A sinkhole is defined in Florida statutes (Ch. 627.706 F.S.) as "a landform created by subsidence of soil, sediment, or rock as underlying strata are dissolved by groundwater. Sinkholes can form by collapse into subterranean voids created by dissolution of limestone or dolostone or by subsidence as these strata are dissolved."
According to Wikipedia, sinkholes may be formed gradually or suddenly, and are found worldwide. They are common where the rock below the land surface is limestone or other carbonate rock, salt beds, or rocks that can naturally be dissolved by circulating ground water. As the rock dissolves, spaces and caverns develop underground. These sinkholes can be dramatic, because the surface land usually stays intact until there is not enough support. Then, a sudden collapse of the land surface can occur.
Sinkholes also form from human activity, such as the rare but still occasional collapse of abandoned mines in places like Louisiana. More commonly, sinkholes occur in urban areas due to water main breaks or sewer collapses when old pipes give way. They can also occur from the over pumping and extraction of groundwater and subsurface fluids. They can also form when natural water-drainage patterns are changed and new water-diversion systems are developed. Some sinkholes form when the land surface is changed, such as when industrial and runoff-storage ponds are created; the substantial weight of the new material can trigger an underground collapse of supporting material, thus causing a sinkhole.
LRE Foundation Repair is the company professional engineering firms, insurance companies and homeowners rely on for emergency sinkhole repairs. LRE’s Sinkhole Emergency Response Team (S.E.R.T.) is able to mobilize anywhere in Florida to repair and/or stabilize an emergency sinkhole dropout.