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Into the Abyss

The Case of the Collapsing Sinkhole



Author:

David L. Ozsvath
Department of Geography/Geology
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
dozsvath@uwsp.edu

Abstract:

Designed for use with small groups in an introductory geology class, this case allows students to determine the relationship between sinkhole development in a karst terrain and groundwater levels. Students then apply this knowledge to a lawsuit filed by the family of a driver of a minivan who dies after his car plunges into a sinkhole allegedly caused by a mining company.

Objectives:
  • To expose students to the process of hypothesis formulation and testing.
  • To teach students a principle that applies to sinkhole formation.
  • To illustrate how an understanding of geologic processes is relevant in the real world.
Keywords: Natural hazards; sinkhole; sink hole; karst; groundwater; aquifer; limestone; bedrock; mining; Florida; Maryland
Topical Area: Scientific method, Legal issues
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Discussion
Language: English
Subject Headings: Geology   Natural Hazards   Earth Science  
Date Posted: 12/04/00
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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