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Phantom Cave Expedition 2013 - 462 Feet deep - 10,000+ feet of passage

Discussion in 'Advanced Diver Magazine' started by Curt Bowen, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Curt Bowen

    Curt Bowen Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Sarasota, FL
    1,142
    89
    48
    ADM Exploration Foundation - Phantom Cave 2013


    As they descended to 400 ffw in depth, they noticed more chert nodules jutting from the walls, similar to the abundant amounts seen in the shallow section between 20 and 30 ffw but strangely absent between. A prominent dark formation protruded from the silt floor, possibly either a complex piece of chert or a fossilized coral. While Andy tied off to this ideal point, Brett looked ahead into the ongoing passage. As far as his light could penetrate, the cave appeared to continue at the same depth (462 ffw) as the floor of the large room. However, at this depth they could not continue exploration within their planned safety envelope; they very reluctantly turned and began their long ascent. They completed five hours of decompression and scootered out of the cave, emerging into a cold but beautiful starry night after a total dive time of 7 hours. Their maximum depth was 462 ffw, establishing Phantom Springs Cave as the deepest underwater cave in the USA.

    phantomfacebookphoto.jpg
     
    JamesK likes this.
  2. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

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    Pretty amazing project, and congratulations to all of you.
     
  3. ianr33

    ianr33 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wah Wah Land
    5,166
    970
    113
    It's NOT the deepest underwater cave in the U.S. !!!
     
  4. JamesK

    JamesK Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: SW Florida
    3,283
    1,047
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    Then what is? Not tryin to be a smart ass, just want to know.
     
  5. ianr33

    ianr33 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wah Wah Land
    5,166
    970
    113
  6. superspeed

    superspeed Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Diego, CA
    215
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    Curious how that works with the lake level at Amistad.
     
  7. ianr33

    ianr33 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wah Wah Land
    5,166
    970
    113
    How do you mean?
     
  8. Curt Bowen

    Curt Bowen Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Sarasota, FL
    1,142
    89
    48
    You are correct it is not the deepest cave dive in the USA, BUT it is the deepest underwater cave in the USA.

    The true definition of a cave is the distance from the highest elevation to the lowest elevation in the cave. Phantom has +30 above the water line inside the cave. -462 feet below the water line (and still dropping) total of 492 feet.
    The definition of a cave is the location where you are 100% surrounded by karst.

    Goodenough springs cave starts at -140 feet (high water level) in a man made lake Amistad and has been explored to a depth of -515 feet
    515 - 140 = 375 feet of cave elevation.

    Both dives are impressive and both teams deserve due credit for outstanding exploration.

    Will Phantom continue below 500 feet deep? We may know that answer on the next Phantom Spring expedition.

    Will the Goodenough team push deeper?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
    Karl_H and korvette like this.
  9. superspeed

    superspeed Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Diego, CA
    215
    25
    28
    Awesome answer and great work! I teach at Balmorhea all the time and its awesome to see that something like this is near by, and even though I cant dive it I get to read/watch awesome articles. THANKS!
     
  10. Curt Bowen

    Curt Bowen Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Sarasota, FL
    1,142
    89
    48

    Part of the continued science in Phantom includes a dye release into the downstream cave. If the results come back as we expect, the dye should be captured in Balmorhea, linking the two caves together.
    If not, than the mystery continues.
     

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