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ARTICLE_DATE May, 15 2009 00:01:00
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ARTICLE_DESCRIPTION Recently, it was reported that a sinkhole opened up just outside of a local elementary.  A few days later, another small sinkhole appeared just down the road.  What exactly causes these massive, spontaneous depressions in the earth's surface and what are their consequences?  Let's do some mental spelunking!
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ARTICLE_TEXT <p>You probably know that Missouri is lovingly nicknamed &quot;the cave state&quot; for having over 5,700 caves, surpassed only by Tennessee with 7,000.&nbsp; And for the most part, they are&nbsp;found primarily here in the Ozarks,&nbsp;right below our feet.&nbsp;</p> <p>A sinkhole is a natural depression or hole in the surface of the earth caused by the removal of soil or bedrock, often both, by water.&nbsp;When acidic rain water seeps into the ground, it eats away at the bedrock and the layer of soil above it collapses towards the cavernous earth below.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2007/3060/pdf/FS2007-3060.pdf">What else happens when&nbsp;sinkholes are&nbsp;formed?</a></li> </ul> <p>Missouri, with its limestone-heavy soils, is especially prone to sinkholes.&nbsp; The state, especially the Springfield area, resides on what is known in the geology world as a Karst Valley.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.karstconservancy.org/karst/what-is-karst.asp">What is a Karst Valley?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wrc/springsandcaves.htm">Missouri Karst</a></li> </ul> <p>Sinkholes can be costly to fill in and repair, but unfortunately not much can be done to prevent their formation.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/sinkholes/cwp/view.asp?a=3&amp;q=503863">What can I do if I have a sinkhole?</a></li> </ul> <p>However, the best defense is always a good offense and prospective builders can try to choose areas where there is an unlikely chance of sinkholes occuring.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.coolcat.org/search/i?SEARCH=0784401764&amp;searchscope=1&amp;Submit.x=36&amp;Submit.y=18">Building on sinkholes : design and construction of foundations in Karst terrain</a>&nbsp;by George F. Sowers</li> <li><a href="http://www.coolcat.org/search/i?SEARCH=1600940676&amp;searchscope=1&amp;Submit.x=23&amp;Submit.y=15">The house always wins : America's most trusted home columnist's guide to creating your (almost) perfect dream house </a>by Marni Jameson</li> </ul> <p>Residents and prospective builders can find out if a sinkhole has been located on a certain piece of property by going to the <a href="http://www.greenecountyassessor.org/Main/Home.aspx">Greene County Assessor's Web site</a>.&nbsp; Once you're there, follow these instructions:</p> <ul> <li>Click on the &quot;Property Search&quot; tab and search for property by owner name, address, parcel ID or parcel buffer.</li> <li>Next, click on Parcel ID.</li> <li>Then, click on the Map tab under &quot;Record Details&quot;.</li> <li>Under the Map, click on the boxes for aerial photos and sinkholes, then click Refresh.</li> <li>Any areas of the map outlined in an orange circle indicates a sinkhole has collapsed there.</li> </ul> <p>Get out and explore&nbsp;Ozarks geology by checking out these and other&nbsp;books at your local branch of the Springfield Greene County Library.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.coolcat.org/search/i?SEARCH=9781933370132&amp;searchscope=1&amp;Submit.x=27&amp;Submit.y=11">Show me...natural wonders</a> by Don Corrigan</li> <li><a href="http://coolcat.org/search~S1/X?searchtype=X&amp;searcharg=catalogue+of+the+caves+of+missouri&amp;SORT=D&amp;searchscope=1">Catalogue of the caves of Missouri</a> by Jerry Vineyard</li> <li><a href="http://coolcat.org/search/i?SEARCH=0881507350&amp;searchscope=1&amp;Submit.x=24&amp;Submit.y=12">50 hikes in the Ozarks : walks, hikes and backpacks in the mountains, wildernesses and geological wonders of Arkansas and Missouri</a> by Johnny Molloy</li> <li><a href="http://coolcat.org/search/i?SEARCH=1560444851&amp;searchscope=1&amp;Submit.x=19&amp;Submit.y=17">Scenic driving the Ozarks including the Ouachita Mountains</a>&nbsp;by Donald R. Kur</li> <li><a href="http://www.coolcat.org/search/i?SEARCH=0881506648&amp;searchscope=1&amp;Submit.x=22&amp;Submit.y=15">The Ozarks : includes Branson, Springfield &amp; northwest Arkansas</a> by Ron W. Marr</li> <li><a href="http://www.coolcat.org/search~S1/X?searchtype=X&amp;searcharg=swimming+holes+of+the+ozarks&amp;SORT=D&amp;searchscope=1">Swimming holes of the Ozarks : a guide to 85 great places to cool off in Arkansas and Missouri</a> by Glenn W. Wheeler</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
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Community Matters, Missouri & Ozarks, Science

Sinkholes cause headaches for many in Springfield

You probably know that Missouri is lovingly nicknamed "the cave state" for having over 5,700 caves, surpassed only by Tennessee with 7,000.  And for the most part, they are found primarily here in the Ozarks, right below our feet. 

A sinkhole is a natural depression or hole in the surface of the earth caused by the removal of soil or bedrock, often both, by water. When acidic rain water seeps into the ground, it eats away at the bedrock and the layer of soil above it collapses towards the cavernous earth below.

Missouri, with its limestone-heavy soils, is especially prone to sinkholes.  The state, especially the Springfield area, resides on what is known in the geology world as a Karst Valley. 

Sinkholes can be costly to fill in and repair, but unfortunately not much can be done to prevent their formation. 

However, the best defense is always a good offense and prospective builders can try to choose areas where there is an unlikely chance of sinkholes occuring.

Residents and prospective builders can find out if a sinkhole has been located on a certain piece of property by going to the Greene County Assessor's Web site.  Once you're there, follow these instructions:

  • Click on the "Property Search" tab and search for property by owner name, address, parcel ID or parcel buffer.
  • Next, click on Parcel ID.
  • Then, click on the Map tab under "Record Details".
  • Under the Map, click on the boxes for aerial photos and sinkholes, then click Refresh.
  • Any areas of the map outlined in an orange circle indicates a sinkhole has collapsed there.

Get out and explore Ozarks geology by checking out these and other books at your local branch of the Springfield Greene County Library.

 

 

 

 


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