Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

HOLEY MOLY! ; Unraveling the Mysteries of Sinkholes

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

HOLEY MOLY! ; Unraveling the Mysteries of Sinkholes

Article excerpt

The word "sinkhole" is synonymous with areas like Florida, but these major alterations in the earth's surface are closer to home than you might think. Sinkholes are depressions in the ground. They are caused by a collapse in the surface layer of the earth. They can occur gradually or suddenly, and their size can range from a few feet wide to hundreds of acres across.

The main reason sinkholes form is attributed to easily dissolvable underground rock, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Groundwater can wear the external surface of the earth down and can seep into rock layers below. Once the water has made it to a sublayer of earth, it has no where to drain and can create a sinkhole.

Humans have only exacerbated the issue by setting up groundwater pumping systems in areas that contain highly dissolvable rock. …

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