Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What is a Sinkhole

Also known to be a swallow hole, shake hole, sink or even a doline, a sinkhole is a depression caused in the Earth's surface. These sinkholes that form on the earth's surface do not usually form due to natural process. They can be natural or even man made. These depressions formed in the earth's surface, are due to the dissolution of carbonate rock. And this process is also known to be the Karst process. Sinkholes either could form gradually or may appear sudden.

When water flows underground and starts dissolving the rocks, slowly and gradually sinkholes form. These rocks that dissolve are mostly limestone, salt beds, gypsum or clay.  When rocks start dissolving, small caverns form within the surface. This process carries on over a period of time and the land later caves in. This sudden collapse happens when pressure hits on the earth's surface. Small cracks may emerge to show the beginning of the sinkhole. These small cracks are not dangerous in the beginning. But as the cracks keep expanding and forming a hole, a weight of certain object would make the land cave in.

Sinkholes can differ in size and at times could be big enough to swallow even a house or a swimming pool. The process is so dramatic that it would not give out a warning at times, and suddenly would break out into a big, enormous hole creating chaos. 

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