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(Guardian)   "Sinkholes have been around for millions and millions of years. If you live in Florida they're just a fact of life" on the left. Your Florida "fact of life" suggestions on the right   (theguardian.com) divider line 8
    More: Florida, photo albums, Swiss cheese  
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3080 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Aug 2013 at 7:22 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-08-15 09:05:50 AM  
4 votes:
Always been sinkholes in Fla? Probably, but I think the bigger question is why are there so many opening up now, when 50 years ago, one rarely heard about them?

Lets bypass the geological causes, shall we? We all know about that. You can take Global Warming mostly out of the formula too. Florida has always been hot, humid, rainy, swampy and right in the middle of the Hurricane Belt.

So, what has changed the most which has altered Florida drastically enough to transform the ecology and destabilize the land?

The population.

Florida has 3 or 4 times the population today than it did 50 years ago. Hundreds of thousands of acres of wild lands have been developed, changing the way water is absorbed into the ground, dumping millions of gallons of rainfall not into the aquifer, but shunting it into canals, rivers and streams and directly into the ocean.

At the same time, consumption of the underground water supplies has tripled and tripled again, dropping the levels and exposing underground caverns which used to be full and held up by water pressure.

It also exposed areas of limestone to increased acidic percolation, wearing it away faster and without the previous high water tables to help support it, gaps form and collapse. Also, there used to be acres of wild woods, whose roots and ground cover not only held the soil in place but acted like an organic filter, helping to cut down on acidic absorption as well as dispersing it over a wider area.

Mass development is not good for every chunk of land, but so long as developers make billions paving everything under and businesses see only major dollar signs by increased population growth, it's going to happen.

Florida used to be nice, with thousands of acres of wild woods, vast stretches of tropical island beaches, thousands of lakes and ponds that did not, every year, become infested with brain eating algae due to low water levels and increased heat and thousands of acres of land were not altered in their original geographic profile.

Example: 50 years ago, my home never flooded during hurricanes. There were never any water shortages in my city. The brackish lagoon was never periodically polluted with human fecal bacteria and had to be closed for weeks at a time. The beaches were wild and free, spectacular in their appearance, buffered by belts of wild woods. Hurricane damage was minimal due to the buffering effects of the many wild forests.

My neighborhood went from two houses on a wooded block to 17. Each with a water well. Zoning laws changed, requiring homes be built up on lots with added fill. My home is now the lowest area around, meaning runoff from storms flows into my yard and turns it into a lake. Paving the dirt road in front of the house raised it 8 inches above my property level, so more runoff cascades into my driveway and the house can start flooding during a heavy rainstorm.
They changed the lay of the land.

The lagoon becomes polluted because when you build developments along side main canals and the edge of the lagoon, putting in 20 or 40 high end homes, each has a septic tank that drains into the soil.

This does two things: saturates the ground due to the high water table and rainy weather causes the effluent in the soil to travel and get washed into canals, which all empty into the lagoon.

Now, poke a water well alongside each house and you go from say, two houses sucking up fresh water in a one block area, to 20. That lowers the water table, which can also allow septic to enter the aquifer, exposes previously water filled natural caverns and exposes more buried limestone to erosion.

Multiply that by a square mile of houses, all tapping into the same aquifer. All dumping hundreds of gallons of septic into the ground, usually above the water table.
Developers cut down the lush wild woods with the majority of their trees and when hurricanes hit, there are no natural buffers. So, property destruction and flooding increase.

To make it even better, triple the total area of heat reflective roofing, roads and parking lots and you develop a local convection current, which changes the way winds blow, which alters the local weather patterns. Meaning a mild rainy season can become a real soaker and a mild drought in summer can become a water rationing one.

Plus, the alteration of the inshore breezes can and has altered the ocean currents along the beaches and tripled the rate of erosion, meaning seawalls start being considered.

So, Florida's problem has little to do with climate, but everything to do with population.

I'm starting to look for another state to move to.
2013-08-15 09:47:20 AM  
2 votes:

Rik01: Always been sinkholes in Fla? Probably, but I think the bigger question is why are there so many opening up now, when 50 years ago, one rarely heard about them?

Lets bypass the geological causes, shall we? We all know about that. You can take Global Warming mostly out of the formula too. Florida has always been hot, humid, rainy, swampy and right in the middle of the Hurricane Belt.

So, what has changed the most which has altered Florida drastically enough to transform the ecology and destabilize the land?

The population.

Florida has 3 or 4 times the population today than it did 50 years ago. Hundreds of thousands of acres of wild lands have been developed, changing the way water is absorbed into the ground, dumping millions of gallons of rainfall not into the aquifer, but shunting it into canals, rivers and streams and directly into the ocean.


Above and beyond the stress on the water table and changes in the way the water is routed, you have the observer effect.

Bottom line: there are more people now to notice sinkholes, and there are more houses for sinkholes to impact.

50 years ago, sinkholes still opened up all the time. You didn't hear about them because sinkholes opening in the woods impacted nobody. Sinkholes opening in a farmer's fields impacted the farmer, and might have been the talk of his neighbors if it was large enough. More to the point, sinkholes are everywhere you look in Florida. There are still dozens of sinkholes a month that occur in Florida that you will never hear about, simply because they don't have any impact on the human population.

A sinkhole in the middle of a housing development or a resort community, on the other hand, is national news.

In some areas of Florida, literally every lake that is round is a former sinkhole that has been plugged and filled.

At the same time, consumption of the underground water supplies has tripled and tripled again, dropping the levels and exposing underground caverns which used to be full and held up by water pressure.

This is true, but the sad reality is that the changes in the water table is driven less by urbanization than it is by an increase in agriculture. See, for example, the Plant City sinkhole swarm, which was triggered when strawberry farmers turned on the water taps and sprayed their field in an effort to save the crop from a freeze. See also the current fight over the cattle ranch being built next to Silver Springs, which was initially requesting permits to draw more water than the entire nearby city of Ocala.

It also exposed areas of limestone to increased acidic percolation, wearing it away faster and without the previous high water tables to help support it, gaps form and collapse.

The acidity of the water has little observable impact on the disollution of limestone in the timeframe you are talking about (50-75 years). Dissolution occurs on a geologic time scale, not a human one.

This is just plain silly.


Also, there used to be acres of wild woods, whose roots and ground cover not only held the soil in place but acted like an organic filter, helping to cut down on acidic absorption as well as dispersing it over a wider area.

And again, the dissolution of limestone isn't impacted at the time scale you are talking about. Impervious surfaces and suburban development cause a lot of ills, but they do not make the rocks dissolve faster.

Again, Mass development is not good for every chunk of land, but so long as developers make billions paving everything under and businesses see only major dollar signs by increased population growth, it's going to happen.

1,000 people a day move to Florida, a rate of immigration that has held steady for over a decade.

Should Florida build a border wall, or should it just outlaw further development and force people who have just moved to Florida to compete for existing houses?

Florida used to be nice, with thousands of acres of wild woods, vast stretches of tropical island beaches, thousands of lakes and ponds that did not, every year, become infested with brain eating algae due to low water levels and increased heat and thousands of acres of land were not altered in their original geographic profile.

Yup, people ruin everything. But the brain eating algae has always been here.

Plus, the alteration of the inshore breezes can and has altered the ocean currents along the beaches and tripled the rate of erosion, meaning seawalls start being considered.

That's silly. The beaches have always eroded, and at largely the same rate.

The difference is that people have now built on the beaches and literally drawn a line in the (reclaimed) sand, saying "no more."

If people were sensible and built well back from the waterline, we wouldn't have these problems.

I'm starting to look for another state to move to

Buh-bye. Thank you for helping alleviate Florida's people problem that you so eloquently waxed about, seemingly without recognizing that you too are part of the problem.
2013-08-15 07:55:52 AM  
2 votes:
You take the good, you take the bad,
you take them both and there you have
The Florida tag, the Florida tag.

There's a time you got to screech and preach
And reach for your old breach-loader
The Florida tag, the Florida tag.

When your town's daily derp
Never quite lives up to your herp
Well suddenly you're finding out
The Florida tag is all about you, you.

It takes some time to get meth right
When you're earning the Florida tag.
Earning the Florida tag
Earning the Florida tag
2013-08-15 02:56:02 PM  
1 votes:

domine: Without the influx of northern transplants and seasonal residents (snowbirds), the state of FL would go bankrupt. A state can not be sustained with mullet fishin' and drankin' beer. Pre 1971 Florida  also seriously lacked law enforcement. Over the past twenty-five years, the number of sexually based crimes reported (rape, child molestation, etc.) has risen faster than any other state in the country, yet FL still remains one of the top states for unreported sexual offences. FL is in the top five for number of Pedos & other sexual offenders per capita. Yeah, northerners brought laws and law enforcement...now yall have to worry about going to jail if you decide to fiddle with your little nieces and nephews.

Not sure that post make the point you wanted it to make.

Also: (adverb): in addition

Both points were made.


So the influx of northerners is directly linked to the rise in sex offenders and child molestation.  Cool.
2013-08-15 01:09:57 PM  
1 votes:

tampaflacouple: The good : Florida pre 1971, before Disney. Lots of orange groves, not much traffic , the beaches were clean and the land hadn't been raped.
The Bad : EVERY ASSH*LE FROM NY, MASS, OHIO, CONN ECT ECT COMING HERE TO TELL US EVERYDAY HOW MUCH NICER IT IS BACK UP NORTH.

Do us a favor and go the hell back, the natives here really really hate all of you.


Without the influx of northern transplants and seasonal residents (snowbirds), the state of FL would go bankrupt. A state can not be sustained with mullet fishin' and drankin' beer. Pre 1971 Florida also seriously lacked law enforcement. Over the past twenty-five years, the number of sexually based crimes reported (rape, child molestation, etc.) has risen faster than any other state in the country, yet FL still remains one of the top states for unreported sexual offences. FL is in the top five for number of Pedos & other sexual offenders per capita. Yeah, northerners brought laws and law enforcement...now yall have to worry about going to jail if you decide to fiddle with your little nieces and nephews.
2013-08-15 11:23:30 AM  
1 votes:
The good : Florida pre 1971, before Disney. Lots of orange groves, not much traffic , the beaches were clean and the land hadn't been raped.
The Bad : EVERY ASSH*LE FROM NY, MASS, OHIO, CONN ECT ECT COMING HERE TO TELL US EVERYDAY HOW MUCH NICER IT IS BACK UP NORTH.

Do us a favor and go the hell back, the natives here really really hate all of you.
2013-08-15 07:37:16 AM  
1 votes:
The further north you go, the further south you get.
2013-08-15 07:27:21 AM  
1 votes:
If your date isn't nice to the waiter, your date isn't nice.
 
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