Sinkhole Tragedy (01:52)
In February 2013, a sinkhole opened under Jeff Bush's Florida home. Professor Iain Stewart will investigate geological conditions that caused the phenomenon.
Florida Natural Disaster (02:06)
Family members of Jeff Bush recall the night the sinkhole opened under his bed.
Trapped in a Sinkhole (04:33)
Hear the 911 call. A local sheriff describes it as something alive. Bush's body was never recovered.
Exploring a Sinkhole (05:30)
Stewart notices more sinkholes in the news—the majority in Florida. He descends into a cave to understand how subterranean erosion causes a thin surface layer to collapse
Sinkhole Landscape (04:10)
Stewart flies over a Tampa suburb for a bird's eye view of lakes formed from limestone caverns; there are thousands in Florida.
Florida Geology (02:17)
Stewart explains how carbonate mud is formed. The peninsula consists of limestone, causing sinkholes.
Limestone Erosion (02:22)
Stewart visits a Florida quarry and demonstrates how slightly acidic rainfall dissolves bedrock, creating caves and sinkholes.
Florida Aquifer (02:58)
Florida is on eroding limestone. Stewart visits Peacock Springs to learn about its underwater cave system.
Subterranean Cave System (04:07)
On dry land, Stewart follows cave divers exploring a Florida sinkhole. Erosion causes the limestone caverns to expand continually.
Karst Swamp (04:45)
Stewart contemplates the Florida cave system as he waits for divers to surface from a sinkhole.
Winter Park Sinkhole (04:45)
View footage of a 1981 sinkhole outside Orlando. Stewart explains how clay sediment forms a temporary bridge before causing the ground to cave in.
Sinkhole Triggers (02:47)
Geologists search for clay beneath Florida residences. Water demand causes aquifers to sink, drying clay. Water saturation can also cause clay to collapse.
Poor Urban Planning (02:32)
As Florida's population expands, homes are built over sinkholes—few collapse without warning. Buildings are often condemned when cracks appear.
Sinkhole Casualty (04:41)
A structural engineer explains why natural conditions that caused Jeff Bush's death are rare in Florida.
Credits: Swallowed By a Sinkhole (00:42)
Credits: Swallowed By a Sinkhole
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