A Description of an Effective Sinkhole Investigation Approach: A Case Study of a Site in Greene County, Missouri


A sinkhole had developed and led to the subsidence of a portion of the parking lot of a residential building in Nixa, Missouri. The sinkhole was characterized using a combination of the geophysical data (multichannel analysis of surface waves and the electrical resistivity tomography) and supplemental data (aerial photographs, topographic and geological maps and borings). The interpretation of the data indicated that a fault trending northwest - southeast runs across the site and is underlain by shallow, fractured limestone bedrock of the Burlington Keokuk formation. The sinkhole is understood to have been triggered by the excavation of a surface drainage channel and pit adjacent to the building in order to check flooding. However, the action led to the increased concentration of flow of surface water into the fault zone, hence causing an increased dissolution of bedrock and raveling of sediments into the formed cavities and subsequently sinkhole development.

Meeting Name

27th Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems (2014: Mar. 16-20, Boston, MA)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Engineering; Geology; Industrial Engineering; Aerial Photographs; Electrical Resistivity Tomography; Geological Map; Geophysical Data; Multi-channel Analysis Of Surface Waves; Residential Building; Sinkhole Development; Surface Drainage; Geophysics

Geographic Coverage

Greene County, Missouri

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2014 Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2014

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