Because they are so common in this area, sinkholes are a serious issue for many people; if a sinkhole opens up on a homeowner or business owners property, it will not only cause foundation issues, but lower the value of the property significantly and make it much more difficult to sell. Homeowners in Florida are always searching for more information about sinkholes and what to do when they occur. Several years ago, an institute existed called the Florida Sinkhole Research Institute (FSRI). This institute, formed in 1982, was dedicated to the research of sinkholes and gathered sinkhole data files into a database. In the late 1990’s, however, the Florida legislature discontinued funding for the FSRI, and it’s databases were transferred to the Florida Geological Survey (FGS).
The Florida Geological Survey was formed in 1907 to gather data on Florida karst topogrophy (sinkholes, caves, springs, etc.). The FGS uses this information to better understand how the state’s karst and groundwater resources and systems are related. The FGS even published Special Publication 29, “Karst in Florida,” which is an easy to understand description of the various aspects of Florida Karst. This text was especially useful to the non-scientific community and as a teaching tool for classrooms across the state.
The FGS has also published various other texts and reproduced chapters into an Open File Report for the purpose of easier access by the public. They are on call at all times to receive calls from the State Emergency Warning Point. This is part of the Department of Community Affairs that deals with emergency situations of all types, including sinkhole activity in the state of Florida. In addition to this, members of the FGS staff often respond to various requests from the public, state, and federal agencies or confederations relating to sinkhole development or potential. If you are in search of more information on sinkholes, the FGS may be able to help.