Monday, June 20th, 2016
What Happens When The Earth Collapses Beneath Your Feet?
Residents of Woodland Terrace in Charlton, south-east London, had a surprise last month when they woke to find that a large portion of their street had simply collapsed.
The crater, estimated to be more than 30 feet in length, 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep, appeared in the early hours of the morning following severe storms and more than 24 hours of torrential rain. Some residents reported hearing a ‘loud bang’ but, due to the weather, they attributed it to thunder- until that is they looked outside the next day.
Thanks largely to the late hour, there were no casualties, but the hole did swallow a 7-seater Vauxhall Zafira which had been parked by Ghazi Hassan who was visiting his brother overnight. When he emerged in the morning, the rear wheels were at least ten feet below the surface of the road and only its front end was visible. After one failed attempt, the car was eventually recovered from the hole by a large crane - and surprisingly had little damage to show for its adventure.
Not The First
This is not the first sinkhole in Britain, and they are surprisingly more common than you might think. In fact, there has been a small spate of spontaneous craters across the UK over the past couple of years, including a hole reaching 40 feet deep on a busy road in Manchester city centre, one that caused £16,000 of damage to the fairway on Traigh Golf Course on Scotland's west coast, and a huge crater in St Albans that caused the evacuation of a whole street.
Further afield in America, the phenomenon is even more common, particularly in areas of Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. In Florida,
Thursday, June 16th, 2016
London Drainage Facilities explains the science behind sinkholes and why they are becoming more prevalent in the UK.
In the past, massive sinkholes have been cropping up around the world in countries such as the USA and China. However, in recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of sinkholes appearing at home in the UK.
Sinkholes often arise as a result of natural processes but it has been warned that the marked increase in these kinds of events in recent times could be down to indirect human activity. Sinkholes often arise as a result of natural processes but it has been warned that the marked increase in these kinds of events in recent times could be down to human activity. Experts believe that sinkholes are appearing next to human constructions due to rain water being concentrated on a particular area of ground in the form of run-off from roofs and tarmac leading to increased weight.
Just last month, a small family car almost swallowed by a large sinkhole on a quiet residential street in the city. The sinkhole was estimated to be at least 30ft in length and formed as a result of 24 hours of torrential rain.
What is a Sinkhole?
A sinkhole is essentially a hole in the ground that is formed by erosion and the drainage of water.
Sinkholes that appear suddenly, aka cover-collapse sinkholes, are often what contribute to the headlines in national newspapers. Contrary to common knowledge, they can also form slowly over time to form cover-subsidence sinkholes.
They mainly occur in areas known as ‘karst terrain’; this is an area of land where soluble bedrock such as gypsum or limestone can be dissolved by water. Cover-subsidence sinkholes start when the bedrock becomes exposed and is gradually worn down over time. This same process happens with a