Large Sinkhole Appears In Atacama Desert

0

Experts are investigating an enormous crater, some 32 meters across and believed to be about 200 meters deep, which appeared near the Alcaparrosa copper mine in the Atacama desert, Chile.

The company operating the mine said in a statement there had been “no impact to personnel, equipment or infrastructure,” and the crater has remained stable since its formation three days ago.

It’s not entirely clear how the crater formed, but geologists think it is a sinkhole.

Cristian Zuniga, mayor of the nearby city of Tierra Amarilla, told journalists the hole’s formation was unprecedented. “We ask that the cause be clarified: whether the collapse is the product of mining activity or something else,” he said.

Chile’s National Geology and Mining Service director David Montenegro said experts would seek to determine the cause of the collapse and “ensure that all safety measures are taken to safeguard the lives of workers and communities close to the site.” Montenegro noted the presence of a lot of water at the hole’s bottom, suggesting it played a role in its formation. A 100-meter security perimeter has been erected around the sinkhole.

Sinkholes, collapsed underground cavities, can form in any rock type soluble or erodible by flowing water, like gypsum, salt deposits, but also fine-grained sediments. Sinkholes can be just a meter across, or more than 100 meters wide and deep.

A classic solution sinkhole is formed very slowly by chemical dissolution in solid rock, posing no immediate danger to people. Subsidence sinkholes are far more dangerous, as they form by quick erosion and the sudden collapse of the thin soil cover.

Materials provided by Reuters.

FOLLOW us ON GOOGLE NEWS

 

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! TechCodex is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More