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Apr 24, 2024  |  
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M Dowling


NextImg:The Beautiful But Devastating Sinkholes

There are hundreds of sinkholes in Turkey swallowing up farmland in the nation’s breadbasket. Scientists have counted approximately 2,500 sinkholes around the Konya basin, in Turkey’s agricultural heartland.

Some are shallow, and about 700 are very deep.

The beautiful but devastating sinkholes

Some farmers are afraid to walk their land. In one spot where one farmer just sat, tending his flock, a 7 meters pit suddenly appeared. It had a distinct cylindrical shape.

There are about 700 of those are deep pits, mainly concentrated around the town of Karapnar, according to Fetullah Arık, who leads sinkhole research at Konya Technical University.

He says the area’s sinkholes have sharply risen in the past decade.Some appear in paddocks, some in corn fields, and others near village streets. Many are too deep for sunlight to reach the bottom.

They all bear the same telltale cylindrical shape, leading downward to murky depths.

They are beautiful but dangerous, says the geologist. They say drought has caused the sinkholes, and they blame climate change – naturally.

Most sinkholes are caused by karst processes – the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks, collapse, or suffosion processes. They have been around for centuries – at least.

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