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Environmental Geology and Water Sciences

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 71–78 | Cite as

Environmental and engineering effects of Sinkholes—the processes behind the problems

  • Barry F. Beck
Article

Abstract

Karstic erosion of the land surface is controlled by processes occurring in the epikarstic zone—the upper portion of the limestone which is most intensely dissolved. Sinkholes developing today are generally the effects of downward movement of mantling sediment into the major karren shafts which drain the epikarstic zone deeper into the true karstic aquifer. Dissolution of the limestone itself does not cause significant changes in man's time frame. The downward erosion of mantling sediment is termed ravelling. Only in uniform sediment will an arched cavity occur. In unconsolidated sediment which is stratified, lateral tunnelling may even occur. Only the major karren can transmit sediment downward, the majority are ineffective. In mantled karst the location of surficial depressions and photo-linears does not necessarily correlate to areas of new collapse. The irregular and highly dissolved character of the epikarstic zone complicates foundation engineering. Downward drainage through this zone may be limited and cause flooding. An understanding of processes in the epikarstic zone is essential in developing on karst.

Keywords

Land Surface Sinkhole Collapse Ground Penetrate Radar Profile Limestone Dissolution Multidisciplinary Conf 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry F. Beck
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida Sinkhole Research InstituteUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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