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removal of Greek name[edit]

Is there a good reason for removal of the Greek name for sinkhole? I suggest re-instatement, unless it is incorrect. If it is obscure, in the Greek script, it could also be written in 'normal' letters (katabothra). - Ballista 03:23, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I removed it because it was sitting in a list of English language synonyms for the word "sinkhole" and inbetween the word dolina and the explanatino that dolina is a slovene term. The greek word has no more place in the firt sentence of the article than the french or the german. As there is not yet a page on the el.wikipedia I have not linked to it. Is there good reason for keeping the Greek name and excluding others? --5telios 06:53, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I suppose some explanation is required as to why the Slovene language of all should be included. Karstological studies were first conducted on Karst, an area of then Austria-Hungary with a majority of Slovene population. Hence some karstological expressions are directly taken from the Slovene language. Doline is an example of this - a karstological term in the English language, stemming from Slovene. TomorrowTime 03:20, 13 December 2006 (UTC)


Are holes rapidly formed in cities by sewer line breaks and the like, truly sinkholes? Is there not another term for them? I know on the news they are always called sinkholes but I always thought this was a colloquial usage and not officaly correct. Is that true or am I totally wrong? -- (talkcontribs) 17:30, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

No they are mostly formed under bedrock Mia4726 (talk) 15:36, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

No reference for El Zacatón[edit]

I was doing some research and always check Wikipedia first when looking up topics on the internet and was shocked that El Zacatón is not listed anywhere on wikipedia. El Zacatón is the largest water filled sinkhole in the world. Here is a one reference to it I am not a registered user here so I really have no idea how to add this data or even request it be added other than here. 16:29, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Most shocking sinkhole?[edit]

Does this one [1] deserve a new article? Or at least a new section? --V. Szabolcs 18:06, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Sinkholes in Paris[edit]

Just found out your article. It seems we have the same thing in Paris and around. We have a natural phenomenon called "fontis" in French. This happens near abandonned limestone quarries which where dug under Paris for decades (hundreds of miles of galleries and abandonned quaries lies under Paris). Sometimes (rarely the underground of Paris is heavily watched) the sinkholes go to the ground and a big hole appears under your feets. In french we say "le fontis voit le jour" (the fontis sees the light). In the XVIIInth century it is well known that many fontis have seen the light under Paris. As a result, the king established the "Inspection Generale des Carriéres" (IGC) to consolidate and inspect the quarries. The work of engineers from IGC is now very famous because at one time, the galleries they built to inspect the quarries where used to dump the cemetaries. This is now known as the Catacombs of Paris.

The wikipedia French article on Fontis is there :

(The article only speaks about quarries because this is I think the only risk in France of finding one).

If you happen to visit the underground quarries under Paris or the suburbs (this is illegal and dangerous, don't do it unless shown by someone who does know the quarries very well), you can see some fontis under formation. Under Paris they are usually quite small, but under some parts of the suburbs you can see mammoth fontis which are very frightening (especially when you lie under them). As the quarries are usually 15 to 30 meters below the surface, this can be deadly. People buying real estate in Paris are usually aware of this and go to IGC in order to check the map of the quarries. In case of doubt, heavy works is done usually nowadays by concrete injection (very sad, the quarries are amazing and after an injection they are lost for ever) and more traditionally by building pillars and walls. (Some of these consolidations constructions especially when they date back to XVIII or XIXth centuries are real works of art. You can admire them if you visit the catacombs).

A famous place for this is the "Massif de L'Hautil", a small hill near Paris. The forest is now forbidden to the public because there are so much giant fontis ready to see the light that a hole can appear under your feet at any time. Many trees in the forest already fell to the ground due to this. Very frightening at night ! This was due to the exploitation of gypsy's quarries where they almost entirely emptied the whole hill. The ceiling of the cave is more than 6 meters high and has been consolidated with stone arches. It almost look like a (nowadays collapsing) cathedral. A visit of the quarries under the Massif de l'Hautil is very intersting on a geological point of view (I did it one time) but people should be warned that those abandonned quaries are extremly dangerous and you need caving equipment (and an experienced caver with you) to go (presence of deadly CO gas, low oxygen level, high water level requiring a boat and risk of falling stones which make a big splash noise). Anyway this is an alien world :) (Photos there :

If you think it is the same phenomenon, I think this should be a valuable insert in your article. -- (talkcontribs) 21:24, 7 June 2007 (UTC)


Why did someone take out the reference to the Alpena, MI area sinkholes under links?

What the hell! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:48, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Devil's Hole cross reference[edit]

The Devil's Hole inset on the right states that the sinkhole is near Hawthorne, FL, yet when following the link the Devil's Hole article states that the structure is in Nevada?! I haven't a clue as to which is correct. (talk) 15:16, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Use of terms[edit]

Here in Britain at least, many geologists try to distinguish between those features with a surface stream inflow and those that don't - I've tried to reflect this in the text I've added but would welcome comment from others, especially outside the UK.
Geopersona (talk) 19:58, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I am not a native english speaking person, so please do not take my input too seriously. From my understanding there is a difference between sinkhole = hole created by water and doline = vally or depression on surface created by collapsed underground void. Is this correct understanding? --Kr-val (talk) 10:02, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
According to the German article, you've got it precisely backwards: a doline is a hole created by water, not by a collapsed underground void. That would be a sinkhole (Erdfall in German). However, the term sinkhole also seems to be used indiscriminately for both types of depressions. German Wikipedia takes care to discriminate between both types, while in English Wikipedia both are not only treated in the same article, but there is no indication of a possible terminological distinction, either. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:33, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

The confusion arises because the term "sinkhole" in common usage has a very different meaning from that in science. In geomorphology/geography, a sinkhole is a karst feature - the strict definition is a depression in which a stream sinks to flow underground, reflecting the earliest use of the term in English (see the Oxford English Dictionary) to mean a hole for disposal of water or waste material, as in the kitchen sink. In this sense it is synonymous with "swallow hole" and "swallet", i.e. a hole that swallows a stream, but all these terms are also more loosely used for other karst depressions (shakeholes and dolines) whether or not they have an inflowing stream. In common parlance however "sinkhole" refers to a hole caused by a surface collapse, i.e. it is the ground surface that sinks, rather than a stream (talk) 16:08, 30 November 2015 (UTC)


Florida appears to get sinkholes only north of US 50, which traverses the state about halfway down, east to west. Supposedly, there is where sufficiently dry seasons are experienced (and maybe underground pumping) as well as rock formation. However, the underlying foundation probably does not differ that much in the south. Any ref for this? Often quoted in the media. Student7 (talk) 19:44, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Removal of Guatemala Incident?[edit]

An article popped up on Discovery news today where a geologist said the incident was not a sinkhole, but a "piping Feature" but heard it called a "Piping Structure" Anyone with a background in Geology able to confirm the distinction? Should the entry be modified to clarify it? Thraxarious (talk) 17:00, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

The proper term for the 2007 and 2010 Guatemala City holes is "piping pseudokarst" as they are created by the collapsed of large underground voids created by the subterranean erosion of the volcanic ash and other pyroclastic deposits underlying Guatemala City as discussed by Waltham (2008). Since their formation has nothing to do with the dissolution of carbonate rocks, it is scientifically incorrect to call them "sinkholes" as discussed by (Halliday 2007) and Waltham (2008). According to both papers, either "piping structures," "piping features," or "piping pseudokarst" would be acceptable terminology for the 2007 and 2010 Guatemala City holes.
References Cited:
Halliday, W. R., 2007, Pseudokarst in the 21st century. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies. vol. 69, no. 1, p. 103–113
Waltham, T., 2008, Sinkhole hazard case histories in karst terrains. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology. vol. 41 no. 3, pp.. 291-300.Paul H. (talk) 04:09, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Some sinkholes[edit]

Some pics and several sink holes, [2]. Neversink Pit, Alabama can't find this in Wiki. Thanks, Marasama (talk) 17:24, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

What about Padirac hole, The link is in French as the English version is quite short. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:43, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

There's no reference to European Sinkholes (?) - one I'm aware of, hopefully sufficiently notable, is Devil's Pit at the Aukstadvaris regional park, Lithuania - see - there's a nice photo on 360 cites but it's spam blocked. JohnAugust (talk) 00:32, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

moulins and glacial mills[edit]

As specifically discussed in detail by Halliday (2007), moulins (glacial mills) are not classified as sinkholes because they do not form by the dissolution of carbonate rocks. Because they form by the melting of ice, they are classified as "glacier pseudokarst". The study of them is called "glaciospeleology" (Halliday 2007).

Reference Cited

Halliday, W. R., 2007, Pseudokarst in the 21st century. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies. vol. 69, no. 1, p. 103–113Paul H. (talk) 04:09, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Devil's Millhopper/incorrect caption[edit]

The first picture on the Sinkhole page is captioned as being the Devil's Millhopper sinkhole. That sinkhole is, in fact, not open for public use as it is state park. The sinkhole pictured in WHOAdubs.jpg is another, nearby sinkhole. This can be verified by looking at the picture description, as the Devil's Millhopper is a natural sinkhole whereas the one pictured is an artifical hole created by a limestone mine. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:31, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

So fix it. You appear to have specific knowledge; so, be bold and fix it. If others agree, the edit will stand. Thanks. WTucker (talk) 02:36, 28 June 2010 (UTC)


swallet is another name for a sinkhole. swallet directs to sinkhole. swallet is also a name for wallet band. (talk) 00:45, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Definition of Sinkhole[edit]

The article defines sinkholes as caused by processes such as carbonate rocks dissolving, suffusion processes, erosion, caves collapsing, or water levels lowering, which is a pretty broad definition. However, in the pseudokarst piping section it says a sinkhole in Guatemala was not a true sinkhole because it was not formed by carbonate rocks dissolving-despite the fact that nothing in the article previously indicated that was necessary for a sinkhole to be a sinkhole. I think it would make more sense to say something like it was not a naturally occurring sinkhole. Can someone who knows the difference make this more clear? Mynameisntbob1 (talk) 23:23, 29 January 2013 (UTC)


All other articles have stated "sedimentary Rocks". Either remove *marble* or explain. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:44, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

"Snake hole" vs. "Shakehole"[edit]

I'm not seeing any references for a sinkhole being called a "snake hole" or "snakehole" anywhere that doesn't circle back to quoting the exact language found on the Wikipedia page[1]. However, I do see plenty of other references to a typographically similar UK term "shakehole," which is also missing from the list of synonyms on this page, including wiktionary[2]. Since I cannot find any independent references, it seems likely that the use of "snake hole" on this page is a typo for "shakehole."

Still, there are today almost 6,000 pages referencing "snakehole" as a synonym now, as compared to the 13,100 referencing "shakehole" as one[3]. Even if these uses all ultimately tie back to the language on this page, and that language is a typo, is that considered an emergent meaning to "snakehole?" It's nearly half as common a use today as the independently verified "shakehole" even if it originated here as a typo. So I am stuck trying to figure out if a typo created the new meaning, since, even if it is changed on Wikipedia, "snake hole" is now out in the larger world as a synonym for "sinkhole."

Clownocalypse now (talk) 13:26, 26 April 2013 (UTC)Clownocalypse_Now

Clownocalypse, the easy answer, I guess, is that since no non-circular source is provided, the information can be removed (and I have done so). The claim (and associated www ubiquity) is memorialized here on the talk page in case anyone wishes to take up the "snake-hole is a synonym" banner. I haven't yet looked for a source for shakehole. If you have one, you might care to add that synonym with a citation. Nice catch, by the way. I've looked at this page dozens of times without questioning the synonyms. If you're interested in further rationale for removing a word that is "out there", you can check out Neologisms and new compounds in the Manual of Style. Richigi (talk) 22:30, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Shakehole sourced and added to article. Richigi (talk) 23:55, 28 April 2013 (UTC)



Good Day.

My daughter is doing an assignment on natural disasters and we have decided on sinkholes thinking most of her classmates would probably opt for hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanoes. Could sinkholes be considered a natural disaster? Also, we desperately need information on how they have negatively impacted on humans.

Thanking you in advance.

Kindest regards Daanyaal — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:31, 4 November 2014 (UTC)


There are no written references to this sinkhole, no on the web at least. I know its existence and approximate dimensions because I was there. All I could do is give the Google Earth Co-ordinates as 52°07'57.5"N 9°44'45.4"W. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jlonergan (talkcontribs) 16:02, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Revisions and edits[edit]

I found "Sinkholes are frequently linked with karst landscapes. In such regions, there may be hundreds or even thousands of sinkholes in a small area so that the surface as seen from the air looks pock-marked, and there are no surface streams because all drainage occurs subsurface. Examples of karst landscapes dotted with numerous enormous sinkholes are the Khammouan Mountains (Laos) and Mamo Plateau (Papua New Guinea)" which appeared to be plagiarized from, but I can't be certain because I can't find a date on the website. I reworded it as "Sinkholes tend to occur in karst landscapes. Karst landscapes can have up to thousands of sinkholes within a small area, giving the landscape a pock-marked appearance. These sinkholes drain all the water, so there are only subterranean rivers in these areas. Examples of karst landscapes with a plethora of massive sinkholes include Khammouan Mountains (Laos) and Mamo Plateau (Papua New Guinea)." ChaKeSeLiAl (talk) 04:04, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

I linked sandstone and subterranean rivers to their respective Wikipedia pages. ChaKeSeLiAl (talk) 04:04, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Added information about drainage and sinkholes from this paper and New York Times ChaKeSeLiAl (talk) 04:04, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Baltimore & Detroit[edit]

I have deleted the Baltimore entry because it was not a sinkhole. See "Baltimore "Sinkhole" Actually a Landslide".

The Detroit, Michigan sewer pipe collapse, staff, Local 4 - ClickOnDetroit news (3 March 2016). "Large sinkhole opens up on Detroit's west side". , does not rate mention here as a sinkhole. See above discussion under Guatemala for requirements. --Bejnar (talk) 21:28, 27 November 2016 (UTC)