Lighthouse Cave

Useful Information

Location: Dixon Hill, at the northeast end of San Salvador Island. Southeast of the Dixon Hill Lighthouse.
Open: no restrictions. [2014]
Fee: free. [2014]
Classification: ExplainKarst cave
Light: bring own
Guided tours: n/a
Photography: Allowed
Accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible, some climbing required
Bibliography: John E. Mylroie, James L. Carew (1994): A Field Trip Guide Book of Lighthouse Cave, San Salvador Island, Bahamas, San Salvador, Bahamas: Bahamian Field Station. ISBN-13: 9780935909487
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Lighthouse Cave is the largest cave on the island San Salvador. It has three entrances. The Main Entrance has a drop of two meters, the cave is entered on a ladder. Although undeveloped it is rather easy to visit. Passages radiate outward from a large central chamber and end abruptly.

The floor near the Main Entrance shows forms of vadose flow, and the ceiling numerous so-called bell holes, which are small phreatic pockets. But there are no definite phreatic flow marks on the walls anywhere in the cave, so there was no turbulent phreatic flow involved in cave formation. Only little breakdown can be found, which has been disarticulated in place as a result of dissolution.

Aeolian Chamber was named after the wall rock of this part of the cave, which shows eolian sedimentary structures. The rock is Owel's Hole Formation of lower Pleistocene age. Dating of stalagmites supports an upper Pleistocene age for the development of the cave.

The cave has some water, which is connected to the sea. The water is slightly hypersaline and the tidal range in the cave is almost one metre.

Lighthouse Cave is one of the best known flank margin caves in the Bahamas. Many researchers visited the cave and there have been biological, geological and geochemical researches. One result of this scientific interest was the creation of the Gerace Research Center on this island.