AIMS Geosciences, 2016, 2(2): 99-115. doi: 10.3934/geosci.2016.2.99

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ERT-based Investigation of a Sinkhole in Greene County, Missouri

Department of Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO 65409, USA.

Investigating sinkhole morphology and formation mechanisms is key to understanding their long term impact and susceptibility to development, and aids in the design of effective mitigation measures. In this study, ERT (electrical resistivity tomography), MASW (multichannel analysis of surface waves) and borehole data were used to image the subsurface morphology of an active sinkhole in Greene County, Missouri. The study reveals that the sinkhole developed along a natural surface drainage pathway above a pervasively fractured limestone. The subsurface image of the sinkhole depicts a zone of near-vertical water seepage and soil piping. Based on the nature of the overburden material, and the morphology and current/past surface expression of the sinkhole, it is concluded that the sinkhole is predominantly a cover subsidence type of sinkhole. However, it is possible that minor cover collapse occurred locally and in an area slightly to the north of the current active sinkhole.
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