“The World’s Deepest Sea Hole”
ASTER Satellite Image of the Great Blue Hole, Belize
The Great Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize is a circular 305 m across and 123 m deep hole in the carbonate reef. It is a Belize National Monument and became a World Heritage Site in 1997. Jacques Cousteau took the Calypso and his submarine into the hole in 1972 to examine the stalactites suspended from overhanging walls.
The Blue Hole formed during past ice ages, when sea level was 100-200 meters lower than at present. Dissolution of the carbonate rock created a subsurface void that subsequently collapsed. On land, these features are called cenotes. The image was acquired March 14, 2006, covers an area of 18.3 x 42.3 km, and is located at 17.5 degrees north latitude, 88.2 degrees west longitude. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Visions of Earth