Sinkholes May Take Texas Down
Two giant sinkholes are now approaching a dangerous size, and threatening the lives of their respective local residents.
The west Texas towns of Kermit and Wink, are watching these massive sinkholes get even bigger, after major oil production stopped, leaving underground cavities that are causing the surface to collapse.
Wink Sink No. 1 and Wink Sink No. 2, as they are referred to as, have not only residents but scientists extremely concerned, leading geologists at Southern Methodist University to commission a satellite, to take overhead pictures using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) to detect changes that aren’t visible at ground level.
West Sink No. 1 opened in 1980 and is 361 feet across, while West Sink No. 2 appeared in 2002 and is already is 900 feet in diameter.
Results from InSAR showed that No.1 is sinking at a rate of 1.6 inches per year and No. 2 is dropping over 5 inches annually.
The original sinkholes caused by the oil extraction increased the area’s groundwater, which then seeped into a massive underground salt deposit, which is the new and more dangerous reason why the ground near the sinkholes is sinking as well, at a faster rate than before.
Although nothing can stop these sinkholes from eventually swallowing up more of Texas, however, researchers hope that these satellite images can give residents some advance warning.