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Subsidence Current Events


NASA image.
Monitoring Sacramento River Levees with Radar?
April 10, 2014 | NASA

“In the Sacramento River delta north of San Francisco Bay, islands, agricultural lands and communities below sea level are protected from surrounding water channels by more than 1,100 miles of dirt levees, many of which date back to the California Gold Rush.” NASA now has a method to monitor them using radar. Quote from the NASA press release.

Restricting the Right to Build?
April 3, 2014 | New York Times

An article in the New York Times explores the idea that governments should have the ability to restrict building construction in areas subject to geologic hazards.

Geologic Hazards in Colorado
March 31, 2014 | Colorado Geological Survey

The Colorado Geological Survey has one of the best geology pages on the web. Their Geologic Hazards in Colorado page is so valuable because it has links to several excellent videos about the state’s important hazards.

You can watch some of the videos by using these links (you don’t have to live in Colorado to learn something important): Avalanche, Debris Flow, Earthquake, Hazardous Soils, Landslides, Mine Subsidence and Rock Fall.

Here’s a sample video….

Sinkhole Collapse Warnings from Radar?
March 25, 2014 | NASA

“Radar data, if collected routinely from airborne systems or satellites, could at least in some cases foresee sinkholes before they happen, decreasing danger to people and property.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

Land Below Sea Level
March 16, 2014 | Geology.com

Did you know that there are seven distinct depressions on Earth that are over 100 meters below sea level, and twenty-three that are over 10 meters below sea level and ten more that are at least two meters below sea level? We have a google map that points to ten of these depressions and a list of the remaining locations.

What Your Homeowner’s Insurance Does Not Cover
March 4, 2014 | Geology.com

Most homeowners insurance policies have exclusions that make them worthless when the home is damaged by common geologic problems such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, mine subsidence, cavern collapse and expansive soils. When a home is damaged the homeowner often is surprised that his “all perils” policy has these exclusions.

Eight Corvettes Swallowed by a Sinkhole??
February 13, 2014 | Reuters

In what has to be some of the worst luck, a sinkhole developed beneath the property of the National Corvette Museum, in the karst area of Kentucky, and eight of the most valuable corvettes on the planet fell in. Security video is posted on the museum’s website.

Natural Hazards of 2013
February 2, 2014 | USGS

USGS has a short review of how a variety of natural hazards influenced the United States during calendar year 2013.

USFWS Photo
Over 80000 Acres of Wetlands Lost Per Year
December 22, 2013 | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

“The United States is losing wetlands in coastal watersheds at a significant rate, according to a new report released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [...] It concludes that more than 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost on average each year, up from 60,000 acres lost per year during the previous study.” Quoted from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release.

NASA Hazard Warning Systems
December 12, 2013 | NASA

“Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have enhanced existing GPS technologies to develop new systems for California and elsewhere to warn of hazards from earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

Sea Level Rise and Sinking Land
December 12, 2013 | USGS

“Communities and coastal habitats in the southern Chesapeake Bay region face increased flooding because, as seawater levels are rising in the bay, the land surface is also sinking. A USGS report concludes that intensive groundwater withdrawals are a major cause of the sinking land, or ‘land subsidence’, that contributes to flooding risks in the region.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

Related: Maps of Sea Level Rise

When the Ground Splits Open
October 28, 2013 | Arizona Geology

Scientists from the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Arizona Geological Survey explain some of the land subsidence and earth fissure problems associated with ground water production in Arizona. The video, When the Ground Splits Open, is by Arizona Public Media.

The Bayou Corne Sinkhole
September 29, 2013 | New York Times

An article on the New York Times website tells about the Bayou Corne Sinkhole, located in Louisiana above a salt dome where about 25 acres have subsided. The salt dome has been solution mined and the cavities produced by that mining have been used to store a variety of petroleum products.

Related: What is a Salt Dome?

Natural Hazard Viewer for Arizona
September 24, 2013 | Arizona Geological Survey

The interactive Natural Hazard Viewer focuses on four hazards common to Arizona — geologic faults and earthquakes, earth fissures, floods and wildfire. Each hazard is described in detail and displayed as a layer on a map. Moreover, the natural hazard information is dynamic; site updates will occur as new or revised hazard data becomes available.

Editor’s Comment: Every state geological survey should have one of these!

Popular for August 2013
September 3, 2013 | Geology.com

40 Maps that Explain the World

A Spanish Fort in the Appalachians in 1567?

12-Year-Old Finds a 5-Carat Diamond in Arkansas

Sinkhole in Western Kansas

Rare Eruption of Steamboat Geyser

Origin of the Antarctica Ice Sheet?

Frozen Landslides in Alaska

Solar Magnetic Field is about to Flip?

Flash Flooding Near Page, Arizona

Peridotite

Sinkhole Swallows Trees in Louisiana
August 23, 2013 | CNN

Sinkhole Collapse Destroys Florida Resort Building
August 13, 2013 | NBC News

A 40-foot-wide sinkhole collapsed under a three-story building at a resort near Disney World. The occupants were frightened out of the building shortly before the collapse.

Sinkhole in Western Kansas
August 6, 2013 | KWCH.com

A sinkhole about 200 feet wide and 90 feet deep has opened near the community of Sharon Springs, Kansas. Although no buildings have been damaged there is a problem with visitors venturing close the the edge and climbing in to explore the bottom.

Popular Stories for July 15 to July 31
August 3, 2013 | Geology.com

Sinkhole Photos – Wow!

Debris Flow in Southern Utah

The Strangest Volcanic Landscape

Thousands of Volcanoes in Arizona?

An Embryonic Subduction Zone in the Atlantic?

The Geologist Who Discovered Canadian Diamonds

Missing-Mantle Mystery

Top Diamond Producers

Sinkhole Photos – Wow!
July 30, 2013 | The Atlantic

This has to be the most impressive collection of sinkhole photos ever assembled.

$60B in Uninsured Weather Losses So Far This Year
July 29, 2013 | Quartz

An article on Quartz reports on the staggering level of uninsured losses that are attributed to weather so far this year.

Related: Even if you have insurance it does not cover many geologic hazards.

Sunken Cypress Forest in the Gulf of Mexico
July 16, 2013 | CBS News

Scuba divers have discovered the remains of a “sunken cypress forest” in sixty feet of water, ten miles from land in the Gulf of Mexico.

New Arizona Subsidence Maps
June 17, 2013 | Arizona Geology Blog

The Arizona Dept. of Water Resources has updated the majority of the land subsidence maps using InSAR data through April 2013.

Loss of Mississippi Delta Communities to Subsidence and Sea Level Rise
May 24, 2013 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an interesting article about how many small communities on the seaward edge of the Mississippi River delta are being lost to subsidence and sea level rise.

The community of Leeville (shown in Google map below) is featured in the article. If you toggle between “Map” and “Sat” you will see how the map greatly overstates the amount of dry land – at least on the day that the satellite image was acquired.


View Larger Map

Illinois Golfer Falls into Sinkhole
March 13, 2013 | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A golfer fell into a sinkhole while playing a course near Waterloo, Illinois – fortunately the 18-foot fall left him with only minor injuries. The course is over shallow, cavernous limestone.

Sinkholes in Illinois
March 13, 2013 | Illinois Geological Survey

The Illinois Geological Survey has a publication titled: Karst Landscapes of Illinois. From the publication “Two conditions are necessary for karst landscapes (green areas on map): (1) Soluble rocks, generally limestone and dolostone, must lie at or near the surface of the ground. (2) The loose soil covering the soluble bedrock must be thinner than about 50 feet.”

Florida Sinkhole Poster
March 12, 2013 | Florida Geological Survey

The Florida Geological Survey has an informative poster titled “Florida’s Sinkholes”. It shows their geographic distribution, explains how they form, describes different sinkhole types, explains why they are a hazard and explains what to do if a sinkhole occurs near your home.

Sinkholes in Arizona
March 10, 2013 | Tucson Citizen

The Tucson Citizen has an article about sinkholes in Arizona. Like in Florida, karst features in Arizona can develop over limestone, but gypsum and salt can also support karst topography.

Publications from the Arizona Geological Survey include:

Home Buyer’s Guide to Geologic Hazards in Arizona

Land Subsidence and Earth Fissures in Arizona

Homeowners Insurance and Sinkhole Damage
March 8, 2013 | Geology.com

Did you know that most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage from any type of subsidence? That includes collapse from sinkholes, oil production, ground water pumping and underground mining activity. Most insurance companies offering homeowners coverage exclude almost any type of geologic hazard from coverage – unless you make specific arrangements to acquire it yourself.

Home Over Florida Sinkhole Demolished
March 3, 2013 | Today.com

Last week a sinkhole opened beneath a home in Florida while the occupants were sleeping. One man’s bed fell into the sink and the efforts of family and rescue workers were not successful in retrieving him. Now he is presumed dead and demolition equipment is there to remove the structure while the sinkhole continues to enlarge. Injuries from sinkholes are rare but this situation shows how suddenly they can occur.

Guangzhou Sinkhole Destroys Buildings (video)
February 4, 2013 | CNN

A large sinkhole under buildings in Guangzhou, China triggers their collapse.

We are constantly looking for interesting items related to geology and general science. When we find something interesting we share it here. Bookmark this page and visit often. You can also receive our news for free by RSS feed or email. We publish updates three or four days per week.





Homeowners InsuranceHomeowners Insurance usually does not cover damage caused by floods, landslides, earthquakes and other geohazards.
frac sandFrac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing to enhance the flow of oil and gas from tight rock units.
Diamond formationDiamonds from Coal? Diamonds form under a variety of conditions that rarely involve coal as a source of carbon.
fluorescent mineralsFluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors when illuminated in the dark with an ultraviolet lamp.
Uses of heliumHelium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
Canada diamond minesCanada Diamond Mines: Canada is the third largest producer of gem-quality diamonds in the world.
Utica shaleUtica Shale: New wells in eastern Ohio prove that the Utica Shale will be a major source of natural gas and natural gas liquids.
Green River fossilsSpectacular Fossils of the Green River Formation. Some of the world's best-preserved fossil fish from an intermountain lake.
OpalOpals: Gem quality opal is one of the most spectacular gemstones. A single stone can flash with every color of the spectrum.
NovaruptaMost Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century: People in Juneau heard the volcanic blast - over one hour after it occurred.


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