sinkhole


sinkhole
/singk"hohl'/, n.
1. a hole formed in soluble rock by the action of water, serving to conduct surface water to an underground passage.
2. Also called sink. a depressed area in which waste or drainage collects.
[1425-75; late ME; see SINK, HOLE]

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or sink or doline

Depression formed as underlying limestone bedrock is dissolved by groundwater.

Sinkholes vary greatly in area and depth and may be very large. The two main varieties are those caused by the collapse of a cavern roof, and those caused by the gradual dissolving of rock under a soil mantle. Collapsed sinkholes generally have steep rock sides and may receive streams that then flow underground. Soil-mantled sinkholes are generally shallower; they may become clogged with clay and hold a small lake.

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also called  Sink, or Doline,  

      topographic depression formed as underlying limestone bedrock is dissolved by groundwater. It is considered the most fundamental structure of karst topography. Sinkholes vary greatly in area and depth and may be very large. There are two main varieties, one caused by the collapse of the roof of a cavern, the other by the gradual dissolving of rock under a soil mantle. Collapsed sinkholes generally have steep rock sides and may receive streams that then flow underground. The soil-mantled sinkhole is generally shallower than the collapsed sinkhole and receives local drainage; it may become clogged with clay and hold a small lake. Some sinkholes, formed at low sea-level stages during the Pleistocene epoch, are now half-drowned and are known as cenotes (cenote).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sinkhole — also sink hole, as a geological phenomenon, hole made in the earth by underground erosion, 1780, from SINK (Cf. sink) (v.) + HOLE (Cf. hole) …   Etymology dictionary

  • sinkhole — ► NOUN ▪ a cavity in the ground caused by water erosion and providing a route for surface water to disappear underground …   English terms dictionary

  • sinkhole — [siŋk′hōl΄] n. 1. CESSPOOL ☆ 2. a saucer shaped surface depression produced when underlying material, such as limestone or salt, dissolves or when caves, mines, etc. collapse …   English World dictionary

  • Sinkhole — For the War of 1812 battle, see Battle of the Sink Hole. For the type of wallet, see Wallet band#Swallet. A sink hole in Oman …   Wikipedia

  • sinkhole —    A closed, circular or elliptical depression, commonly funnel shaped, characterized by subsurface drainage and formed either by dissolution of the surface of underlying bedrock (e.g., limestone, gypsum, salt) (solution sinkhole) or by collapse… …   Glossary of landform and geologic terms

  • sinkhole — UK [ˈsɪŋkˌhəʊl] / US [ˈsɪŋkˌhoʊl] noun [countable] Word forms sinkhole : singular sinkhole plural sinkholes a circular hole in the ground, formed when a rock such as limestone is gradually damaged by water and begins to disappear …   English dictionary

  • sinkhole — noun Date: 15th century 1. a hollow place or depression in which drainage collects 2. a hollow in a limestone region that communicates with a cavern or passage 3. sink 2 4. something (as an unprofitable investment) that steadily drains money or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sinkhole — noun a) A hole formed in soluble rock by the action of water, serving to conduct surface water to an underground passage b) A depressed area in which waste or drainage collects …   Wiktionary

  • sinkhole —   see swallow hole …   Geography glossary

  • sinkhole —    See sink …   Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology


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