Evaluating Sinkhole Hazards in Mantled Karst Terrane

by William L. Wilson, Univ of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA,
Barry F. Beck, Univ of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Geotechnical Aspects of Karst Terrains: Exploration, Foundation Design and Performance, and Remedial Measures


Sinkholes are the most serious geologic hazard in karst terrane because they can damage structures, drain ponds and lakes, and allow direct infiltration of groundwater contamination. The potential hazard of sinkholes is most difficult to assess in mantled-karst areas where the soluble bedrock is overlain by thick deposits of unconsolidated siliciclastic sediment that obscure the potential for subsurface erosion which causes sinkholes. Site-specific evaluations of sinkhole conditions depend on the accurate characterization of irregular buried bedrock topography, soil or sediment stratigraphy, soil mechanical properties, and subsurface drainage relationships. This article presents a technique for evaluating sinkhole hazards in mantled karst terrains.

Subject Headings: Sinkholes | Karst | Geohazards | Soil properties | Geology | Bedrock | Subsurface drainage

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