A sinkhole approximately 32 meters in diameter and roughly 200 meters deep opened up in the Atacama Desert of Chile, near the Alcaparrosa copper mine at the beginning of August 2022. Anytime something like this appears near a mine, there is the obvious question if the mining activities have something to do with the formation. It does appear to have the classic appearance of other large sinkholes formed by normal geologic processes of limestone dissolution. I can’t be sure, but from the photos, it appears that the structure is centered on some kind of channel that reroutes water around the mine facilities. One can imagine that even with the minimal rainfall in the Atacama Desert, the occasional flow in that channel could have been concentrated on the sinkhole area, perhaps playing a role in the final collapse. I would speculate that the actual formation of the sinkhole probably predates the mining activity.
A large 40 foot wide by 40 foot deep sinkhole opened up just outside the endzone of Austin Peay State University’s Governors Stadium in Tennessee. The stadium is currently undergoing upgrades for next year’s football season. Sinkholes are not unexpected on Austin Peay campus, and the video below shows one example of how the University has actually incorporated the remediated sinkholes into the landscaping. Representatives from the University and the contractor expect the sinkhole will be filled without any problems.
[Updated 1/19/2015] Click through for the video since I can’t figure out how to turn off the auto-play on this one. [/Updated]
Dozens of Sinkholes in Plant City, Florida after Farmers Pump Extra Water Trying to Protect Crops from Bitter Cold
In early January of this year, Florida experienced some unusually cold temperatures that forced Plant City area strawberry farmers to pump extra groundwater to try to protect their crops. Over the course of about 11 days, the groundwater table in areas of Plant City was lowered by as much as 60-ft.
Almost immediately as many as 80 sinkholes began opening up around that region. Including ones that jeopardized a 500,000-gallon water tower, several that shut down an elementary school and numerous ones that shut down roads and highways and affected individual property owners. Around 20 local homeowners were left homeless after sinkholes left their house uninhabitable. For comparison, based on data from Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Sinkhole Database for the period of 1998 to 2008 (the last year for which data is available), 77 sinkholes were reported to have opened up in Polk, Pasco and Hillsborough counties combined.
Local officials are seeking help from the State and FEMA to cover the estimated $3 million in damages. That figure is double what Plant City received from FEMA for the particularly bad 2004 hurricane season. And that dollar amount does not include what individual homeowners and property owners will be seeking from their insurance carriers. (Photos by Tampa Bay Online)
Read on for maps of Plant City sinkhole locations and more information.