Is climate change causing an increase in sinkhole erosion?

A sinkhole is any natural depression or hole in the Earth’s surface. One of the natural processes that can contribute to their formation is erosion where soluble bedrock is gradually removed, often from percolating water. Another process is referred to as suffusion where material sitting on top of limestone gradually washes away through cracks and fissures in the limestone beneath it. Anything sitting on top of sinkholes when they collapse such as roads and buildings fall in as well. Some of the manmade processes that contribute to sinkhole formation include mines that collapse and water mains that burst underground. But could climate change be playing a part? The answer is maybe. Record-level rainfall could trigger sinkholes. It also turns out that certain events such as hurricanes following periods of drought can trigger a series of sinkholes to occur. States most vulnerable to sinkholes are Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. So, although natural processes create these geological processes, direct effects from climate change such as an increase in droughts, floods and hurricanes can also be contributing.A sinkhole is any natural depression or hole in the Earth’s surface. One of the natural processes that can contribute to their formation is erosion where soluble bedrock is gradually removed, often from percolating water. Another process is referred to as suffusion where material sitting on top of limestone gradually washes away through cracks and fissures in the limestone beneath it. Anything sitting on top of sinkholes when they collapse such as roads and buildings fall in as well. Some of the manmade processes that contribute to sinkhole formation include mines that collapse and water mains that burst underground. But could climate change be playing a part? The answer is maybe. Record-level rainfall could trigger sinkholes. It also turns out that certain events such as hurricanes following periods of drought can trigger a series of sinkholes to occur. States most vulnerable to sinkholes are Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. So, although natural processes create these geological processes, direct effects from climate change such as an increase in droughts, floods and hurricanes can also be contributing.

Source, National Weather Service

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