Hydrologic Factors Affecting Sinkhole Development in a Well Field in the Karst Dougherty Plain, Southwest of Albany, Georgia
Gordon, Debbie Warner
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Sinkhole formation has been an ongoing problem in the karst region southwest of Albany, Georgia, where groundwater withdrawals from the Upper Floridan aquifer occur. Since the initiation of well-field pumping in 2003, more than 23 sinkholes have developed in a recently-constructed well-field area. Although sinkhole formation at the well field is not completely understood, the frequency of development is likely related to the excavation of holding ponds and waterlevel fluctuations in the Upper Floridan Aquifer greater than 30 feet. Most of the sinkholes (18 out of 23) have formed at the Albany well field since the beginning of 2007 when the water level in one well in the northwest part of the well field oscillated above and below the top of the aquifer on a regular basis. However, no sinkholes formed in 2008.