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Application of High-resolution digital topographic data to the detection of incipient sinkhole formation in central Florida
Entry ID: C_FL_Sinkhole


Summary
Abstract: The topography of central Florida is an excellent example of a continental
landscape dominated by a single geomorphic process: karst, an array of
landforms formed in response to chemical weathering and dissolution of
carbonate rock. Because the rocks of the Florida platform are almost entirely
undeformed and regional topographic gradients are low, karst landforms form the
primary topographic signal in the region. Central Florida thus provides a
unique natural laboratory to study this type of landform evolution
uncontaminated by fluvial and tectonic "noise".

Sinkholes are an ubiquitous feature of karst terrains and result from the
subsidence or collapse of surficial material into subsurface cavities. They
constitute a major hazard in central and northern Florida. The goal of this
project is to utilize geographic information systems (GIS), digital imagery,
and modern techniques of digital elevation model (DEM) construction and
analysis to characterize sinkhole occurrence patterns in space and time, study
precollapse topographic signatures and to identify highly hazardous regions of
sinkhole collapse. This project is unique in that we are studying the process
of, and topographic response to, sinkhole development at scales ranging from
tens of centimeters to hundreds of kilometers.

The karst processes of central Florida are profoundly influenced by the
region's complex hydrogeology. In this region, two distinct aquifer systems
exist. The principal aquifer system, the Floridan, is a regionally extensive,
confined aquifer which is situated within Eocene to Miocene age limestones
which have been subjected to extensive dissolution and cavity formation. The
Floridan aquifer provides the principle municipal and agricultural water supply
for much of central and northern Florida, and spatial and temporal variations
in its potentiometric surface are often related to groundwater withdrawal. The
Floridan aquifer is capped by a variable thickness upper confining unit
composed of Miocene clay rich clastic sediments. Near the surface, a
discontinuous unconfined aquifer system exists within the highly permeable
unconsolidated clastic cover. In contrast to the Floridan, the water tables of
these surficial aquifers are more directly influenced by changes in rainfall,
runoff, and landuse. Sinkhole formation is integrally related to the interplay
of these aquifer systems. Sinkholes generally occur due to collapse of
overlying material into preexisting cavities within the underlying limestones.
Many of these sinkholes can form catastrophically and can be triggered by
various forcing factors including rises in the surficial water table increasing
the load on the underlying units, or by a drops in the potentiometric surface
of the Floridan decreasing support from below. Since much of the topography and
landforms of central Florida have developed over the past several million years
due to similar karst processes, studying these features will help us better
understand the regional potential for sinkhole hazard.

This report describes progress during year one of this three year project. The
first year of this research was primarily oriented toward ingesting available
digital data into a geographic information system, identifying a primary study
area, planning and supporting a SLICER/ATM deployment, and initial data
analysis. A primary focus area in central Florida was identified on the basis
of a preliminary regional analysis, reported sinkhole occurrence, and the
availability of 7.5' USGS digital elevation models and digital orthophotos.
This focus area straddles Lake Apopka ( 28.6 N, 81.6 W) in the central
highlands of the Florida peninsula and lies adjacent to the rapidly growing
Orlando metropolitan area. Initial work completed includes compilation of
existing data, planning and deployment of an airborne laser altimetry mission,
generation of a high quality DEM from topographic contours, and some
preliminary morphometric analysis. Preliminary results were presented at the
1996, AGU Spring meeting.

[Summary provided by Florida International University.]

Related URL
Link: VIEW RELATED INFORMATION
Description: The Topography and Surface Change Program.

Geographic Coverage
 N: 29.0 S: 28.0  E: -81.0  W: -82.0

Data Set Citation
Dataset Creator: Dr. Dean Whitman, Dr. Timothy Gubbels, Dr. Grenville Draper
Dataset Title: Application of High-resolution digital topographic data to the detection of incipient sinkhole formation in central Florida
Dataset Publisher: Florida International University
Online Resource: http://www.fiu.edu/~whitmand/Research_Projects/C_Fl_Sinkhole.html


Location Keywords
CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES OF AMERICA > FLORIDA


Science Keywords
LAND SURFACE >TOPOGRAPHY >TERRAIN ELEVATION >DIGITAL ELEVATION/TERRAIN MODEL (DEM)    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >ECOSYSTEMS >TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS >KARST LANDSCAPE    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >GROUND WATER >GROUND WATER FEATURES >AQUIFERS    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >GEOMORPHIC LANDFORMS/PROCESSES >KARST PROCESSES >SINKHOLES    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >TOPOGRAPHY >TERRAIN ELEVATION >CONTOUR MAPS    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >GEOMORPHIC LANDFORMS/PROCESSES    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >TOPOGRAPHY >TERRAIN ELEVATION >TOPOGRAPHICAL RELIEF MAPS    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >TOPOGRAPHY >SURFACE ROUGHNESS    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >TOPOGRAPHY >TERRAIN ELEVATION    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >TOPOGRAPHY >TOPOGRAPHIC EFFECTS    [Definition]
SPECTRAL/ENGINEERING >INFRARED WAVELENGTHS >INFRARED IMAGERY    [Definition]
SPECTRAL/ENGINEERING >VISIBLE WAVELENGTHS >VISIBLE IMAGERY    [Definition]
SOLID EARTH >GEOMORPHIC LANDFORMS/PROCESSES >KARST LANDFORMS >SINKHOLES    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
BIOTA
ELEVATION
GEOSCIENTIFIC INFORMATION


Platform
FIELD SURVEYS    [Information]
AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS    [Information]
DEM >Digital Elevation Model    [Information]
MAPS    [Information]
LANDSAT    [Information]
LANDSAT-7    [Information]


Instrument
TM >Thematic Mapper    [Information]


Keywords
Digital Topography
Karst Landscape
Sinkhole Formation
Hydrogeology
Geology


Data Set Progress
COMPLETE


Originating Center
Florida International University


Data Center
Department of Earth Sciences, Florida International University    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://www.fiu.edu/~geology/

Data Center Personnel
Name: FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF EARTH SCIENCES
Email: geology at fiu.edu
City: Miami
Province or State: FL
Postal Code: 33199
Country: USA



Distribution
Distribution_Format: Arc/Info


Personnel
TYLER B. STEVENS
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: (301) 614-6898
Fax: 301-614-5268
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at nasa.gov
Contact Address:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Global Change Master Directory
City: Greenbelt
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Country: USA


DEAN WHITMAN
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: (305) 348-3089
Fax: (305) 348-3877
Email: whitmand at fiu.edu
Contact Address:
Department of Earth Sciences
Florida International University
City: Miami
Province or State: FL
Postal Code: 33199
Country: USA


Extended Metadata Properties
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2006-08-21
Last DIF Revision Date: 2018-12-06



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