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How do sinkholes happen?
asked Jun 2, 2010 by triuser (1,746 points)

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A sinkhole, also known as a sink, shake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline or cenote, is a natural depression or hole in the surface topography caused by karst processes - the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks.
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Karst topography is a landscape shaped by the dissolution  of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone  or dolomite
answered Jun 2, 2010 by trianswer (22,754 points)
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Mechanisms of formation of sinkhole include the gradual removal of slightly soluble bedrock by percolating water, the collapse  of a cave roof, or a lowering of the water table.
answered Jun 2, 2010 by trianswer (22,754 points)
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Sinkholes are natural depressions in the land caused when limestone and soils dissolve. They form when groundwater removes rock underground. They can form by slow gradual sinking or by sudden collapse of an underlying hole.

answered Jun 4, 2010 by trianswer (22,754 points)
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It is said that sinkholes are common in places with rocks such as limestone and gypsum because they can be naturally dissolved by water. In those so-called “karst” areas, caves and voids form underground as the rocks dissolve. After heavy rains or extreme drought, sinkholes can suddenly form naturally as the underground spaces open up and can no longer support the land at the surface. Human activity, such as construction, can also lead to the same consequence.

While karst areas are most prone to natural sinkholes, infrastructure problems could lead to sinkholes anywhere. Since the world is getting overpopulated, people move on to karst areas and build structures there. Perish the thought if this would happen in your country right? I mean, one can never know that one gets swallowed by the sinkhole until it is too late.

After all, sometimes fractures in the ground or slight depressions can indicate that a sinkhole might be about to occur, but often the ground can collapse suddenly without warning and you will only realize once you are already at the bottom.
answered Aug 24, 2010 by trianswer (22,754 points)