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Sinkholes

Have you ever heard people talk about the “Karst” typography of Bowling Green? Have you heard anyone describe how we use our cave systems to move water rain water?

 

Bowling Green and the majority of Warren County are located in an area with the highest potential for Karst activity. A karst area is defined as being an irregular limestone region with sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns, and because of this our area has very few surface streams and rivers because most of our water is underground. Sinkholes are not new in this area they are simply a function and by product of the Karst area we live in.

 The most common type of sinkhole in this area is caused by sub-surface water eroding soil thru cracks in the limestone leaving voids just below the surface that eventually collapse that we call sinkholes. Heavy Rains, Construction, various land use changes and concentrated surface runoff may increase the occurrence of sinkholes in specific areas and one of the reasons sinkholes may appear more often in newly constructed areas.

 

On the surface sinkholes tend to appear rather suddenly and without provocation, but in general and in reality they have been forming slowly over time and finally appear when the surface can no longer support its own weight. Small areas can be examined with ground penetrating radar looking for anomalies in high risk areas but such methods are slow, laborious and expensive.

 

The City of Bowling Green provides guidance to builders and developers that govern how they manage areas of concentrated runoff that hope to avoid creating karst collapses.  Further we provide guidance on how to repair sinkholes properly so that they do not reoccur.  Please visit www.bgky.org  or our partners at underbgky.org for m

ore information

 

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