UW-Oshkosh students explore caves and island hydrology:



Heidi (L) and Laura (R) swimming in Grotto Bay cave. The water is fresh but cold at the surface, and warm and salty below. The cold water is a fresh water lens supplied by rain that floats on seawater fed by passages to the ocean.

Our water tests showed very high phosphorus and nitrogen levels in this cave.




Heidi bravely went into the cave water first and found that it was cooler (about 60 degrees F) than the seawater outside.





Great stalactites and stalagmites in Crystal Cave. The cave is formed in the Walsingham limestone (ca. 800 Ka).




More stalactites in Crystal Cave. You can see stalagmites under the seawater here where they represent a "fossil" vadose zone. The tidal range in the cave is about 1.5 meters!




Massive stalagmite in Crystal Cave. The walkway in the background floats to accommodate the daily tidal changes.

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