Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Failing Infrastructure Causing Sinkhole Problems

An urban infrastructure sinkhole in San Francisco. These types of collapses
cost millions of dollars every year. Click for photo credit.
Check out this AP story by Roger Schneider posted here at the Washington Post about the growing problem of failing buried infrastructure and the resultant sinkholes that form as a result of infrastructure collapse. It seems as if I hear of an urban infrastructure sinkhole every week somewhere in the northeast. Some notable ones have formed in Brooklyn and Manhattan that caused considerable problems for the surrounding neighborhoods. While traffic disruption is one of the larger issues that we feel right away, broader issues often emerge such as damage to surrounding infrastructure and building foundations.

Geologists, particularly karst scientists, have largely looked at sinkholes as a geologic phenomena. More and more, we are finding out that there is a need to study this whole new class of sinkholes. The problems are too significant to ignore these anthropogenic features.

No comments: