The Xiaozhai Tiankeng is 626 meters (2,054 ft) long, 537 meters (1,762 ft) wide, and between 511 and 662 meters (1,677–2,172 ft) deep, with vertical walls. Its volume is 119,349,000 m³ and the area of its opening is 274,000 m².
As a Florida resident, this is the substance of my nightmares.
posted by Splunge at 4:10 PM on August 30 [1 favorite +] [!]
The Guatemala City sinkhole, estimated to be 60 feet (18 meters) wide and 300 feet (100 meters) deep, appears to have been triggered by the deluge from tropical storm Agatha.
But the cavity formed in the first place because the city—and its underground infrastructure—were built in a region where the first few hundred meters of ground are mostly made up of a material called pumice fill, deposited during past volcanic eruptions.
"Lots of times, volcanic pumice originates as a flow [of loose, gravel-like particles], and because of the heat and the weight, it becomes welded into solid rock," Bonis said.
"In Guatemala City [the pumice is] unconsolidated, it's loose," he said. "It hasn't been hardened into a rock yet, so it's easily eroded, especially by swift running water."
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