Recent radar imagery shows a large portion of West Texas, near the New Mexico border, is sinking at alarming rates.
Two massive sinkholes are heaving and moving near Wink, Texas, according to a geophysical team from Southern Methodist University. The sinking is occurring across a 4000-square-mile region. Some areas have sunk as much as three and a half feet in a little over two years, reports phys.org.
Zhong Lu, a professor in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at SMU, says the ground movement isn’t normal. He warned that the sinking and heaving represents a danger to residents, roads, railroads, levees, dams, and oil and gas pipelines, as well as potential pollution of ground water. In recent years, there has been heavy production of hydrocarbons in the area, as a result of oil production in the Permian Basin. Lu said, “Proactive, continuous detailed monitoring from space is critical.”