Chapter 16 Geohazards caused by gypsum and anhydrite in the UK: including dissolution, subsidence, sinkholes and heave
Published:June 09, 2020
Anthony H. Cooper, 2020. "Chapter 16 Geohazards caused by gypsum and anhydrite in the UK: including dissolution, subsidence, sinkholes and heave", Geological Hazards in the UK: Their Occurrence, Monitoring and Mitigation – Engineering Group Working Party Report, D. P. Giles, J. S. Griffiths
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Gypsum and anhydrite are both soluble minerals that form rocks that can dissolve at the surface and underground, producing sulphate karst and causing geological hazards, especially subsidence and sinkholes. The dissolution rates of these minerals are rapid and cavities/caves can enlarge and collapse on a human time scale. In addition, the hydration and recrystallization of anhydrite to gypsum can cause considerable expansion and pressures capable of causing uplift and heave. Sulphate-rich water associated with the deposits can react with concrete and be problematic for construction. This paper reviews the occurrence of gypsum and anhydrite in the near surface of the UK and looks at methods for mitigating, avoiding and planning for the problems associated with these rocks.
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Geological Hazards in the UK: Their Occurrence, Monitoring and Mitigation – Engineering Group Working Party Report
The UK is perhaps unique globally in that it presents the full spectrum of geological time, stratigraphy and associated lithologies within its boundaries. With this wide range of geological assemblages comes a wide range of geological hazards, whether they be geophysical (earthquakes, effects of volcanic eruptions, tsunami, landslides), geotechnical (collapsible, compressible, liquefiable, shearing, swelling and shrinking soils), geochemical (dissolution, radon and methane gas hazards) or georesource related (coal, chalk and other mineral extraction). An awareness of these hazards and the risks that they pose is a key requirement of the engineering geologist.
The Geological Society considered that a Working Party Report would help to put the study and assessment of geohazards into the wider social context, helping the engineering geologist to better communicate the issues concerning geohazards in the UK to the client and the public. This volume sets out to define and explain these geohazards, to detail their detection, monitoring and management and to provide a basis for further research and understanding.