The February 28, 2013, Florida Sinkhole
A devastating sinkhole occurred in Florida on February 28, 2013, raising questions and concerns about this incredible phenomenon. Around 20% of the U.S. lies in areas susceptible to sinkhole events, highlighting the need for research and to be informed about this hazard.
Articles to Share with Students
- CNN – A Loud Crash, Then Nothing: Sinkhole Swallows Florida Man
- EarthSky – What Causes Sinkholes?
- Live Science – Why Sinkholes Are Eating Florida
- National Geographic – Sinkhole Science: A Primer
- U.S. Geological Survey – The Science of Sinkholes
- U.S. Geological Survey – Fact Sheet on Sinkholes
- The New York Times (text and video clips) – Sinkholes, Which Swallow Homes, Cards and People, are Not So Rare
- NPR – Earth Provides Little Warning Before “Catastrophic” Sinkholes
Questions for Classroom Discussion
- What is a sinkhole? How does a sinkhole form?
- Why are sinkholes a common problem in Florida?
- What is “sinkhole season”? Why does it occur?
- Can sinkhole formation be triggered by human activity? Explain.
- Is your home at risk of falling into a sinkhole? Why/why not?
- What are some consequences that people may face as a result of sinkholes, especially in areas like Florida?
- Should humans continue to build homes and businesses on land that is at a high risk of ground collapse from a sinkhole? Why/why not?
From the Earth Science Literacy Principles
- Big Idea 1. Earth scientists use repeatable observations and testable ideas to understand and explain our planet. (1.1)
- Big Idea 3. Earth is a complex system of interacting rock, water, air, and life. (3.4, 3.6,)
- Big Idea 8. Natural hazards pose risks to humans (8.1, 8.2, 8.4, 8.5)
From The Big Ideas in Earth and Space Science (ESBD)
- The Earth System (1)
- The Hydrosphere (11)
- The Nature of Science (22, 23)
Compiled March 07, 2013, by L. Guertin