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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota b2920

    Default Dodged a bullet - found a sinkhole

    I'm not sure if sinkhole is the right word for what I found. I was in the woods on my property chipping up downed limbs. Next to a packed gravel pad on the side of my garage there is a drainage area, nothing special - just an area that in the past had been wet and now is bare dirt with trees in it. Anyway I was going to drive the tractor in there to do some chipping, but walked through it first because I forgot the saw in the garage. walking back I fell through what was solid ground, one leg went in past the knee and I didn't hit bottom. I fell over and extracted myself. I got lucky only one leg went through. I put a piece of wood in and the cavity is at least 5' deep and is filled with water.

    I felt around and it's tough to tell where the edges are, but I pushed a pole through a few areas and found that the void extends in one direction at least 4 feet, its hard to tell how wide it is. Had I driven the tractor on it I would have been in serious trouble, maybe a flip over or at least a very bad time. The weird part is the drainage ditch has been dry for a while now and I had been in it with the tractor last summer to clean it out, so this must be new. The soil is predominantly clay with lots of rocks, the area is relatively level with a slight slope and there's a slightly sunken area, which used to be the wet area, though the hole is now on the edge of the old wet area (now its dry despite lots of rain).

    Anyone know what may have caused it? Any ideas what to do about it? I'm thinking of finding secure ground and then breaking through the top with the BH to see how big it is and maybe filling it with gravel. How do I prevent it from occuring again? It would have been seriously dangerous on either the tractor or if I had fallen through with both feet.

  2. #2
    Super Member farmgirl19's Avatar
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    Texas
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    1986 JD 1050, and 1941 Avery

    Default Re: Dodged a bullet - found a sinkhole

    No clue about how to help, but am glad that you are OK.
    If man had enough horse sense to treat his wife like a Thoroughbred, she would never grow into an old nag.

    If you're going to climb in the saddle, better be ready for the ride!

    "If you see someone without a smile, give them yours!" - Dolly Parton

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Oklahoma
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    JD cut

    Default Re: Dodged a bullet - found a sinkhole

    Are you in old mining country? May be an old mineshaft entrance where the plug gave way. USGS might be hepful.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota b2920

    Default Re: Dodged a bullet - found a sinkhole

    Shouldn't be any mines around here, the property is in Ma. The property's history is that it's been generally wooded or animal pasture over the past few hundred years (all I could find history of). The house has been there for about 30 years. There are no water ways nearby, but there is a large pond about 50' lower in elevation and maybe 1000' away.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Birdhunter1's Avatar
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    Murphysboro, IL
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    Ford 3910

    Default Re: Dodged a bullet - found a sinkhole

    An old cistern or well maybe?

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Caldwell Co. NC
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    2006 Kama554; 92 Belarus 250AS

    Default Re: Dodged a bullet - found a sinkhole

    Here's some info.
    The Science of Sinkholes | Science Features

    I had a hole open up in my yard but when I dug it up with my backhoe is was pretty small. I figured it was probably an old buried tree stump.
    2006 Kama 554, 92 Belarus 250AS, Bombardier Outlander Max 400.

  7. #7
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
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    Indiana
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    JD4300 HST 4WD

    Default Re: Dodged a bullet - found a sinkhole

    Interesting you would post about a sinkhole since there was news in Cincinnati about a sinkhole today. I thought those things only happened in Florida. Water seems to be the root cause of sinkholes so I guess the solution is to eliminate the source of the water. I know, easier said than done.

    Norwood Family Finds Giant Sinkhole in Basement - :: Cincinnati news story :: LOCAL 12 WKRC-TV in Cincinnati

  8. #8
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Dodged a bullet - found a sinkhole

    Are you in limestone country?

    Try and find out what the geology is in your area.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  9. #9
    Member
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    Oct 2012
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    Myersville
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    Kubota b7800

    Default Re: Dodged a bullet - found a sinkhole

    I have some experience with sinkholes, including sitting on a D-7 Cat and noticing that the horizon was tipping. It turned out that I was over an old "filled" sinkhole that was in the act of "sinking" again. Fortunately those old machines had big open platforms to jump from. The big Caterpillar rolled completely over, and ended up at the bottom, still running and upright. Drove it back out, the only casualty being the the exhaust stack.

    My caution is to be careful of the edges, they are not always solid.

    As was just asked, re you on limestone? Something called "Karst Topography" because they often include areas of underground limestone rock where the rock is dissolved, creating a cavity? You can check a geologic map in the library or the internet. Look for limestone as the "country rock" under your locale. You might search on the the internet for "Karst" and see if there is any in your area. Usually most areas that have "new" sinkholes have a history of them.

    Some other possibilities:

    A water leak in an underground water pipe flushes away soil and rock and causes sinkholes in our nearby cities.

    Sometime ground water pumping will "empty" an underground void that is supported by the water. When the incompressable water is not there, the roof of the void collapses and the soil and rock above it will fall verticially.


    Maybe useful

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Dodged a bullet - found a sinkhole

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdhunter1 View Post
    An old cistern or well maybe?
    I was wondering about that, but haven't found anything that looks like man made sides. I can't imagine why one would be in that location though.

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