Vol. 33 No. 4 (1994)

The hydrogeology and contamination potential of northwestern Yucatán, Mexico

L. E. Marín
Instituto de Geofísica-UNAM, México
E. C. Perry
Visiting profesor, Department of Geology, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA

Published 1994-10-01


  • Hidrogeología,
  • contaminación,
  • Yucatán
  • Hydrogeology,
  • contamination,
  • Yucatán

How to Cite

Marín, L. E., & Perry, E. C. (1994). The hydrogeology and contamination potential of northwestern Yucatán, Mexico. Geofísica Internacional, 33(4), 619-623. https://doi.org/10.22201/igeof.00167169p.1994.33.4.594


The sole source aquifer for northwestern Yucatán is a thin freshwater lens that floats above denser saline water. The saltwater intrusion has been detected more than 40 Km inland. The hydrogeologic setting of this aquifer is a mature karstic system with an extensive network of conduits, caverns and cenotes (sink holes). The hydraulic gradient in the area is very low, on the order of 7-10-mm/Km, suggesting very high permeabilities. These high permeabilities have resulted in a highly vulnerable aquifer that traditionally receives both domestic and industrial waste. The northwestern section appears to be isolated hydrogeologically from the rest of the peninsula by a zone of exceptionally high permeability (ring of cenotes), which is probably related genetically to the Chicxulub Impact Crater.