Alternative Title

NCKRI Symposium 2: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst



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Publication Date

May 2013


pg(s) 45-52 In a Florida sinkhole investigation, many people (engineers, geologists, lawyers, insurance agents, public adjusters and media) interpret weight of hammer (WH) and weight of rod (WR) as a void, and by association, a sinkhole (author is a Florida Neutral Evaluator). This causes some to allege the site contains a sinkhole damaged home--damage that is likely related to poor maintenance, construction or design issues. The concept of finding WH/WR conditions has resulted in many sinkhole investigations becoming a gamble with the homeowner or their representative wagering against the insurance company that there will be WH/WR conditions found and therefore a sinkhole present under the building likely giving the homeowner a payoff for a sinkhole. The rules for the game are mandated in Chapter §726.706 of the Florida Statute that ultimately results in who can be more successful in convincing a jury that a given set of conditions is or is not a sinkhole. Since the WH/WR conditions plays a significant role in sinkhole determinations, this paper will discuss the causes of WH/WR conditions and its meaning in terms of stress that develops during soil sampling. It will further consider the distribution of stress and the potential for these conditions to influence a structure at the ground surface. Conversely, it will also discuss the factors necessary for these conditions to impact a structure and other conditions that can give false indications of sinkhole activity. Also provided are examples of case studies where critical subsurface conditions were resolved using considerations discussed in this manuscript. Open Access - Permission by Publisher See Extended description for more information.


Conference Proceeding


University of South Florida





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