×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Florida Sinkhole Highlights State's Geologic Instability

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the this-planet-will-not-hesitate-to-attack-you dept.

Earth 206

An anonymous reader writes "Last Thursday night, a sinkhole took the life of a man (TV news video, with ad) while he slept in his home in Seffner FL, near Tampa. While human fatalies are rare, sinkholes are so common in Florida that the insurance industry successfully lobbied the state lawmakers to pass legislation in 2011 making it more difficult for homeowners to claim sinkhole damages. The bedrock in Florida is limestone, a weakly soluble mineral formed from calcified deposits of sea creatures tens of millions of years ago. Above the limestone is a clay layer called the Hawthorn Formation which shields the limestone from ground water; and above the clay is sand. However, the protective clay layer is thin or nonexistent in some areas of Florida, particularly in the middle part of the state near the Gulf coast, where caves and sinkholes are common. Geologists say that human activity, particularly construction and irrigation, can trigger sinkholes by destabilizing the landscape above caverns by drawing down water tables and massing structures above them."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

206 comments

Who would have thought (3, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year ago | (#43055645)

it was a great idea to start building homes on swamp land?

Re:Who would have thought (2, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43055663)

...it was a great idea to start building homes on swamp land?

They have to build them someplace. Where would you suggest?

Re:Who would have thought (3, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43055679)

There's a lot of empty space in Montana I hear.

Re:Who would have thought (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43055785)

What about water?

I've read that lots of states around the Rockies have water shortages all the time

Re:Who would have thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056919)

Ice, Snow everywhere. But not a drop to drink!

Re:Who would have thought (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43056379)

Arkansas? Pretty countryside and the majority of it is on solid bedrock. Pretty rivers, pretty mountains, lots of pretty nature and prices are a hell of a lot cheaper than in FL which is probably why we are suddenly getting so many retirees here.

But sometimes you just need to cut your losses which it sounds like there are parts of Florida that just aren't any good for building, same as i never understand why they keep rebuilding New Orleans, the whole reason it was put where it was was on account of river trade which isn't a big money maker anymore and its below sea level folks, time to accept that NO is a swamp and let it go, build farther up and a little higher off the ground and call that NO and be done with it. If that area of FL is so littered with sinkholes you are at risk of your house disappearing any minute time to pack up and move folks, just not a smart place to be.

Re:Who would have thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055721)

Someone from a place with permafrost? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Who would have thought (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43055827)

it was a great idea to start building homes on swamp land?

If the castle sinks, you build another one on top of it. Repeat until it stands. (Then, marry a princess with huge...tracts of land.)

Re:Who would have thought (2)

Yobgod Ababua (68687) | about a year ago | (#43056625)

Come on... please quote properly for full comedic effect.
"
When I first came here, this was all swamp.
Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them.
It sank into the swamp.
So I built a second one.
That sank into the swamp.
So I built a third.
That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp.
But the fourth one stayed up.
And that's what you're going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England.

Re:Who would have thought (5, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#43055943)

it was a great idea to start building homes on swamp land?

This doesn't have anything to do with swampland really, rather it has to with the limestone that makes up the base of Florida. Same with really anywhere there's limestone, Ontario, Michigan, parts of Quebec, large swaths of the NE US. Some places are more stable than others and don't have to worry about it. And there's no much you can do in some cases, and while the limestone is thick where I live several hundred feet there have been huge sink holes.

Re:Who would have thought (1)

Phase Shifter (70817) | about a year ago | (#43056583)

This doesn't have anything to do with swampland really, rather it has to with the limestone that makes up the base of Florida. Same with really anywhere there's limestone, Ontario, Michigan, parts of Quebec, large swaths of the NE US. Some places are more stable than others and don't have to worry about it. And there's no much you can do in some cases, and while the limestone is thick where I live several hundred feet there have been huge sink holes.

Does Michigan even have much in the way of sinkholes or caves? My understanding was that glaciers in the last ice age scrubbed away most of the rock that was conducive to cave formation.

What's The Tech Angle? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055649)

What's the tech angle to this story? It's a sinkhole. Ground cover collapse is not a Slashdot story.

Re:What's The Tech Angle? (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43055683)

What's the tech angle to this story? It's a sinkhole. Ground cover collapse is not a Slashdot story.

Oh, I don't know.. Geology? Engineering? Perhaps involving technology to detect and prevent these things?

Something like this perhaps?

Re:What's The Tech Angle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055973)

Perhaps involving technology to detect and prevent these things?

Prevent? With technology?

This is just a shit happens thing. Aside from sinking pillars down to bedrock to support your house (Yeah, a $1,000,000 2 bedroom Bungalow), there's really nothing that can be done technologically to prevent this or even mitigate the damage.

And in other places folks have to deal with tornadoes, hurricanes, earth quakes, lions, tigers and bears.

Re:What's The Tech Angle? (1)

xclr8r (658786) | about a year ago | (#43056119)

Shit happens. Those that don't do anything deserve their lot in filth. Others collect it for sanitary reasons. Still others notice that the big piles of crap start to heat up. The eventually figure out about composting and manure being excellent fertilizers. Here is a blog post that actually looks at regional zones and architecture and see what fits and makes sense where. http://urbanlabglobalcities.blogspot.ru/2012/05/from-hard-to-soft-how-new-approach-on.html [blogspot.ru]

Re:What's The Tech Angle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056013)

Not the first time that holes in Florida being loosely covered up, just search Slashdot for "hanging chads".

Your defenses are quite right as it is something that needs to be studied if we are ever to colonize another planet, especially if we have to terraform it first. Terraforming the inside of a satellite as well. Stable and clean water tables will be an important of that.

Re:What's The Tech Angle? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43056203)

Something like this perhaps?

. . . I was thinking /dev/null . . . how an improper implementation could cause OS instability . . .

Re:What's The Tech Angle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056303)

Offtopic, moronic, not funny. Idiotic. You're a 19 year old freshman, yes?

Re:What's The Tech Angle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056805)

Woof!

Re:What's The Tech Angle? (1)

Yobgod Ababua (68687) | about a year ago | (#43056671)

Limestone is technology!

"Perhaps involving technology to detect and prevent these things?"

Never happen when money is on the line. I remember, back in Pennsylvania, the creekbeds always had a good stretch of uninhabited land around them (usually treated an unofficial parkspace).

One year someone bought up some of that land and built a bunch of brand new houses right up against the creek... ...and people (presumably from out of state) bought them. Then the next big rains came, and the creeks flooded, and the houses were all ruined.

I blame the exploitative bastards who shoved those homes in where 250+ years of experience said no homes should be.

Pretty clever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055661)

Smart of the insurance industry to make themselves useless. Now, if they never fork out, why should I have an insurance?

Re:Pretty clever (2)

CncRobot (2849261) | about a year ago | (#43055717)

The state runs the insurance company that most people in Florida have to use now, called Citizens. It wasn't a "problem" until the state had to start paying out, before when it was just private insurance companies this wasn't as big of an issue.

Re:Pretty clever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056237)

The state runs the insurance company that most people in Florida have to use now, called Citizens. It wasn't a "problem" until the state had to start paying out

Nope, most people don't use Citizen's for starters and it didn't become a problem until lawyers started suing insurance companies for any crack in a house regardless of cause. All you had to do was live in a sinkhole "zone". A lot of people didn't use the money to fix the problem, all they did was pay off the mortgage, go shopping, or take the money and sell the house. Nice article in the Orlando Sentinel about it if you care to look it up.

Re:Pretty clever (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055723)

Smart of the insurance industry to make themselves useless. Now, if they never fork out, why should I have an insurance?

Because the bank requires that you pay for insurance as part of the mortgage.

Because the state requires that you pay for insurance to drive legally.

The insurances companies have been tremendously smart. Securing mandates that you pay more and more for their products, acquiring guarantees of profits, all while reducing their liability and payouts.

Re:Pretty clever (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43055811)

Traditional insurance assumes a payout of around 1% of people filing claims per year. The idea is you pay for decades and file one huge claim in that time that would bankrupt you otherwise

Only health insurance is structured for you to use as much or more of what you pay in premiums

Re:Pretty clever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056549)

Traditional insurance assumes a payout of around 1% of people filing claims per year. The idea is you pay for decades and file one huge claim in that time that would bankrupt you otherwise

Not exactly, that is what savings are for.
Insurance is for distributing risks. You might know that one out of thousands are victims of a certain accident and you belong to that group of thousands. Insurance is a way to make it possible for all those persons to take 1/1000th of that damage for sure instead of having to deal with the risk of the entire damage.
With "modern" insurance companies it's more like you take that 1/1000th of damage but still have the risk.

Re:Pretty clever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055865)

Because the state requires that you pay for insurance to drive legally.

Only if you don't have the money to cover the minimum liability. If you do have money, as long as it is set aside in one of couple ways so it can't disappear before needed, you don't need insurance to drive.

Re:Pretty clever (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43056085)

Most of the ways you have to set aside the large lump of cash cost more than the minimum insurance, as the state, not you, gets the interest on it, and you can't do anything else with it. That, and anyone with enough cash to give away to remove the insurance requirement would probably prefer insurance with a nice high limit.

Re:Pretty clever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056993)

I have not looked at how it is done in all 50 states, but in the least half dozen places I've lived, there were usually at least two options: a specific kind of bank account, e.g. a CD, or a government issued bond. Both gave interest to the person/business self-insuring. It might not be as good of interest as properly investing the money, but you weren't losing money due to inflation at least, and the government was not making a profit off you.

Re:Pretty clever (3, Informative)

arashi no garou (699761) | about a year ago | (#43056091)

Because the state requires that you pay for insurance to drive legally.

Only if you don't have the money to cover the minimum liability. If you do have money, as long as it is set aside in one of couple ways so it can't disappear before needed, you don't need insurance to drive.

Are you speaking just of Florida? Because it's different in every state. Here in Georgia you have to have liability coverage at minimum to legally operate a vehicle, even if you have thousands in a savings account named "just in case I'm a bad driver". There was a time when you didn't have to have insurance in Alabama, but a few years ago they mandated minimum liability insurance coverage as well.

I'm normally not keen on the government telling us how to live our lives, but having mandatory liability coverage is a no-brainer for the vast majority of poor and middle-class citizens who simply can't be assumed to be responsible enough to have a personal insurance savings plan, and can't afford a huge payout if they do cause an accident. I'd rather pay $50/month to insure that I won't be sued and bankrupted because I made a mistake driving, than bank that money and hope that I've saved up enough to fight said lawsuit.

On the other side of the coin, I'd much rather the person who hits me has liability coverage, so their insurance company takes care of me instead of leaving me to chase after their assets in court. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if states without mandatory liability coverage have more hit-and-run accidents than other states.

Re:Pretty clever (2, Interesting)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about a year ago | (#43056653)

I'm normally not keen on the government telling us how to live our lives, but having mandatory liability coverage is a no-brainer for the vast majority of poor and middle-class citizens who simply can't be assumed to be responsible enough to have a personal insurance savings plan, and can't afford a huge payout if they do cause an accident

Emphasis added.

First of all - fuck you.
Secondly - fuck you some more.

If you're poor, how the fuck are you supposed to put money aside for a personal insurance savings plan? Especially in the US, where people are likely to get sued for anything and the cost of any kind of medical assistance is likely to be ruinous if not for insurance.

Seriously - you even pointed it out yourself, right after you made your quite frankly extremely insulting comment!can't be assumed to be responsible

Re:Pretty clever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056981)

Are you speaking just of Florida? Because it's different in every state. Here in Georgia you have to have liability coverage at minimum to legally operate a vehicle, even if you have thousands in a savings account named "just in case I'm a bad driver"

Yes, the details can be different in every state, although I am not aware of any state that does not allow you to self-insure. Georgia is no exception, and it allows you to self-insure your own vehicle by having enough money ($50k for one vehicle) to set aside, either into bonds issued by the DMV or into a CD account at a bank.

Aquafilter pumping (4, Interesting)

jacobsm (661831) | about a year ago | (#43055685)

Let's pump massive amounts of water out of the aquafilter. What could possibility go wrong? (Living in West Central Florida on the edge of a well field).

Re:Aquafilter pumping (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43055797)

Aquifer. I don't think this is connected to groundwater pumping.

Re:Aquafilter pumping (5, Informative)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#43055891)

Aquifer. I don't think this is connected to groundwater pumping.

It can be the start of a sink hole. Drawing out too much water can make the aquifer collapse. It can create a void where rain water flows into washing away the collapsed parts of the aquifer creating an actual void. With broken water lines they can form in days or weeks this one could have taken years. What's scary is they used to be rare events but they are getting more common so something has changed. Just building housing developments changes the flow of water with unknown effects. Most seem to happen along coastal areas, say 20 or 30 miles of the ocean so drained aquifers and redirected water would be the likely causes. look at it this way, aquifers have been stable for thousands of years then we remove billions of gallons from them in a few decades and don't expect a problem? Think of them as big water beds. What happens to your water bed when the water drains out? Now picture it with porous rock only you stick a hose in and start intermittently flushing water in and out. When there was water in the rock it would buffer the affect of the new water but now it flushes freely through the voids washing parts away. Parts of Florida are a ticking time bomb. Personally I think the bigger problem is brackish water flooding the aquifers. The aquifers are retreating at several feet a year so eventually the fresh water will all be miles inland. All those private wells will be pumping sea water.

Re:Aquafilter pumping (4, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#43056133)

sounds like god is getting his chain saw out to cut florida out of the USA.

It is only old folks and cubans anyways there really isn't anything to be missed there.

Re:Aquafilter pumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056185)

There's definitely a connection, no doubt about it. The USGS has been watching this stuff happen for decades [usgs.gov] -- no sinkholes elsewhere, but for example the land in Las Vegas used to be several dozen feet higher than it was before they pumped all the water out of the aquifer.

Re:Aquafilter pumping (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055941)

This is it. Farmers are taking the water for their crops. Not to irrigate them, but to run water on the night after night to stave the frost. The net result is more and more property are sinking because the aquifers have lost most of their water.

Farmers and the counties need to work on using reclaimed water for frost prevention, and not steal the public water table at the costs of people losing their homes.

insurance companies (-1, Flamebait)

Titan1080 (1328519) | about a year ago | (#43055689)

The part about the insurance companies really pisses me off. First of all, it's REQUIRED that we insure almost EVERYTHING now. and then the greedy jewish fucks actually get legislation passed, ensuring that it's nearly impossible to recoup any money after losses. Meanwhile they remain one of the most profitable businesses in human history.

Re:insurance companies (0, Flamebait)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43055789)

The part about the insurance companies really pisses me off. First of all, it's REQUIRED that we insure almost EVERYTHING now...

You had me until this point. But then you had to say...

and then the greedy jewish fucks actually get legislation passed...

Proving that you are a moron who should not have children.

Your post history shows that you are a Troll Account anyway, and your trolls indicate that you are under 20.

Just Very Sad (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43056571)

It's pretty sad that calling a troll out for making offensive Jew jokes on Slashdot get's modded "flaimbait".

Re:Just Very Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056955)

Pretending to be just a standard run-of-the mill idiot presenting no indication whatsoever about writing this stuff with a hint of tongue in cheek is quite an unambitious way to "troll". I'd go for the duck rule here.

Re:insurance companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056673)

Jews lent money to the Nazis, even after the gas chambers were public knowledge. Tells you a lot about that "religious" doesn't it. Don't believe me? Spend a massive 10 minutes looking into the Roschilds and their meteoric rise in wealth.

Re:insurance companies (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43056835)

Given the current political bent of the average Slashdotter today, I suppose the above post will be modded "insightful".

Re:insurance companies (1)

Sabriel (134364) | about a year ago | (#43056887)

Y'know, you can claim to be any religion you like, but just claiming something doesn't automatically make it true. Wolves in sheep's clothing, etc.

Re:insurance companies (0, Offtopic)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43056169)

You do realize why the Jewish fucks (you should capitalize Jew, even when calling then dirty Jews) are all schiester bankers and jewelers, right? For many years, and in many places, they were banned from owning land or otherwise fully participating in the economy. When you are a Jew living in an Islamic area, and you can't invest in many things (like land), and Musilms are banned from being bankers, but not banned from using them, then naturally, you'll start a bank. You have cash and there's a need others can't, by law, meet. Same with jewels. If you have piles of spare money and are banned by law from investing in a number of things, jewels are an easy way to concentrate wealth in something that is less volatile than tulip bulbs.

The laws pushed a highly persecuted people into specific industries historically, and today we make fun of them for what we forced them to do previously.

Tech Angle (4, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#43055779)

Perhaps someone can come up with some seismic sensing technology that can detect underground voids. Similar to what the oil and gas people use, but optimized for shallower depths.

Communities could do a periodic survey in populated areas and give property owners some advanced notice to evacuate their property. The down side is that existing property owners won't want a pre-sale seismic survey to become common practice.

Re:Tech Angle (1)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43055921)

Perhaps someone can come up with some seismic sensing technology that can detect underground voids. Similar to what the oil and gas people use, but optimized for shallower depths.

This sort of sensing usually involves setting off explosives, collecting data with seismographs placed around the area of interest, then correlating the data via tomography [wikipedia.org].

Unfortunately, because of the explosives part, I'm pretty sure anyone trying to provide this service would eventually be sued out of existence for "causing" the sinkholes.

Re:Tech Angle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056021)

Re:Tech Angle (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#43056947)

You can use seismic rumbler trucks as a source instead of explosives.

Right. And as the voids you are looking for are much shallower and involve a larger discontinuity, it probably wouldn't need a high amplitude rumble.

Nevertheless, don't overlook an opportunity to blanket Florida with demolition charges.

What kind of crap house was that?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055803)

I just opened the article and instantly saw the entire house collapsed from a seriously tiny hole. (relatively speaking)
Where the actual hell are the foundations? That shit is legal? More to the point, that shit is even remotely legal on THOSE lands?

An entire FLATs underground was completely washed away in the UK during those massive floods and the only reason that flat still stood was because of the foundations.
You could see torrents of water flowing UNDER the flat and nothing happening, all the land around one half was completely gone.

So why in hell is that house collapsing from a silly little sinkhole like that? I was expecting the sinkhole to be huge or something.
As someone who luckily actually went another route instead of Architecture (market crashed so hard), it saddens me to see such a pitiful excuse of a house.
No wonder the poor guy was killed, it's like a house made by a kid. Utterly pathetic excuse for a house.

Re:What kind of crap house was that?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056029)

Everybody's a fucking know-it-all around here. You know NOTHING about the structure or the hole, yet you shoot your fool mouth off about it. Brilliant.

Re:What kind of crap house was that?! (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about a year ago | (#43056179)

Most houses in Florida, particularly outside of the panhandle, are just concrete slabs poured on level ground. There's a bit of a trench to anchor it in, but no foundation like you're thinking of. Hardly anyone has a basement. Maybe if they live on the side of a hill, one story will be dug into the hill on one side.

This is because the ground usually doesn't freeze, it's cheaper, easier, and faster. Most of the state was developed after the war and after home air conditioners became affordable. So crappy tract housing had become the norm.

I grew up in a house like that -- it had been previously owned by the builder, who had a concrete business. Therefore there was a huge concrete patio, big driveway, and some sort of slab in the middle of the yard, which we never really figured out the purpose of. And on the inside, the floor consists of some carpet on a carpet pad on the slab. Or tile on the slab. Or wood flooring on plywood on the slab.

Areas that get a lot of water from hurricanes, however, may have houses built on columns -- you park the car below and the house starts a story above the ground.

Re:What kind of crap house was that?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056761)

I grew up in a house like that -- it had been previously owned by the builder, who had a concrete business. Therefore there was a huge concrete patio, big driveway, and some sort of slab in the middle of the yard, which we never really figured out the purpose of.

Meant for a shed perhaps? Or maybe a hot tub...oh wait, Florida, I mean Cooling Tub.

Re:What kind of crap house was that?! (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about a year ago | (#43057063)

There was a large detached garage, so not a shed. And there was a hot tub on the patio adjacent to the house; the pad was in the middle of a lawn behind the patio, about 20-30 feet from anything.

An Acceptable Risk (1)

matty619 (630957) | about a year ago | (#43055813)

Especially when you look at the loss of life and property caused by other natural phenomenon. If sinkholes in Florida are such a problem that we question the rationality of building homes there, then surely no one should live in Southern California where loss of life and property are several orders of magnitude higher than that caused by Florida sinkholes due to wild fires and earthquakes.

Re:An Acceptable Risk (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43055867)

Not to mention that, even in Florida itself, hurricanes are a much larger risk than sinkholes.

Re:An Acceptable Risk (1)

matty619 (630957) | about a year ago | (#43056023)

Ya, its the 5 gallon bucket effect. A small child is much more likely to die in a 5 gallon bucket with a few inches of water in it than many of the scary local news stories like cell phone radiation and power lines. Its the things that kill few people, but can't me mitigated by individuals that freak people out.

Frackin' hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055833)

Let's hope the problem doesn't get worse elsewhere

Chris Christie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055837)

...was in Florida?

Frackin' hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055839)

Let's hope the problem doesn't get worse or spread elsewhere

Pump in sand? (3, Interesting)

Archeopteryx (4648) | about a year ago | (#43055869)

Perhaps if you could identify where this was happening, it could be remediated by pumping in a slurry containing solids that would lock in place and resist leaching like coal ash and some kinds of sand?

Any civil engineers care to comment on that?

Re:Pump in sand? (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about a year ago | (#43055933)

Pump in coal ash and you can call it carbon sequestration.

Re:Pump in sand? (2)

evanbd (210358) | about a year ago | (#43055989)

Coal ash is the solid stuff left after you burn the coal. The carbon (and heavy hydrocarbons) in coal is the stuff that burns. The stuff left behind has very, very low carbon content. The carbon basically all comes out as CO2 gas.

Re:Pump in sand? (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#43056011)

No you can't. There isn't much carbon in coal ash. It's what's left over after they burn (nearly) all of the carbon out of coal.

Re:Pump in sand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056773)

Umm isn't coal ash radioactive?

Re:Pump in sand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055945)

Perhaps if you could identify where this was happening, it could be remediated by pumping in a slurry containing solids that would lock in place and resist leaching like coal ash and some kinds of sand?

Any civil engineers care to comment on that?

I think the sheer scale of the holes makes this impractical.

Re:Pump in sand? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#43055959)

Not a civil engineer, but the volumes required would make this a very costly solution.
Take a look at the size of a sinkhole, even the small ones are big. Would take a shitload of trucks to fill one in.
Can you see Florida Bob, or his insurance company, springing for this remedial work after - presumably - some type of currently nonexistent survey? Nope. Cheaper to move house.

Re:Pump in sand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43055967)

When I started read this, I thought "pumping in slurry" meant "avoid paying for a septic tank". Sounds nasty if you every fall in...

Re:Pump in sand? (3, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | about a year ago | (#43055981)

Given the stuff in coal ash, I don't think I want it pumped into places in contact with groundwater that people drink.

It would pollute the ground water. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056051)

Perhaps if you could identify where this was happening, it could be remediated by pumping in a slurry containing solids that would lock in place and resist leaching like coal ash and some kinds of sand?

It'd hit the water table. Everything is connected down there.

There was an article years ago about divers working for the USGS (IIRC) who would go down into springs and literally swim under the ground and pop out in another town or even the ocean.

Who knows what the environmental damage that could cause - don't forget, most of Florida's economy is tourism.

Re:Pump in sand? (2)

hey! (33014) | about a year ago | (#43056767)

Well, the sinkhole in question is believed to be 100' across and 15' - 30' deep. That's about 4400 cubic yards of fill material, which is *not* lightweight. The material would be staged on or near unstable ground and the work would no doubt be hazardous. It'd be a complicated and dangerous engineering project; maybe if a sinkhole like this developed under Monticello, but we're talking about a couple of ramshackle ranch houses. It'd make more economic sense to put up a fence and let them fall into the ground.

the insurance industry (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year ago | (#43055875)

"the insurance industry successfully lobbied the state lawmakers to pass legislation in 2011 making it more difficult for homeowners to claim sinkhole damages"

Are you trying to say the insurance industry owners shouldn't be allowed to trick uneducated and become billionaires because of that? If so, say it clearer so the politicians can understand you. Some politicians are pretty thick polo players.

Re:the insurance industry (1)

mspohr (589790) | about a year ago | (#43056375)

The politicians are the ones who passed the laws after some friendly bribes (campaign contributions) from the insurance industry. The politicians understand the situation perfectly.

Oh thank goodness!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056079)

Oh thank goodness they passed that law making it illegal for people swallowed up in their homes by sinkholes created by tapping out all the underground water!

My stock portfolio might have been affected by the actions of the companies I invest in and that's as Un-American as Islam.

Abandon the central and southern parts of Florida? (1)

eriks (31863) | about a year ago | (#43056113)

I feel for the friends and family of the poor guy, and wish them the best, and I'm sure it's an impractical suggestion, and in no way is it likely to happen, but In my opinion modern humans have no business living on what is essentially a giant sand bar that supports a delicate (and slowly dying) ecosystem. Though I'm admittedly biased. I simply don't like the place. The weather is almost unlivable. It's cold in the winter and unbearably hot and humid all summer. Culturally, it's not my cup of tea either.

Draining the everglades (which is/was a beautiful and terrifying place) was one of the worst ideas ever. The CoE does some great things, but that was not one of them.

Granted Cape Cod and the islands in my home state aren't much better (ecologically speaking).

Stop living in florida. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056143)

Florida is former seabed, that, well, unlike many other regions, is a few feet at any given time, from becoming seabed again.

It's eroding away relatively quickly, and as we recover from the last ice age, it will soon be seabed again in short order. There are theories that florida is up where it's at only because of isostatic stress from the glaciers that were up north, and as the land in the northern part of the north american craton starts rebounding, florida may start sinking.

Either way, I would never want to live there. People laugh about california falling into the sea, florida is actually the state that likely will, and maybe even start within our lifetimes.

What an awesome place to live! (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year ago | (#43056287)

It is brutally intolerably - and sometimes fatally - hot for at least 3 months of the year. It gets hit by hurricanes quite nearly every year. Alligators, Crocodiles, and giant Asian Pythons attack and eat everything in sight. Nobody can afford to own property and landlords are crooked. And now the land itself is caving in .

Remind me why people choose to live there?

Teh Gayz!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056473)

I can't wait for the christian right to start using sinkholes as the basis for an anti gay crusade - "Sink'oles is gods's punishmint fer teh gayz!!!"

California vs Florida (2)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year ago | (#43056475)

When I lived in Miami we used to say that California might slide into the Pacific Ocean but Florida would disappear into it's own asshole.

Yeah, it figures. (3, Interesting)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year ago | (#43056561)

Insurance companies might have to pay some money out, so they buy the state legislature to write laws allowing them to screw the insurance purchaser.

How long will insurance companies keep getting their way? They did the same with health care. If someone is sick they don't want to insure them because they might have to actually pay out some money. The insurance industry is more evil than cell phone and cable TV companies combined.

We are stupid and deserve the government we elect. The human race is doomed to extinction before we figure out how to get off this rock.

Re:Yeah, it figures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056883)

This. I'd love to run a business where people are forced to pay me money and I get to deliver nothing in return. Good old fashioned small government American free market capitalism at work here (sarcasm intended).

Considering Florida has the worst governor in the country, which is saying a lot when one takes his peers into account, plus one of the most corrupt legislatures in the history of the US, it's expected.

Hint: never move here unless you're rich. This state is just abominable to live in if you actually believe in a representative government and real honest business and commerce.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...