Subsidence/Sinkholes – Notable

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Table: Sinkholes - Notable

LocationNameDescription
Belize, Coast of BelizeThe Great Blue HoleThe Great Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole off the coast of Belize that’s more than 1,000 feet wide and 400 feet deep. It formed as a limestone cave system during the last ice age when sea levels were lower, and the caves flooded as the planet warmed and sea levels rose.
China, XiaozhaiThe Xiaozhai SinkholeThe Xiaozhai Tiankeng, also known as the Heavenly Pit, is the world's deepest sinkhole at more than 2100 feet deep, 2000 feet long and 1700 feet wide. The massive depression is one of more than four dozen such sinkholes in the same area that have formed slowly over many years as water eroded the soft underlying rock.
Egypt, Cairo Qattara DepressionThe vast Qattara west of Cairo, Egypt is the largest natural sinkhole in the world, measuring 80km long by 120km wide and 133m deep. This dangerous, sludge-filled quicksand pit is unearthly in its appearance and shocking in its size.
Guatemala, Guatemala City Guatemala City SinkholeIn February 2007, the earth suddenly dropped away, opening a 330-foot-deep abyss that killed three people and swallowed a dozen homes into a river of sewage at the bottom. Officials said heavy rains from a tropical storm, as well as a broken sewer main, caused the disaster.
Mexico, San Luis PotosíCave of SwallowsKnown as a pit cave, it is a vertical shaft, essentially a 160- to 205-foot gaping hole in the forest floor which drops straight down 1,220 feet – 1,904 from the higher edge – before reaching the cave floor.
Mexico, TamaulipasEl Zacatón sinkholeThe El Zacatón sinkhole is the deepest water-filled sinkhole in the world with a total depth of 339 metres (1,112 ft). Zacatón is just one of the numerous sinkholes and other karst features in the region. Here are located more than 15 sinkholes, several cave systems and karst springs with caves.
Russia, BereznikiBerezniki SinkholeBerezniki’s sinkhole began in 1986 and just grows worse with each passing year. It’s unstoppable. Currently it’s over 200m deep, 80m long and 40m wide.
United States, Florida, TallahasseeLake Jackson SinkholeThe 4,000-acre lake has a habit of periodically draining away down sinkholes that are common in the area. Over time, the lake refills with rainwater, only to drain away again.
United States, Kentucky, Bowling GreenBowling Green SinkholeA cavernous sinkhole opened up on Feb. 12, 2014 beneath the National Corvette Museum in bowling Green, Kentucky, devouring eight prize Corvettes.
United States, Louisiana, Assumption ParishBayou Corner Sinkhole

The Bayou Corner sinkhole was created from a collapsed underground salt dome cavern operated by Texas Brine Co. and owned by Occidental Petroleum. The sinkhole, located in northern Assumption Parish, Louisiana, was discovered on August 3, 2012 and 350 nearby residents were advised to evacuate. The sinkhole was at least 750 feet (230 m) deep and covered approximately 15 acres (6.1 ha) in May 2013.

United States, New Mexico, Santa RosaThe Blue Hole of Santa RosaThe Blue Hole of Santa Rosa is a circular, bell shaped pool that is one of the most popular dive destinations in the USfor SCUBA diving and training. It is a clear blue body of water with a constant 64 °F (18 °C) temperature and constant inflow of 3000 gallons per minute. While the surface is only 80 feet (24 m) in diameter, it expands to a diameter of 130 feet (40 m) at the bottom.
United States, Oklahoma, Picher Picher, Oklahoma Sinkhole Picher, Oklahoma is one giant sinkhole waiting to happen. Actually, it’s dozens of sinkholes in the midst of happening. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this little Oklahoma town is the most toxic place in the country. Years of mining for lead and zinc has left the town full of sinkholes. The roofs of some of the mines — unable to support the weight of the earth — collapsed, and now the former municipality is home to numerous massive sinkholes.
United States, Texas, RockspringsThe Devil’s SinkholePlunging 400 feet is the cavernous Devil’s Sinkhole in Rocksprings, Texas. The limestone wonder has a 40'x60′ opening and there is archaeological evidence that the sinkhole was considered sacred by Native Americans.
United States, Texas, DaisettaDaisetta SinkholesSeveral sinkholes have formed, the most recent in 2008 with a maximum diameter of 620 ft (190 m) and maximum depth of 150 ft (46 m).
United States, Tennessee, Grassy CoveGrassy Cove SinkholeGrassy Cove is a natural sinkhole and one of the largest in the U.S. at roughly 3 miles by 5 miles in size. Grassy Cove demonstrates the mechanism responsible for the formation of the Sequatchie Valley. The Tennessee Cave Society (TCS) has coordinates for the state's 9,800+ caves (in 2013: 9,839 caves).
United States, Utah, Cathedral Valley, Capitol Reef National Park Gypsum SinkholeThe Gypsum Sinkhole is an occurrence formed by the reverse of the process that created Glass Mountain. Here groundwater is dissolving a buried gypsum plug. The cavity left behind has collapsed under the weight of overlying rock layers. This collapse has created a large sinkhole nearly 50 feet (15 m) in diameter and 200 feet (61 m) deep.

 

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