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NASA Radar May Predict Sinkholes

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posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 02:31 AM
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Sinkholes may not be as unpredictable as once thought
NASA announced this week that routine radar images could, in some cases, indicate where and when a sinkhole will form.



NASA announced Friday that it may have found a way to predict sinkholes up to a month before they occur. The warning would be provided by interferometric synthetic aperture radar (iSAR), which could be placed on satellites or planes to scan areas prone to sinkholes.

iSAR scans the ground several times in several different wavelengths to put together interferograms, which can show small movements of the Earth such as the effect of flooding on riverbanks, the ripples of earthquakes and where the ground is sinking.

NASA could predict sinkholes with space radar

NASA Radar May Predict Sinkholes By Detecting ‘Precursory Clues’ Of Underground Movement



As part of their research into iSAR, researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been monitoring changing ground conditions along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

After a sinkhole formed in Bayou Corne, Louisiana in 2012, researchers looked at radar scans in the same area one month and one year prior to the event.
They found that the ground surface layer had shifted as much as 10 inches toward the center of the sinkhole.

Though researchers are optimistic that radar imagery could pinpoint subtle land deformations, those changes may not be an identifying factor for every sinkhole. That's why routine flyovers to obtain radar data may be more costly than they're worth

While it might work in theory, even the scientists who worked on the study say the likelihood of spotting a future sinkhole is still hit or miss


This is not any kind of guarantee, but any help possible is greatly needed when it comes to sinkholes
True, many are due to the failure of infrastructure, such as old busted water lines, but others just happen regardless, like at this Corvette Museum


One thing is for sure, sinkholes are a scary phenomenon




edit on 10-3-2014 by snarky412 because: add link




posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 08:03 AM
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edit on 10-3-2014 by Vdogg because: Please delete.



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 09:33 AM
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snarky412
Though researchers are optimistic that radar imagery could pinpoint subtle land deformations, those changes may not be an identifying factor for every sinkhole. That's why routine flyovers to obtain radar data may be more costly than they're worth
In just one state, Florida, there are 17 sinkholes a day on average costing 1.4 billion dollars in damage annually. (source: www.cnn.com... ).

I didn't know they were that common. But as for costly flyovers not being economical, I tend to agree; what's the cost benefit? You can keep some cars out of the area but if it's going to swallow some homes you can't really move those anyway, and few people die in sinkholes though on rare occasions I guess it can happen.

However it makes perfect sense they might be detected, because we use similar technology to predict volcano eruptions. We could detect bulging ground movement before the Mt St Helens eruption, so this is just detecting ground movement in the opposite direction, sinking instead of rising, and it stands to reason it will sink a little before it sinks a lot, though probably not always.


This is not any kind of guarantee, but any help possible is greatly needed when it comes to sinkholes
True, many are due to the failure of infrastructure, such as old busted water lines, but others just happen regardless, like at this Corvette Museum
I tried to find the cause of that one. All I could find is that they found a lot of holes during construction, so I guess the area is prone to underground holes. Maybe there were a few more that they missed during construction, or they didn't check deep enough?



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