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Diagram Showing the Formation of a Typical Cover-Collapse Sinkhole


Initial development of a soil arch.
Development of stress cracks.
Collapse of soil arch. The soil that fell into the cave is carries away by the stream.
Slumping of banks leads to bowl-shaped cross section.
Schematic diagram illustrating the development of a cover-collapse sinkhole. Upper left, the soil arch develops; upper right, the arch begins to fail; lower left, the arch has collapsed and soil has been transported underground; lower right, the walls of the collapse slump and the depression takes on the classical bowl shape of the sinkhole until the next collapse.