St. Ann – Caves

A typical feature of limestone areas is the prominence of cockpits, sinkholes, caves and underground passages. St. Ann has a number of caves and sinkholes including Bat Cave near Chesterfield, Mount Plenty Cave, Dairy Cave.  Green Grotto Caves are perhaps the most popular caves in St. Ann. The Dry Harbour Caves, on the border of St. Ann and St. Mary, were much visited in former times. St. Ann is home to some 54 other caves

The most well known sinkholes are the Light Hole sinkholes, which are possibly connected to deep inaccessible caves. Galina Point, just outside of Oracabessa, offers a good view of a long series of caves.

Phosphate

Derived from bat droppings that accumulate in the caves, phosphate is the only fertilizer mineral mined in Jamaica. It is extensively mined in this parish.

Energy

Methane gas seepage has been located in the Windsor area of St. Ann but no major gas source has been found.

Lagoons

St. Ann has two of the many saltwater lagoons characteristic of the Jamaican coastline. These are the Mystery Lake and the Green Grotto.

Elevations

St. Ann has its fair share of mountains including the Dry Harbour Mountain, Mount Alba, Irons Mountain, Murray Mountain, Mount Diablo and Mount Zion. Additionally, there are several other areas of highland: Grate Hill, Zion Hill, Blowfire Hill, Union Hill.

St. Ann – Location and Geography

Situated in the northern section of the island, St. Ann is bounded on the east by the parish of St. Mary, and on the west by the parish of Trelawny.  It shares its southern borders with the parishes of St. Catherine and Clarendon.

At 1212.4 sq, km (468.2 sq. miles), St. Ann is among the larger parishes in Jamaica

Geography and the Environment

The dominant range is the Dry Harbour Mountains, but individual peaks such as Mount Diablo, Mount Alba and Mount Zion are prominent. On the plains, the soil type is predominantly limestone, which, along with the many rivers, gives rise to numerous caves and sinkholes. Some 60 caves have been noted throughout the parish, of which the most famous is the Green Grotto, in Runaway Bay.

St. Ann also has considerable wetland (swamp) areas, particularly along the coast.

Limestone

St. Ann is known for its red soil – soil red with bauxite, Jamaica’s most important mineral. This mineral is associated with the underlying dry limestone rocks of the parish. Limestone is largely used in road construction, as building material and in the mineral of Portland Cement.