License: CC BY-NC 3.0
Sometimes the ground open ups and swallows cars, buildings or even people. This usually happens at features called sinkholes.
Why It Matters
- Limestone, gypsum and salt make up karst terrain.
- Florida is nearly all limestone so it has many sinkholes, but nearly every state has some.
- Sinkholes occur in other types of rock. They can even be caused by human activities.
- People have died and property has been lost into sinkholes.
With the links below, learn more about sinkholes. Then answer the following questions.
- USGS, The Science of Sinkholes (video): http://www.youtube.com/user/usgs/videos
- National Geographic, Why Sinkholes Open Up (article): http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130812-florida-sinkhole-disney-world-explainer-urban-science/#close-modal
- What is a sinkhole?
- What causes karst terrain?
- Why do scientists make geologic maps of a region to protect against sinkholes?
- What is a cover collapse sinkhole and why is it dangerous?
- What are the warning signs that a sinkhole might open up?
- How does a sinkhole affect the groundwater of the region?