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Links to Sinkhole Resources

Sinkholes in Florida

Sinkholes are a common feature of Florida’s landscape. They are only one of many kinds of karst landforms, which include caves, disappearing streams, springs, and underground drainage systems, all of which occur in Florida. Karst is a generic term which refers to the characteristic terrain produced by erosional processes associated with the chemical weathering and dissolution of limestone or dolomite, the two most common carbonate rocks in Florida. Dissolution of carbonate rocks begins when they are exposed to acidic water. Most rainwater is slightly acidic and usually becomes more acidic as it moves through decaying plant debris.

Limestones in Florida are porous, allowing the acidic water to percolate through their strata, dissolving some limestone and carrying it away in solution. Over eons of time, this persistent erosional process has created extensive underground voids and drainage systems in much of the carbonate rocks throughout the state. Collapse of overlying sediments into the underground cavities produces sinkholes.

When groundwater discharges from an underground drainage system, it is a spring, such as Wakulla Springs, Silver Springs, or Rainbow Springs. Sinkholes can occur in the beds of streams, sometimes taking all of the stream’s flow, creating a disappearing stream. Dry caves are parts of karst drainage systems that are above the water table, such as Marianna Caverns.

Website: www.dep.state.fl.us/geology/geologictopics/sinkhole.htm

Alachua County Environmental Protection Department
Phone: (352) 264-6800 | Website: environment.alachua-county.org

Florida Geological Survey
Phone: (850) 488-9380 | Website: www.dep.state.fl.us/geology

Northwest Florida Water Management District
Phone: 850-539-5999 | Website: www.nwfwmd.state.fl.us

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Northwest District Office
Phone: (850) 595-8300 | Website: www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/dist/nwdist.htm 

St. Johns River Water Management District
Phone: (386) 329-4500 | Website: http://floridaswater.com/

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Northeast District Office
Phone: (904) 807-3300 | Website: www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/dist/nedist.htm 

South Florida Water Management District
Phone: (561) 686-8800 | Website: www.sfwmd.gov

Southwest Florida Water Management District
Phone: (352) 796-7211 | Website: www.swfwmd.state.fl.us

Suwannee River Water Management District
Phone: (904) 362-1001 | Website: http://www.srwmd.state.fl.us/

U.S. Geological Survey
Website: www.usgs.gov 

Florida Department of Financial Services
Insurance Commissioner 
Website: www.fldfs.com 

Florida Division of Emergency Management
Phone: (850) 413-9969 | Website: http://www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
Phone: (850) 413-3140 | Website: http://www.floir.com/

Florida Sinkhole Research Institute
Phone: (407) 823-2280 | Website: http://www.cee.ucf.edu/RESEARCH/fsri/

Sinkhole Org
Sinkhole Information Site for Florida Homeowners 
Website: http://www.sinkhole.org

Wikipedia – Sinkholes
Web Based Encyclopedia  
Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinkhole