A Lesson in Abysses

[Image: The title of this post, predictably, comes from Jules Verne: "'Look down!' he cried. 'Look down well! You must take a lesson in abysses.'"].

Those of you near Reston, Virginia, tonight, 4 May, might want to check out a talk sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey on the "unseen world beneath our feet: caves, sinkholes, and springs."

Sinkholes, we read, are both a subterranean threat of terrestrial instability—glitches in the landscape—and a spatial seed for potential future parks. The talk is free and open to the public, and kicks off at 7pm.

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3 Comments:

Blogger GlenH said...

http://www.planbooktravel.com.au/businesses/sa/mount-gambier/attractions/umpherston-sinkhole/9000800_2.jpg Already some are gardens!

May 04, 2011 6:31 PM  
Blogger carlM said...

I live in a karst area rife with sinkholes, and they are a major influence on development. The bypass road around town was re-routed to avoid them, sparing the farm where my partner's horse lives. She regularly rides on land in legal limbo, abandoned by its owners because of sinkholes.

May 04, 2011 8:24 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Glen, nice photo, thanks!

Carl, I grew up near a mall (near King of Prussia, outside Philadelphia) that was at risk of collapsing into a sinkhole; and I remember first hearing, when I was 10 or 11, that mall staff were constantly monitoring cracks in the basement walls to make sure the whole thing wasn't about to collapse into some strange void underneath all the happy shoppers. There's something fantastically compelling about sinkholes, and the seeming unpredictability with which they sometimes appear.

May 05, 2011 1:02 AM  

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