Sinkholes

Katie Dicicco

What Is A Sinkhole?

A sinkhole is a hole in the Earth's surface. Sinkholes may be formed gradually or suddenly, and can be natural or man-made. Sinkholes vary in size and can range from 3.3 to 2,000 feet, in both diameter and depth. Sinkholes also vary in form; they can be soil-lined bowls or bedrock-edged chasms.

Formation of Sinkholes

Sinkholes are formed by karst processes, like chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks or suffosion processes in sandstone. They can also form from erosion, the collapse of a cave roof or a lowering of the water table.

Bedrock Common with Sinkholes

Some bedrock common with sinkholes is sandstone and limestone. Sandstone sinkholes form when there is chemical dissolution or suffosion processes. Limestone sinkholes form when there is water eroding away at it and the layer of Earth we stand on caves in from no support.

Natural/Human Sinkhole Causes

Giant holes in the Earth seem a bit extreme, don't you think? It's not all natural, humans bear some guilt in the formation of sinkholes.


Natural Causes: Erosion, cave collapses

Human Causes: Abandoned mine collapses, water main breaks, sewer collapses, overpumping, weight of new material, etc