Letter to the Editor: Florida’s Geology is Changing

Sep 27, 2011

The following article was published in the Tampa Bay Tribune on September 27, 2011:

Florida’s Geology is Changing


I gasped after reading Matthew Glans’ comment concerning the rise of sinkholes not being due to “any naturally occurring phenomenon (Florida’s geology hasn’t changed) but rather lawyers out for their next payday” (“Sinkhole controversy,” Your Views, Sept. 22).

Glans, a legislative specialist, needs to take a science course.

Actually, the geological patterns are changing, thanks to overdevelopment in Florida and changes in climate. Florida’s landform is “karst” or limestone, which is being burdened by severe drought, which intensifies its “brittleness” and vulnerability to sinkholes.

Land areas where the limestone landform is close to the ground surface are especially susceptible to sinkholes.

Due to overdevelopment in the last few decades, Florida has endured an increase in well pumping, vibrations from heavy traffic and numerous excavations of artificial retention ponds.

When intense rains and storms arise or a water line breaks during road construction, the already compromised ground is ripe for a sinkhole.