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China discovers giant sinkhole with an ancient forest at the bottom

leye county guangxi zhuang sinkhole china may 2022

A Chinese cave exploration team has discovered a giant karst sinkhole at Leye-Fengshan Global Geopark, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, bringing the number of such sinkholes in Leye County to 30.

Zhang Yuanhai, a senior engineer with the Institute of Karst Geology of China Geological Survey, said the sinkhole, located near Ping’e village under Luoxi township, measures 306 m (1 003 feet) in length, 150 m (492 feet) in width and 192 m (623 feet) in depth.1

Its volume is exceeding 5 million m3 (176 million feet3) and can be categorized as a large sinkhole, Yuanhai said.

Chen Lixin, leader of the Guangxi 702 cave expedition team, said the ancient trees growing at the bottom are nearly 40 m (131 feet) high, and the dense shade plants are up to one’s shoulders.

Zhang said that there are three big caves in the wall, which are presumed to be the remains of the early evolution of the sinkhole.

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References:

1 Giant karst sinkhole discovered in China’s Guangxi – Xinhua – May 7, 2022

Featured image credit: Xinhua/Zhou Hua

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