Its a question many people will ask: How do sink holes form from fracking?
One concern people have with fracking (hydraulic extraction of gas from shale) is the potential of damage to the environment. One potential concern is the formation of sink holes as a result of the fracking process. So, How do sink holes form from fracking?
The important thing to start with is that a sink hole may not necessarily be caused by fracking. For example in Florida in the United States there is an increased risk of sink holes due to the fact the area is underlain by limestone rocks like this are often more susceptible to dissolving and this means that sink holes become more common. Climate change can also have an effect, changing the nature of the environment.
Sink holes can also be caused by human activity for example old mines are at risk of collapsing as well as leaky drainage systems or due to groundwater pumping and construction. Processes such as irrigation have affected the distribution of water on the ground for centuries. Therefore if a sink hole does occur it should not be assumed that this was due to the fracking process.
Where the debate comes in is the effect of drilling into the ground. There is some evidence to suggest that the extraction process affects the ground and therefore this increases the risk of sink holes. Recent evidence in America also suggests an increased seismic activity in areas where fracking has recently taken place.
Summary of How do sink holes form from fracking?
In short it is open to debate whether or not the process of fracking has increased the risk of sink holes occurring for the simple fact that it is also debatable how much the result of these are caused by natural causes and how much by human intervention and arguably more research is needed before a firm conclusion can be reached.