Sinkholes, How Deep Does the Problem Really Go?

Pennsylvania is known for having sinkholes.  3 years ago, the weather was really bad and we got about 3″ of rain in a little over a day.  This led to my basement flooding due to the rise in the groundwater.  When the groundwater rises then lowers, the rock can dissolve leaving sinkholes.  This is what happened to my back yard.  I went outside later that night and saw 3 sinkholes near my shed.  A few days later, it rained hard once again and a 4th, much larger sinkhole opened up in front of the shed.   We called to get it fixed and within a month, it was filled in with cement.

In PA, sinkholes occur a lot.  Unfortunately, they are a dangerous and can be very costly.  PA has a lot of limestone and dolomite.  These 2 minerals dissolve over time and give way to pressure.  Over hundreds of years, water drains enough to form tunnels underground, which will eventually collapse causing a sinkhole.  Sinkholes can be anywhere from 1-30 feet across and can tunnel very deep.  Some sinkholes form a line because of a central drain.  Many times you’ll find a bunch of sinkholes around each other, leading to a main drain.

Sinkholes can cause damage and can collapse very quickly.  Many structures are affected by this natural disaster.  Houses, roads, bridges, and other building can collapse because of these holes.  Another big problem is farming with sinkholes.  PA has hundreds of farms and with sinkholes occurring without warning, farmers ruin equipment all the time.  People even break legs because they’ll be waling and fall into the hole.  I know PA has sinkhole insurance that most people buy into.  This will pay for any structural damage and repair fees.  Sinkholes are a serious problems, but we will just have to live among them.  They are just another naturally occurring issue that we have to put up with.

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This entry was posted in Environmental Soil Issues, Soil and Water Dynamics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sinkholes, How Deep Does the Problem Really Go?

  1. Jessica Wiley says:

    Sinkholes are massive and crazy! Yet, it is amazing to see them. They make you feel so small. I was in a plane one time and saw one from the plane and it was HUGE!! We have also gotten them where I live in WV due to all the limestone and dolomite. Great topic!!

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