Is This A Gigantic Well? By: Ani Hsu O.

When you look out a window during a big storm, I doubt that you stop to think “what if it rained so much and so hard that the earth would cave in?” Well, did you know that is what might have happened in Guatemala? It’s true! After a very big storm, a sinkhole formed in the ground, in Guatemala City. Also, it is said that the Tropical Storm Agatha, a previous big storm,  contributed to part of the disaster. Furthermore, the sinkhole is more than one hundred feet deep, and is shaped like a cylinder. Moreover, it is possible that the sinkhole formed because there are many salt beds under certain areas of Guatemala, and after the storm, obviously a lot of water built up, resulting in the melting of the salt-beds. So, some areas where the salt beds were, caved in, and caused this gigantic sinkhole. Unfortunately, while the ground caved in, it took some buildings along with it and utility lines too. Apparently, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says that sinkholes are common where the rock underneath the land surface is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds or rocks that can naturally be dissolved by ground water circulating through them.

There is, however, a few more theories as to how the sinkhole was formed.  In fact, association president Augusto Lopez Rincon said he believed that excessive traffic caused by commercial trucks were to blame for the sinkhole.

Before, you may have believed that this picture shown above is fake. However, you would just be one out of the many who think that. Actually, here is a conversation between OhioInd and Edhead76:

“The picture looks unreal, ‘Photo-shopped’ but it may just look that strange,” OhioInd posted.

Edhead76 replied: “Believe me this picture is no fake. Guatemala has a very odd terrain. They have a lot of mountainous regions and the capital is somewhat level, but artificially. they have mudslides all the time.”

On the other hand, one person believes that ground water has something to do with the sinkhole.

Discussion Questions:

1) What do you think is the main cause for this sink hole?

2) Do you think that our area can experience a phenomenon like this?


~ by Student Entry on June 14, 2010.

3 Responses to “Is This A Gigantic Well? By: Ani Hsu O.”

  1. Good Job, Ani! That is so amazing and very odd. I would think that the sink whole formed because many different processes kept on softening the area’s terrain. I would think that anywhere could experience such phenomenon. It is very unlikely that this will happen here but, there is always a chance that it could happen. If a huge rainstorm came and all the water froze very high up then there would be a chance. But, this phenomenon is very unlikely to occur again. This article is very well written!

  2. 1) i think that the main cause 4 this sink hole is earths crust cracking, and then breaking a part. This hole could be a start for many holes after. Or maybe the rocks underneath collapsed causing the street to fall through.

    2) I don’t think that scotch plains will have a big hole, but it’s possible. It might happen over a million years, or sooner. I can’t tell, but i could happen, i just hope that it doesn’t.

  3. Great article Ani!
    1) The main cause of this was probably the melting of saltbeds and limestone. This would result in a weaker support for the road, probably causing the sinkhole. All of the other theories probably contributed a little bit but not so much. Heavy traffic doesn’t seem strong enough to cause the sinkhole by itself.
    2) It is very unlikely that this will happen in Scotch Plains. For one, it doesn’t have salt or limestone beds underneath the roads (none that I know of) and it doesn’t have much heavy traffic or mudslides.
    Additionally, has anyone heard of this happening before?

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