Secret tunnels: Doors to a hidden realm

Humans are tunneling animals, we may not think we are but we are. We tunnel deeper, further and wider than any other animal. Furthermore, our tunneling systems are complex and unlike anything else in the world. Historical tunneling networks are all around us, they carry water, vehicles and ourselves. We have dug through mountains, under...

Prestwich sinkhole under investigation

A busy junction in Prestwich, Greater Manchester will remain shut for at least two days whilst an investigation and subsequent remedial works are undertaken following yet another sinkhole1 in the town. It is possible the cause is attributed to the areas underlying geology. The district is built on a mixture of sand, gravel, silt and...

Recent sinkhole in Norwich: what could be the cause?

In recent years, the term sinkhole is one that has become ever more common in our media headlines. Defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “a large hole that suddenly appears in the ground when the surface of the ground is no longer supported”1. They are a menacing phenomenon that continue to cause disruption and damage...

What could be the cause of a recent sinkhole on Seaton beach?

A report of a recent sinkhole on Seaton beach has sparked some local speculation as to whether this collapse could in-fact be related to historical mining activity. A look at our Geographical Information System (GIS) reveals no records of underground mining in the vicinity of this event. That said, there are numerous small surface quarries...

Ground stability hazards around Greater London

London is a particular hotspot for subsidence. A large number of properties in the Greater London area are built on London Clay, which is one of the most shrinkable of soil types as it’s highly susceptible to changes in volume caused by variation in water content1. This is reflected in the deformation of ground by...

The hidden dangers of old mine workings

It was reported1 earlier today, that an unfortunate incident occurred with a farmer sadly being injured after falling into a sinkhole. The description of such hole is reported by the BBC as “a narrow throat, and then there was a large bulbous bottom”. Our mining experts instantly knew this related to an iron ore bell...