Sinkholes at the Dead Sea have threatened tourists and forced Israeli (and perhaps Jordanian)authorities to close various facilities and cancel development plans to avoid these geologic hazards. These are not your typical Karst sinkholes. According to a recent AP article, they are caused by the erosion of salt deposits by fresh water as a result of the lowering of the water level. This is a human caused phenomenon as current size of the Dead Sea is just 1/3 of its size in 1960 since water has been diverted from the Jordan River, its main tributary to be evaporated for its phosphates. At the end of the article is an interesting note that the World Bank is currently evaluating a proposal to replenish the Dead Sea by digging a $15 Billion canal from the Red Sea, about 100 miles away. (Photo by urban_hipster)
The City of Vancouver is suing a developer, excavation contractor and their consulting engineer for the costs of repairs, overtime for city employees and lost revenue from parking meters etc stemming from an apparent failure of a shoring system that formed a 30-meter sinkhole. No mention of the developer’s name or the engineer, but the contractor was Matcon Excavation and Shoring. The site will be the future home of high-rise condominiums…if the City lifts it’s stop work order.
The failure of the shoring caused a break inf a 20-cm water main ultimately flooding the site. It also necessitated the closure of the adjacent street. Of course this invites the whole chicken or the egg scenario. The defendants will probably argue that the water line failed first causing the failure of the shoring, but of course the City Engineer, Tom Timm was not shy about fingering the shoring as being deficient.
"It’s some kind of a failure of the shoring system . . . either a design issue or the way it was put in place."