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Natural and human-induced sinkholes in gypsum terrain and associated environmental problems in NE Spain

AutorBenito, Gerardo ; Pérez del Campo, P.; Gutiérrez, M. ; Sancho, C.
Palabras claveKarst in gypsum
Fecha de publicaciónabr-1995
CitaciónEnvironmental Geology, 25, 156-164
ResumenThe central Ebro Basin comprises thick evaporite materials whose high solubility produces typically karstic landforms. The sinkhole morphology developed in the overlying alluvium has been studied using gravimetry and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) on stream terraces, as well as analyzing the evolution of sinkhole morphologies observed in aerial photographs taken in 1928, 1957, and 1985. The sinkhole morphologies give some idea of possible subsurface processes as well as an indication of the final mechanisms involve in sinkhole development. On stream terraces and cover pediments the most commonly encountered dolines are bowl-shaped in their morphology with both diffuse and scarped edges. In contrast, dolines developed in the gypsiferous silt infilled valleys have a funnel and well-shaped morphology. The diffuse-edged bowl-shaped dolines are developed through the progressive subsidence of the alluvial cover, due to washing down of alluvial particles through small voids and cracks into deeper subsurface caves, resulting in a decrease alluvial density. Future compaction of the alluvial cover will produce surface subsidences. This type of dolines are associated with negative gravity anomalies. In contrast, the scarped-edge dolines are formed by the sudden collapse of a cavity roof. The cavities and cracks formed in the gypsum karst may migrate to the surface through the alluvial deposits by piping, and they may subsequently collapse. In this instance, the cavities can be detected by both gravity and GPR anomalies where the voids are not deeper than 4–5 m from the surface. These processes forming sinkholes can be enhanced by man-induced changes in the groundwater hydrologic regime by both inflows, due to irrigation, ditch losses, or pipe leakages, and by outflows from pumping activities.
Versión del editorhttp://www.springerlink.com/content/j411526634405668/?p=75d2c3459d504fd0a0cb9bd1ad055622&pi=0
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