Karst-Related Sinkholes: Dynamic Compaction as an Effective Remediation Option

by Chris Woods, P.E., (M.ASCE), Vice President; Densification, Inc., Paeonian Springs, VA, chris@densification.com,

Serial Information: Geo-Strata —Geo Institute of ASCE, 2014, Vol. 18, Issue 6, Pg. 50-54

Document Type: Feature article


The paramount issue to address before constructing at sites underlain by karst topography is identification and remediation of sinkholes which exist close to the surface, and specifically within the stress influence zone of the foundation system. During the past several decades, there have been many advances in evaluating and mitigating sinkholes at karst sites. However, as with almost every aspect of below-grade construction, there are usually multiple methods to solve the problem, with each solution varying in risk. Karst sites are no different, except perhaps that even conservative approaches, such as deep foundations, can have elevated levels of risk, given the inherently variable nature of soluble rock formations. As such, there are usually several decisions an owner must make with respect to the cost/benefit analysis of these options.

Subject Headings: Karst | Sinkholes | Mitigation and remediation | Construction methods | Topography | Solubility | Site investigation


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