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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University of South Florida

Publication Date

May 2013


pg(s) 187-194 The Holbrook Basin located in east-central Arizona is home to more than 500 evaporite-karst depressions. The Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) recently acquired, processed, and interpreted archived Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data to evaluate historical deformation patterns in the Holbrook Basin in preparation for monitoring potential future subsidence related to planned potash mining activities around the Petrified Forest National Park. Three active land subsidence features were identified by ADWR using InSAR data from the European Space Agency's ERS 1 and 2 satellites between 1992 and 1997. Continued subsidence in two of the three features was also identified by ADWR using InSAR data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's ALOS satellite collected from 2006 to 2011. In June 2012 Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) and ADWR staff visited one of the more prominent subsidence features identified using InSAR. Numerous steep-walled evaporite-karst sinkholes were observed en route to the field site. These roughly circular collapse features ranged in size from 40-130 m across and 10-30 m deep. The subsidence features identified through InSAR are much more extensive, up to 1,100 m across; are not as deep, up to 15 m; and do not have steep walls. Local subsidence has resulted in broad closed basins with drainage reversals and numerous expanded joints in the Coconino Sandstone exposed at the surface. A thin sandy soil above the Coconino covers the basin floor except where collapsed into open joints. Expansion along both joint orientations was observed. Which orientation was expanded depended on location relative to ongoing subsidence. Based on field observations and comparison with other collapse features in the region, these three subsidence features are relatively young, constitute different collapse morphology than nearby sinkholes, and warrant further study. InSAR will remain a critical remote-sensing tool for monitoring land subsidence in the Holbrook Basin. Open Access - Permission by Publisher See Extended description for more information.


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