Exploration of Karst Conditions in Central Florida

by Leo D. Handfelt, Dames & Moore, Los Angeles, CA, USA,
William J. Attwooll, Dames & Moore, Los Angeles, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


Walt Disney World, which comprises some 28,000 acres (11,000 ha) in central Florida, is underlain by cavernous limestone and is characterized by karst topography; with distinct low ground areas that are indicative of ancient sinkhole activity. Various methods have been used to explore the subsurface conditions in both the high and low ground areas of Walt Disney World. This paper discusses how an exploration program is planned from initially evaluating aerial photographs and performing hand probes in the low ground areas. Advantages and disadvantages of the various subsurface exploration techniques are discussed. In addition, there is a discussion on monitoring of aquifer levels in an effort to detect geohydrological conditions that might indicate potential for new sinkholes.

Subject Headings: Sinkholes | Karst | Geological surveys | Subsurface environment | Soil surveys | Site investigation | Limestone | Florida | United States

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