Little Salt Sink Spring

(photo from Geological Bulletin #31)

    Little Salt Sink Spring is about 16 miiles south and east of Venice and 2 miles northeast of Warm Mineral Springs. Take U.S. Hwy 41 to the Myakka River. Turn north on a paved road 3 miles east of the Myakka River bridge (0.15 mi W. of bridge over the Big Slough). The spring is 2 miles north of U.S. 41 and is surrounded by an 8-ft chain-link fence.

    The spring pool is 250 ft in diameter and has a run on the south side. The run continues 1.5 miles to Big Slough, a tributary to the Myakka River. The bottom of the pool forms a funnel to a depth of about 35 ft. From here the orifice is a vertical shaft with a diameter of about 75 ft. It extends straight down with ledge and cave openings at depths of 70 and 90 ft. About half way down the sides begin to slope outward to form an upside-down funnel. The bottom at the center is at a depth of about 215 ft, but the floor again slopes downward to unknown depths. Underwater archeologists of the Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties recovered human and other skeletal remains from the easterly side of the 90-ft ledge. The human remains were radio-carbon dated to an age of 5220 yrs. Wood pins were recovered from the 35 ft depth where they had been driven into the limestone at the edge of the drop-off. Scientists reasoned that these pins (radio-carbon age 9645 160 yrs) and the presence of human remains suggested water levels were below present levels in Little Salt Sink Spring and Warm Mineral Springs. The University of Miami now owns and manages this site in order to protect the archeological vale of the area. Their website ( provides a brief overview of the project and contains quite a bit of information about the techniques used.


Click here for Salt Sink cross section
Click here for Salt Sink map (PDF)
Click here for Salt Sink Spring and Warm Mineral Spring location map (PDF)
Click here for a text from the cavers archive about a little history of the sites
Click here for a blown up overview of the sink
Click here for a more recent aerial

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Last Updated: 09/30/2008

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