What is a Sinkhole?
American Foundation and Basement Repair is a full service sinkhole diagnosis and repair company. We have the tools and the knowledge to evaluate your problem and apply the correct restorative methods to get it repaired. A sinkhole, also referred to as a sink, snake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline, or cenote, is natural depression or gap inside the Earth's surface brought on by natural processes.
Sinkholes can vary greatly in size from 1 to 600 meters both in diameter and depth, and differ in form from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged chasms. They may be created slowly or all of a sudden, and are found throughout the world. We provide repair services to the Knoxville, Asheville, Chattanooga, Johnson City, and Cookeville areas. Sinkholes might capture surface drainage from running or standing water, but could also develop in high and dry places in a certain spot.
Development of Sinkholes
The mechanisms of development of sinkholes involves natural processes of erosion or continuous removal of slightly soluble bedrock (including limestone) by percolating water, the collapse of a cave roof, or a decrease of the water table. They frequently develop via the process of suffusion. Thus, for instance, groundwater might break down the carbonate cement holding the sandstone particles together and then carry away the lax particles, progressively developing a gap.
From time to time they might display a visible opening into a cave down below. In the case of extremely big sinkholes, like the Minyé in Papua New Guinea or Cedar Sink at Mammoth Cave National Park, USA, a stream or river might be noticeable across its bottom flowing from one side to the other.
Sinkholes are popular where the rock underneath the land surface is limestone or other carbonate rock, salt beds, or rocks which can naturally be dissolved by circulating ground water. As the rock dissolves, areas and caverns grow underground. These can be dramatic since the surface land usually stays intact right up until there is not enough support. Then, a sudden collapse of the land surface can take place.
They can also form from human activity, like the uncommon but still occasional collapse of abandoned mines in locations like West Virginia, USA. More often, sinkholes happen in urban areas because of water main breaks or sewer collapses when old pipes collapse. They can also come about from the over pumping and removal of groundwater and subsurface fluids.