As a firm specializing in geotechnical drilling, Arlington area residents routinely contact us to perform drilling as part of a sinkhole investigation and remediation effort. In fact, most are aware that Florida is very prone to sinkholes and a fair number of these underground voids are discovered via drilling projects. But why is Florida considered the nation’s capital for sinkholes? Well, that’s precisely what we’ll explore in today’s article.
When performing geotechnical drilling, Arlington residents often start wondering why this region is so prone to sinkholes. After all, other regions of the nation rarely see sinkholes, but in Florida, they’re actually quite commonplace. So what gives?
Well, it all comes down to Florida’s unique geology. The entire peninsula of Florida is perched atop a limestone bedrock. This limestone bedrock is topped by a sandy soil that is interspersed with chunks of coral rock. This sandy soil is a bit problematic, because water moves down through the soil with much greater ease than it would if you were dealing with clay-rich soil. This has an impact when you consider the following fact.
Limestone is a very soft rock and it dissolves with relative ease when exposed to acid, even mild acids. So acid rain can percolate down through the sandy soil and into the groundwater flows. As the water percolates through the soil, it also rinses the mild acids that are found in the soil, bringing them into contact with the limestone bedrock.
The result is dissolving limestone, which is rinsed away by the underground water flows, leaving a cavity behind. This cavity or void grows larger and larger with time, and ultimately, it collapses, resulting in a sinkhole.
It’s Florida’s sandy soil, combined with lots of rain and limestone bedrock that leaves the peninsula prone to sinkholes. Locating potential sinkholes is one of the many functions of geotechnical drilling. Arlington property owners who identify signs of an impending sinkhole, such as ground movement and depressions in the earth can turn to a geotechnical drilling team and sinkhole remediation firm to investigate and resolve the issue.
*Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Amdrill Inc*