Mitigate sinkhole risks and damage

Exponent provides expert analysis on subsurface conditions in the pre- and post-development phases to help identify and prevent sinkhole formation, investigate sinkhole damage claims, and deliver valuable insights for safety and ground restoration.

How do Exponent's multidisciplinary teams provide sinkhole support — from proactive analysis to repair?

Sinkholes pose serious risks to buildings and infrastructure, surface water features, and communities, and can transmit contaminants into groundwater. Given that sinkholes can develop over time, in stages, or suddenly, and from numerous, complex causes, responding to sinkholes requires sophisticated investigation and analysis as well as expedient action in the event of emergencies.

Exponent geologists and geotechnical engineers provide expert, reliable sinkhole investigation services, including pre-condition surveys, emergency response and evaluation of imminent hazards, assessing damage claims, making data-backed recommendations for repairing and restoring sinkhole damage, and more.

While predicting sinkhole occurrence and conducting hazard assessment are challenging, a thorough investigation of the subsurface conditions can assist in reducing the risks posed to projects by sinkhole formation. Site-specific evaluations of sinkhole conditions depend on an accurate characterization of buried bedrock topography, soil or sediment stratigraphy, soil mechanical properties, subsurface drainage, and groundwater flow.

Exponent staff utilize advanced tools and analyses to evaluate sinkhole risks and damage. These tools include sophisticated subsurface investigation tools to produce a two- or three-dimensional representation of the subsurface. Examples of these tools include:

  • Remote sensing to evaluate changes in elevation and tension cracking at the ground surface
  • Soil borings and/or cone penetration test (CPT) soundings, both inside and outside of the affected area
  • Geophysical test methods such as ground penetrating radar (GPR), electrical resistivity (ER), multi-electrode electrical resistivity (MER), or multi-channel analysis of surface waves (MASW) around the affected area
  • Piezometers to monitor groundwater conditions

Our Capabilities Are Unparalleled

With expertise in over 90 disciplines and hundreds of capabilities, tools, and methodologies — we get to the root of even the most complex challenges and give you the objective answers you need.