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SINKHOLES

By Sharon Joseph & Layo Fashola


WHAT IS A SINKHOLE?

A sinkhole is a cavity in the ground,


especially in a limestone formation, caused
by water erosion and providing a route for
surface water to disappear underground.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v
=SW5D5F-w2iI
3 DIFFERENT FORMATIONS OF A SINKHOLE
- as opposed to man made tunnel or cave collapses
Sinkholes occur when acidic rainwater seeps down
through surface soil and sediment, eventually
reaching a soluble bedrock such as sandstone,
chalk, salt or gypsum, or (most commonly)
a carbonate rock such as limestone beneath. In a
process that can last hundreds, sometimes
thousands of years, the water gradually dissolves
small parts of the rock, enlarging its natural fissures
and joints and creating cavities beneath.
The second is called a cover-subsidence sinkhole, and is far
more sinister. With this type of sinkhole, water sinks into the
sediment (such as soil, or sand) above the surface rock, and
eats away at the invisible rock beneath. Its therefore easier to
be surprisedsay, in your bedroom in the middle of the nightby
a cover-subsidence sinkhole, since simply looking at the ground
or feeling the floor wont necessarily give away that the
surface is rotting awayfrom beneath.
The third and less-common type of sinkhole is called a
cover-collapse sinkhole. Its similar to a cover-
subsidence sinkhole, except that the underlying
structure is not rock, but clay. Because clay is softer
and more susceptible to decay than rock, cover-
collapse sinkholes often form very quickly
CALIFORNIA SINKHOLE
Californian Sinkholes have recently started to appear out of nowhere.
Homeowners first noticed cracks in the walls and had difficulty closing doors before the
30-year-old houses started collapsing in on themselves.
The land in northern California is now so unstable that heavy machinery can not move in
to carry out demolition work and mail deliveries to remaining homes have been stopped
to protect postal workers.
Eight homes have been abandoned and 10 more are under notice of imminent evacuation
in Lake County, about 100 miles (160km) north of San Francisco.
REASON FOR THE SINKHOLES IN CALIFORNIA
People are pulling unsustainable amounts of water out of underground aquifers (a body
of permeable rock which can contain or transmit groundwater) primarily for food
production. With the water sucked out to irrigate crops, a practice that has accelerated
during the drought, tens of thousands of square miles.
60% of water supplied in California comes from the ground. The rock which is primarily
carbonate, is porous and therefore the lack of structure has caused random sinkholes to
form.

Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4np6ibwSneA


THE COSTS
Sinkholes are so common that there are a vast majority of
companies to choose from e.g
http://www.earthtech.com/residential/

Sinkholes can cost up to $150,000. To prevent future damage


below the surface. In Florida there were approximately 6700 in
2010 (Figures are from Jacksonville Newspaper company). If
each sinkhole costs $150000 to repair then it would mean that it
would cost the government over $1 billion, to fix.
SINKHOLES ELSEWHERE
Sinkholes have been sighted in North west China. This one spewed fire which led to it
becoming a tourist attraction.
SINKHOLES IN THE UK

The majority of sinkholes in the UK are formed as a result of underground mining that has
left infrastructure unstable.

St Albans Sinkhole
CONCLUSION
Although we know the formation of Sinkholes we arent
exactly sure what the real causes are and therefore
trends of distribution cannot be spotted. As a result of
this, studies tend to contradict themselves on
distribution and main causes of Sinkholes.