Environmental Geology

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 360–369 | Cite as

Spatial distribution, morphometry and activity of La Puebla de Alfindén sinkhole field in the Ebro river valley (NE Spain): applied aspects for hazard zonation

  • F. Gutiérrez-Santolalla
  • M. Gutiérrez-Elorza
  • C. Marín
  • G. Desir
  • C. Maldonado
Original Article


A highly active collapse sinkhole field in the evaporitic mantled karst of the Ebro river valley is studied (NE Spain). The subsidence is controlled by a NW-SE trending joint system and accelerated by the discharge of waste water from a nearby industrial state. The morphometry, spatial distribution and temporal evolution of the sinkholes have been analysed. The volume of the sinkholes yields a minimum estimate of average lowering of the surface by collapse subsidence of 46 cm. The clustering of the sinkholes and the tendency to form elongated uvalas and linear belts, in a NW–SE direction have a predictive utility and allow the establishment of criteria for a hazard zonation. With the precipitation record supplied by a pluviograph and periodic cartographic and photographic surveys the influence of heavy rainfall events on the triggering of collapses has been studied.


Evaporite karst Collapse sinkhole Spatial distribution Hazard zonation Spain 



This research has been financially supported by the ROSES project (ENV4-CT97-0603) of the European Community. The authors would like to thank the geologist and speleologist Fernando Lorén Blasco for his help in the exploration of the endokarst.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Gutiérrez-Santolalla
    • 1
  • M. Gutiérrez-Elorza
    • 1
  • C. Marín
    • 1
  • G. Desir
    • 1
  • C. Maldonado
    • 1
  1. 1.Dpto. de Ciencias de la Tierra, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de ZaragozaZaragozaSpain

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