New technology could map out potential sinkholes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A giant sinkhole that now could measure up to 200 feet wide by approximately 90 feet deep in western Kansas is turning heads, including the property owner Dalton Hoss's.

"My brother found it and he called me up and his voice was quaking and he said, ‘You're not going to believe what I just saw,'" Hoss said.

But new technology can see the signs of a phenomenon like this before it happens.

Jeremy Strohmeyer at Geotechnology Inc. uses that technology here in Kansas City.

"The one that helped out the most was the ground penetrating radar where we just send a pulse of radar into the ground and it reflects back up off of different materials down there," Strohmeyer said.

That technique helped him map a sinkhole under the runway at the downtown airport.

Although the sinkhole in Kansas is thought to have been naturally caused, Strohmeyer says a lot are man-induced.

"More often we'll hear about these in urban environments that are actually human caused whether it's a water pipe bursting and washing away the soil or like here at the taxi way where a storm pipe had some holes in it and starts piping soil down a storm water pipe," Strohmeyer said.

The cracks in the Kansas sinkhole are indicators that it is probably still growing.

But the property owners in Kansas aren't too excited about all the new visitors. They have put up barricades now to stop the trespassers.

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