Sinkhole Spotted On University Campus In Florida

A sinkhole has appeared at Stetson University in Deland, Florida. It’s roughly 25-by-18 feet across and 8-to-10 feet deep but does not pose an immediate danger to any of the school’s structures, roads or parking lots.

The sinkhole is located in an empty field behind the DeLand House Museum. Other than a nearby parking lot, the next closest building is about half a block away. Regardless, the school’s facilities staff immediately set up a safety barrier and alerted students and employees, according to the Daytona Beach News Journal.

City engineers and a geotechnical expert contacted by the university evaluated the site. They said it was unlikely the sinkhole will get much bigger. Stetson plans to monitor the sinkhole for 48 hours. The Orlando Sentinel reported that once it stabilizes, the university’s facility staff will fill it in.

This is the third sinkhole to appear in West Volusia region since December, when a sinkhole formed at Gemini Springs in DeBary. Another DeBary sinkhole in August temporarily closed the northbound lanes of a highway.

Sinkholes are usually caused from naturally acidic rainwater dissolving the limestone underneath the ground’s surface. Over time, cavities develop and occasionally collapse. Increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have made the rainwater more acidic.

Sinkholes typically have no warning signs, so it’s hard to know when and where they’ll appear.

Florida’s most famous sinkhole swallowed up a car dealership and five Porsches, parts of two separate streets and an Olympic-sized swimming pool in Winter Park in 1981.