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Field Notes

Sinkhole Activity: Why Florida?

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

Florida is one of the leading states in the country for sinkhole activity. The reason for this is simple; it's in the foundation.

Florida is built on a mixture of carbonate rocks, limestone, and karst. Water moves easily through this material, creating voids and cavities under the ground's surface.

When a void becomes too large or the weight above a void becomes too heavy, the sand and clay above will collapse, creating a sinkhole. Other causes include new construction, heavy blasts, and disruption of water balance due to excessive removal or addition of water.

Florida's "Sinkhole Alley"

Sinkholes are most prevalent in the center of the state. Highly affected areas include Hernando(home to Laielli Construction), Pasco, and Hillsborough counties. In recent years Sumter county and the Ocala area have also been on the rise. Because these areas all reside on the western side of central Florida, it's now referred to as Florida's "Sinkhole Alley."

Sinkholes across the U. S.

While other states with a large number of sinkholes include Texas, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Tennessee; areas with a lower risk of sinkhole activity include Minnesota, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

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