Monday 28 September 2015

Sinkhole in Queensland

150-metre long sinkhole at popular Queensland camping area swallows vehicles

Sink hole

28 September, 2015

150-metre long sinkhole at Inskip Point swallowed on Saturday a car, caravan, camping trailer and tents. The erosion of the sand banks started that night, said fishermen and campers who also saw trees collapse into the water.

The accident happens at a busy time for the popular camping ground in Queensland with students on school holiday, reports Brisbane Times. Ranger Dan Clifton estimated the time it happened between 10:30 pm and midnight when sandbanks collapsed. Clifton describes the sound as like “when you are on the beach and the tide is coming up into a creek and the banks of the sand just drop down into water.”
Despite the collapse happening so fast, the campers had the chance to leave and go to safer grounds. The accident resulted in closure of at least half of the MV Beagle Campground. Camp operators evacuated about 140 campers and have cordoned off the sink hole areas, while they asked curious people to stay away from areas in the campground that are prone to erosion.
The caravan is still visible in the three-metre deep sink hole but not the car, the ranger said. He adds the numbers they have been giving about the sink hole are only estimates because the rangers have not sent anyone to test its depth of fit.
Clifton said that the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service would hire a geomorphologist to investigate how the sink hole evolved.  Besides swallowing the caravan, trailer, vehicle and tent, the sinkhole also claimed 200 metres of beachfront and 50 metres of campground.
According to the Dictionary of Geological Terms, sink holes are depressions in the land surface that results from the dissolution of underlying bedrock. ABC reports engineers would use ground-penetrating radar to assess the surrounding area.

There are many reasons that this could occur, but there appears to be elements of a slip or slump failure here, rather than just a sinkhole-type behaviour,” says Geotechnical engineer Allison Golsby.

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