Three general types of sinkholes occur in Florida: Collapse, Solution, and Subsidence.
1. COLLAPSE SINKHOLES
Collapse sinkholes are the most common type in Florida. They happen suddenly where the overburden is thick with soils and heavy clay.. They are frequently triggered by fluctuations in the water-table. As water levels fluctuate, the roof of the cavity is stressed and weakened. When the water-table drops too far, the cavity walls are unsupported and the ceiling becomes too weak to hold the heavy overburden. Eventually, the ceiling collapses and a sinkhole is formed.
2. SOLUTION SINKHOLES
If the overburden is thin or absent, the surface of the limestone bedrock is broken down by erosion from wind and surface water. A bowl-shaped depression, or solution sinkhole, naturally forms slowly and continuously as chemical and physical processes erode the rock. (fertilizer, street water run off, etc)
3. SUBSIDENCE SINKHOLES
Subsidence sinkholes form gradually where the overburden is thin. The dissolving limestone is replaced by sand granules that fall into the depression and fill the holes. They appear as a concave depression in the ground. Subsidence sinkholes are usually only a few feet in diameter and depth because the development of the cavities in the limestone is retarded since they are filled with clay and sand. As the sediments fill the depression, they restrict the flow of water through the bottom and the hole begins to retain water. As water accumulates, a lake is formed. (soils ravel into the ground like an hour glass)
How do I know If I have a sinkhole?
Signs to look for: ( 1 or more signs)
Doors that stick when opening or closing
Windows that stick or a hard to open
Step cracking in outside walls
Cracks above windows or doors
Cracked ceramic tiles
Dry Wall tape separation
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