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Sinkhole in Guatemala 2010 Raises Question: What Causes A Sinkhole?

Written under: Human Interest, Science

After tropical storm Agatha passed, news reports of people who lost their lives and homes came. But the most shocking news is the giant sinkhole that opened up in Guatemala City.

The sinkhole in Guatemala, photo below, took a whole building with it. And with this news going around, many are now asking, what causes sinkholes to happen? We have the answer below.

A sinkhole is a natural depression or hole in the surface topography caused by the removal of soil or bedrock, often both, by water. They formed gradually or suddenly, and are found worldwide.

Why do sinkholes happen? Sinkholes are created when the underlying limestone or similar rock is eroded away by water that creates subsurface caves and caverns. The ground above the eroding rock then falls into the space.

According to Wikipedia, these sinkholes can be dramatic because the surface land usually stays intact until there is not enough support. Then a sudden collapse of the land surface can occur, as it did in Guatemala City.

A bad drainage system were blamed for creating this huge sinkhole which swallowed a three story building and 12 homes in Guatemala.

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Category: Human Interest, Science

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2 Responses

  1. Chris Smith says:

    O.K. That’s a sound explanation but how come the shape is circular? I just don’t get it!

  2. Pamela Wages says:

    If the oil in the Gulf, from the oil spill has been displaced, then this occurrence probably caused a “domino” effect from various parts of the surrounding regions…..and the regions need not be that close to the spill area.
    That was so much oil displaced, I am not surprised that there were not more sink holes.
    That was a lot of oil displaced from that huge spill!

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