What are sink holes and why are more and more appearing around the UK? |
 

 

What are sink holes and why are more and more appearing around the UK?

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 cover-collapse sinkhole but this cannot be seen; eventually, the cover will no longer be able to take the weight and will suddenly collapse to reveal the cavern underneath.

For more information on sinkholes, or on the range of services offered by London Drainage Facilities (LDF), please contact the company today.

 

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