Southeastern Section - 63rd Annual Meeting (10–11 April 2014)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 10:25 AM


ACOSTA COLÓN, Angel A., Physics & Chemistry Department, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, PO Box 4010, Arecibo, PR 00614-4010,

The Matos Cave STEM project is a research project that combines students of different STEM areas and integrated them into geosciences and speleology. Matos Cave is located in the north coast karst belt region of Puerto Rico, specifically in the municipality of Arecibo. The main objective of this study is to understand the geological, geometrical, geophysicochemical and geobiological properties of the cave and its relationships between them. The geological properties can be found from a literate review of the study of the region. The geometrical properties are measured using laser digital laser distance measurer, clinometer and a compass to create 2-D and 3-D maps of the cave, this can be used as a reference for the other properties that were measured. The geophysicochemcal properties consisted in the soil pH, temperature and humidity of the cave. The results shows that the soil pH change depending on the different bats community that lives in the cave, where the temperature and the humidity varies because of the different openings and the heat related to the guano droppings of the bats. Also, the geobiological properties were studied by using macro-fauna traps, and the specimens were collected and classified by biological orders as a function of the depth of the cave. Preliminary results shows 9 total different orders for Matos Cave. By understanding all these properties and their relationship we can complete characterize Matos Cave and increase the interest of the students in a geosciences career.