A Multi-Sensor Approach to Documenting a Large Collapse Sinkhole in West-Central Florida

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The Saxon Lake sinkhole collapse of July 14, 2017 in Land O Lakes, Florida, caused the destruction of two homes and the evacuation of nine additional residences. The sinkhole is slightly oval with dimensions of approximately 51 meters east-west and 42 meters north-south, and it is reportedly 15 meters deep. This is presumably the largest sinkhole to form in Pasco County during the last 30 years. The surface collapse happened rapidly and continued over three days, with slumping and erosion increasing the size. The site is located near two natural lakes in a housing development from the late 1960s. This occurrence is within an area of well-developed karst, with a number of natural lakes.

We present preliminary analysis of the sequence of deformation, sinkhole geometry, surrounding subsurface structures, and seismic activity. Data are assembled from terrestrial and aerial LiDAR, UAS survey and PhoDAR modeling, aerial imagery, ground penetrating radar, lake-bottom profiling, and seismic monitoring. Additionally, multi-sensor data were brought together in a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and included an analysis of georeferenced historic imagery and maps. These spatial data indicate historic land use change and development alterations that included lake shore reconfiguration, canal construction, and connection of lake water systems in the area of impact. Three subsidence reports from the 1980s are also recorded within 500 meters of the collapse.

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Presented at the AGU Fall Meeting on December 13, 2017 in New Orleans, LA