Number of sinkholes in Konya Plain exceeds 2,600: Expert

Number of sinkholes in Konya Plain exceeds 2,600: Expert

Number of sinkholes in Konya Plain exceeds 2,600: Expert

The number of sinkholes across Central Anatolia’s Konya Plain has exceeded 2,600, an expert said, warning against the uncontrolled use of groundwater, which is behind the formation of these holes.

Sinkholes, the number of which is increasing day by day in Konya’s Cihanbeyli, Yunak, Kulu, Sarayönü and Kadınhanı districts, continue to be examined by experts from the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) and Konya Technical University (KTÜN).

It was reported in the studies that the sinkholes are moving towards the points that will pose more risks, such as agricultural areas, residential areas and energy investment areas.

Providing information about the studies, professor Fetullah Arık from KTÜN said, “Despite the heavy snowfall last year, there was not a great increase in groundwater.”

Reiterating that as of the end of last year, there are over 2,500 sinkholes, of which around 700 are deeper and 1,800 shallower than 1 meter, registered in the inventory in the entire basin, Arık said: “With more sinkholes found in the Cihanbeyli, Yunak, Kulu, Sarayönü, Kadınhanı districts, the number has soared to 2,600.”

“Soluble material when it encounters water is quite common throughout the basin, so potholes will continue to occur even if we don’t intervene.”

“The ground structure, which is soluble when it encounters water, covers a very large area throughout the basin, so these sinkholes will continue to occur even if we do not intervene,” Arık explained.

He pointed out another reason that people continue to use groundwater in an intense and uncontrolled way. “In addition, initiatives for the production of plants that consume a lot of water such as sugar beet, corn and alfalfa in the basin also continue to increase.”

The low level of groundwater affects the sinkholes negatively, increasing their number as no external streams flow into the basin, the expert said.

“Since we have no chance to change nature’s geological conditions, the most effective measure we can take is to control the use of groundwater,” he added.