Monday, March 25, 2013

Cursed? Karst!

Not three weeks after a giant sinkhole claimed the life of a resident of the Tampa, Florida area, a second sinkhole has formed in the same town. Of course, the formation of sinkholes in such close proximity is no coincidence... there is a, pardon the expression, underlying cause for these disasters.

The geology of West-Central Florida is typified by a karst formation, strata of soluble rock riddled (couldn't resist) with holes and gaps through the action of acidified water. Sinkholes are a common feature of karst landscapes, especially when ground water is removed from the formation. Further hydrological disruptions can occur as development retards the absorption of the rainwater which, under normal conditions, would replenish the groundwater. With increased development, and increased stress on groundwater resources, the incidence of sinkholes is likely to increase.

The real problem is unsustainable development on unstable geological formations. Development on unstable karst landscapes, ephemeral barrier islands and low-lying flood plains is problematic. Of course, there are very few legal impediments to unsustainable development in unsuitable areas, and an insufficiently knowledgable public will continue to build and rebuild on locations known to be unsafe.

Regarding the karst landscape of Florida, I have no solution to the problem of dissolution, I can just point to the problem and nerd out about the geology involved.

10 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The real problem is unsustainable development on unstable geological formations.

The real problem is one hasn't swallowed up Rick Scott. Yet.
~

Sirius Lunacy said...

The real problem is one hasn't swallowed up Rick Scott. Yet.

Unfortunately, noxious bags of gas don't sink.

mikey said...

To be fair, there are very few places on the planet that are ideal for sustained human occupation. With tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, droughts, snakes, blizzards, swamps and assorted challenges to life and dwelling, you just kinda have to pick your poison...

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

With tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, droughts, snakes, blizzards, swamps and assorted challenges to life and dwelling

...other humans, snow, Illinois drivers...

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Smut Clyde said...

[A giant sinkhole] hasn't swallowed up Rick Scott

Professional courtesy.

Helmut Monotreme said...

I suggest importing tailing from coal mining in Kentucky. that should fill up those holes in a hurry. Also we can pretend this won't pollute the groundwater.

Substance McGravitas said...

Holy.

mikey said...

Which apparently describes the ghost of Catholicism, which is haunting people who don't give the priesteses what they NEED!!!

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