Nature & Environment

Sinkhole in Kashmir a climate change ?

Kashmir is enriched with beautiful sceneries and is well known for its pleasant climate.  Talking about the famous Bringi nullah at Wandevalgam in the Kokernag area of the south Kashmir district, a sinkhole had been 

formed on February 11 around 4 pm.

The administration of the Anantnag district mentioned that the measures for reducing the severity were already under-taken and scientific cause and research had begun.

Cause of sinkhole

It has been said that it has occurred naturally due to a few geological disturbances. Apart from that, this sinkhole doesn’t provide any serious or immediate threat to the lives of the people.

“While one intervention available was to immediately fill the sinkhole and divert the stream, however, given that sinkholes are naturally occurring geological events and pose no immediate danger, it was decided to investigate into the event scientifically and ensure that the intervention is scientifically rational and is not counterproductive,” deputy commissioner, Anantnag, Piyush Singla said.

He also stated that the same event had taken place 27 years ago in the same district and the source of it was Achabal spring. 

To prevent the springs and rivers from drying out in the future this has to be investigated and mitigation measures should be taken.

To investigate the event, students from the NIT Srinagar, Department of Earth Sciences, Kashmir University, Fisheries Department, and Geology and Mining Department visited the spot and conducted a few related tests, including using a Proton Precession Magnetometer (PPM) to understand the event.PPM is a device used to measure the variations in the earth’s magnetic field.

 According to the students, that sinkhole is caused due to gradual dissolving or breaking of rocks and sometimes this process is known as weathering.  Due to the Dissolution for longer periods of the limestone present there at a few meters deep has caused cavities in the rocks and led to this hole.

According to the tests it has been said that it is 100 meters long downstream. Further, it has been assumed that there are many long cavities in the underground which are acting as natural reservoirs.

This assumption was made as water is constantly entering the hole without any disruptions which is not getting filled up to the top of the hole.

Mr. Singla, an official has said that Kashmir is well filled with carbonate rocks and that’s the reason for the dissolution of these rocks and causing sinkholes, caves, etc.

He also stated that sinkholes are caused due to the collapse of underground caves formed by these rocks. These cases have already been reported and published in newspapers.

Damages caused by this sinkhole

Disruption in the food chain as a large number of a particular species have died during this incident.

Secondly, this hole acts as a barrier to the network of rivers and may dry out several other rivers or springs.

Finally, entry to this site has been prohibited and people have been advised not to visit the hole in the future till a solution has been found.

 

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