Exploring a Jungle Coral Reef

FB_IMG_1500553257187Located in the peaceful and sleepy barangay of Malixi, Hinatuan- Surigao del Sur, Katinuan Spring was initially explored and lined by FCD Jake Miranda on Sept. 2016.

The spring is fed with water from the Tagbina Watershed and adjacent to it is the meandering river of Hinatuan.

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Katinuan Spring aerial (1)

The June 19, 2017 exploration by Miranda and Gastardo revealed that the cave harbors a variety of coral reef fossils. The divers noted the fossilized presence of brains corals and of small plate corals.

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As posted by Miranda in his social media page,

“It is a remarkable geological find for the area noting that the surface entrance of the underwater cave is at least 15 kilometers from the modern day coastline and 22 meters above sea level. Initial discussions with scientists point to the age (2.588 million years ago to 11.7 thousand years ago) and origin of the fossils from the Quaternary Period’s epochs: the Pleistocene and the Holocene. The report on the fossils will be presented to the DENR Caraga’s Regional Cave Committee to discuss the way forward for more scientific explorations of the underwater cave.”

The spring spews clean, fresh water and exhibits a very strong and consistent outflow. Real challenge is posed when navigating into the cave’s mouth (“Nino’s Crawl”) from the water surface due to the strength of the water current. Once inside the chamber (christened “Kap’s Chamber”) which measures approximately 45 meters in circumference, the water becomes still with clarity reaching to approx. 25m horizontal.

 

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At 29 meters, the deepest point of the cave, a surge of water blasts out from the bottom, creating popping sounds on one’s caving helmet due to the multitude of disturbed sediments of which are primarily pebbles. The said area (christened “Popcorn Point”) is turbulent and causes one to be pushed up to the ceiling.

Katinuan Spring

A few small shrimps and 2 eels were observed inside the cave.

The FCD acknowledges the support and hospitality of Brgy. Captain Bibiano Malangi, his family, councilors and constituents.

Credits for the aerial drone photos goes to Jake Miranda.

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