Sinkhole Formation by Groundwater Withdrawal: Far West Rand, South Africa

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Science  01 Sep 1967:
Vol. 157, Issue 3792, pp. 1045-1048
DOI: 10.1126/science.157.3792.1045


Sinkholes up to 125 meters wide and 50 meters deep have developed catastrophically in thick unconsolidated debris above pinnacle-weathered dolomite after lowering of the groundwater surface by at least 160 meters. They are caused by shrinkage of desiccated debris, downward migration of debris into bedrock openings, and upward growth of multiple debris "caverns" by roof spalling.