I was looking over the current sink hole situation and a couple of things struck me as not quite right.
First the theoretical( because that is what they are ) mechanisms of formation, the tendency to a round shape, and the seemingly ubiquitous nature of
their distribution over a range of geologies.
for example Outrageo
The consensus among my fellow geologists and geographers is that the incidence of sinkhole activity is increasing primarily because of rapid
urban development in areas that are typically replete with collapsed limestone cavities in the bedrock beneath.
Some of these areas extend for hundreds of square miles. It's like building on top of a giant sponge with a thin covering. The thin soil covering is
mostly open space as well, filled with either air or water, and on top of this is frequently constructed heavy concrete buildings, roads, and other
structures (and their contents).
...but this does not explain at all the extent of sink holes in the Arizona desert and elsewhere.
follow this link and see some of what
I am saying
Also the formation theory is based on drainage or existing cavity , which only pushes the problem down a mythical layer: where did these cavities come
from or how is it that low density material can be washed out and down ( in a circular vertical hole in most cases mind you ) into higher density
In other words the the formation theories currently exposed only work if ALL subsurface strata follow a relationship physically and chemically
Identical to that of salt(solid) and water(liquid).
Since we KNOW sink holes form from salt domes we know the basic mechanism , physically speaking, for sinkhole formation, but how and why do other
various subsurface geologies ALL have such a close resemblance ( round hole, straight down, water normally present, rapid surface deterioration) over
such a wide variety of chemistrys and physical properties?
I suggest that sinkhole formation is primarily thermal in nature
which then gives rise to a bunch of secondary conditions such as
sulfate reducing bacteria , hydrogen sulfide erosion or degradation of strata and a 'proper' redistribution of mass in a fluid environment ( i.e.
light elements go up and heavy elements go down)
This is how it works:
The earth is hotter the lower you go in it, this is a fact.
Space is cold this is a fact.
Heat tries to transfer from the earth's core out to space in a straight line,. this is a fact of thermodynamics.
The Earth's crust is the "frozen" layer between the two heat extremes and has a kind of equilibrium giving the earth an average temperature of
(surface) (Yes the atmosphere is involved but for
sinkholes that really only involves the presence or absence of water to any given ground area)
This means that due to geological subsurface formations or shapes some near surfaces areas are hotter from underground heat than others . Volcanoes
are an extreme direct proof that this is a truism of the natural structures of the world and that heat likes to follow tubular columns up from below
Now given that supposition cavities in the earth should form from the bottom up along a salt/water similarity model from any subsurface ground that
has higher ( but not too high ) temperatures than it's surroundings, they should form a vertical (thermal channel) based on heat moving up.
This leads us to a few priori:
sinkholes ( and volcanoes ) should form over hot spots in the earth's crust. these spots would be the thin spots ( the midlatitudes( because of near
surface temperature conditions )) and because of that : some coastal regions , regions that have any mechanism to have locally concentrated heat
barriers (or generators) ( buildings, mountains, oil reservoirs, radioactive subsurface materials ...etc) we would not expect too see deep water sink
holes (much too cold ) or high altitude sink hole (same reason ) but should see a lot of 'shallow' water and 'near' sea level holes
The critical factor would be subsurface temperatures around 100C(roughly 212F...a very important number when calculating subsurface chemical reaction
Because that is where a lot of Sulfate-reducing bacteria
thrive in an anaerobic(lack
of oxygen) environment.
(a must read link)
One type of biofilm, called a snottite because of its appearance, has a pH of zero
or one," said one of the researchers Daniel Jones, also of Penn State. "This is very, very acidic."
These biota Extremophiles
are extremely hardy nearly ubiquitous...and exist in all of the
harshest conditions on earth and in space, to think they are not the MAJOR FORCE IN CAVE AND TUBE FORMATION IS SIMPLY STUPID.
The scenario is that a particularly cool section of deep earth is at 100C the biota flourish...hydrogen sulfide is produced (erroding the upper part
of the space and moving denser materials down) the process expands radially as it moves up, the growing cavity filling itself in as it digs/dissolves
( in most cases) ...a chemical worm hole fueled by bacteria
The presence of water would fuel the process as long as it didn't cool it too much , but with or without water the heavy sediment deposition/chemical
cavity forming process would be ( in at least some cases ) exponentially re-current. meaning it would seem to "surge" on a 'water-clock' like
timely cycle ( just like yellow stone) due to thermal shielding ( the thicker the deposit layer on the bottom of the pool the slower it heats until
the bacteria go dormant , stop adding to the layer and it heats enough to start the bacteria a again )
The "infinite cavern" in Vietnam
is an example of water erosion and
underground chemical 'from the bottom up' processes meeting and mutually re-enforce(ing) ( over LONG periods of time )
Bottom line ...the evidence indicates sink hole are a from the bottom up phenomenon....
Which leads to an interesting next question...if they are increasing why ?
Obviously the average temperature of the earth has increased in the last hundred years ( please spare me the reasons why) but that means either the
earth expands ( as the surface area defines heat transfer but the volumne defines heat retention ...meaning ...mathematically...every once in a while
the two meet at 'phase'l plateaus) or it heats up internally.
if it heats internally the pressure rises if the size does not ...the internal fluids slow due to increased friction and more near surface areas have
extra heat ...
the priori for this are lower planetary magnetic fields strengths (the dynamo slowing ) and more sink holes as the earth transmits more heat to space