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Western KS Sinkhole Continues to Deepen

ks sinkholeMassive sinkhole in western Kansas (Photo Courtesy of Wallace County Sheriff's Department)

A massive sinkhole in western Kansas continues to grow. The sinkhole recently developed in a rural part of Wallace County, near the town of Sharon Springs. By the time it was noticed by a rancher, the hole was more than 200 feet across and 90 feet deep. The sinkhole has taken many by surprise, but not Rex Buchanan, who heads the Kansas Geological Survey: 

Buchanan says that sinkholes are created by the dissolution of underlying rock deposits, such as chalk or salt. He says the sinkhole is not related to the removal of water from the Ogallala Aquifer because the aquifer is not present in that location. 

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Voids in Ogallala Aquifer Not to Blame for KS Sinkhole

Some have suggested that a new, massive sinkhole in western Kansas was caused by the removal of too much water from the Ogallala Aquifer... or perhaps the collapse of an old oil well. Not so, says Rex Buchanan, who heads the Kansas Geological Survey:

Buchanan says the sinkhole was undoubtedly created by the dissolution of underlying rock deposits, such as chalk or salt, which are easily dissolved by water. The sinkhole, located near Sharon Springs, is 90 feet deep and about 200 feet wide - and continues to grow. As a safety precaution, the area has now been closed-off to sightseers.

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