Exploring a Coupled Approach to Model the Geomechanical Processes of Sinkholes

  • Suraj Khadka
  • Zhong-Mei Wang
  • Liang-Bo HuEmail author
Conference paper


Sinkholes may manifest in various forms of geological hazards or disasters, including gradual depression or rapid collapses in the underlying rock layer or overlay soil. In this paper a coupled approach is explored to study the chemo-mechanical processes involved in the dissolution dominated sinkhole processes, as well as the hydro-mechanical processes involved in the cover subsidence or collapse type of sinkholes. The first part of the analysis focuses on the dissolution kinetics and enhanced deformation processes. Specific solution rate of the constituent mineral (limestone or dolomite) and the surface area available for reaction are related via a chemo-mechanical coupling with the consideration of the damage-enhanced dissolution mechanism. The second part of the analysis explores the cover collapse type of sinkholes in which a critical mechanism is the growth and upward propagation of cavity. A strain-softening constitutive model is used to describe the strength evolution dependent on accumulated plastic deviatoric strain and erosion progression of soils around the cavity. The numerical results demonstrate the possibility of the presented coupling approach to better understand the time-dependent progressive processes of sinkhole formation and development.


Sinkholes Chemo-mechanical Dissolution Cover collapse 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ToledoToledoUSA
  2. 2.Guizhou UniversityGuiyangChina

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