Imagine yourself just driving around town, navigating your way through traffic, dealing with YOLO Malaysian drivers, minding your own business, and then…
The thought of the ground disappearing beneath your feet might be the stuff of nightmares, sinkholes are a real phenomenon that happens everywhere around the world.
Sinkholes are, well, holes that appear on the ground. They can either be small and shallow or large and deep enough to devour people, vehicles or entire buildings.
Like many other things that occur on this planet, sinkholes can occur naturally or from man-made causes, where human development and construction can compromise the structural integrity of the ground’s surface.
And KL City for some reason seems like its eroding away, with 3 sinkholes happening in one day…
There are 3 basic types of sinkholes that basically form the same way due to erosion and water drainage.
1. Cover-collapse sinkholes are the ones that can occur abruptly. It happens when cracks underneath the surface are eroded and hollowed out by water creating a cavern underneath a layer of soil on the surface. This cave that forms underground then collapses under its own weight, exposing the cavity that had formed over time.
Though the sinkhole itself can appear suddenly, the erosion process usually happens gradually and out of sight.
2. Cover-subsidence sinkholes happen way slower. It’s caused when bedrock underneath the surface is worn down or dissolved by water.
This creates a cavity that gradually pulls sediment into the empty spaces underground, making a depression on the surface
3. Dissolution sinkholes form when water runoff flows into cracks in the ground and eats away at the bedrock bit by bit, creating a depression on the surface.
These crevises can get plugged up by debris, trapping water and forming ponds and wetlands on the surface.
Concerningly, the adverse impact of the Climate Crisis is also causing more sinkholes to appear.
Changing temperatures and unpredictable weather is changing the very geology of our planet affecting not only human-populated areas but also everywhere else around the world.
There is still a lot that we do not know about our planet, and it’s scary to think that the actions we take are changing the very face of this hunk of rock floating in space we call home.