Hickson (Aus)

Objectives: To explore Nita Nanta, the highest elevation cave on the Huautla Plateau, and to attempt to link it to the primary Huautla Cave System. To dive, using a hybrid filament wound Scuba system, the flooded corridor at the bottom of the Sotano de San Agustin, 1222m below the surface, in an effort to discover an air-filled passage leading to the resurgence.

Accomplishments: Explored Nita Nanta to depths of -927 meters and -760m in independent passages without a successful link to the main cave system. Explored a side passage of the main Li Nita system to -906m in another unsuccessful effort to connect Nita Nanta. Dived the flooded corridor in San Agustin for 285 meters to a water depth of -28m before running low on air. Discovered the artesian resurgence spring to the Huautla Plateau. Mapped and digitized data for 11 kilometers of newly discovered passages. Performed biological study and collections at depths below -800m resulting in thediscovery of a new genus of troglobytic scorpion: Alacrans Tartarus. Total of 32 days spent operating from remote subterranean camps at depths greater than 600m below the surface.

Maps: (will open in another window)
    Left portion of Li Nita-San Agustin profile
    Right portion of Li Nita-San Agustin profile

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