Sinkhole Information

The Centre Region is composed of karst geology that can contribute to the formation of sinkholes and depressions. For more detailed information visit the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DCNR) Sinkhole webpage at to get more information and utilize the map link near the bottom of the page to find locations of known karst features in the Centre Region.

A sinkhole is a subsidence feature resulting from the downward movement of surficial material into a pre-existing subsurface void. Sinkholes come in many shapes and sizes, and although caused by naturally occurring processes, their formation can be accelerated by human activities.


Improving Sinkhole Awareness

  • Know the history of your property -- Many subsidence issues can be related to relic structures or materials left underground that can convey water and contribute to creating subsurface voids
  • Become informed about the geology of your area -- online searches offer a relatively rapid means of identifying whether a property lies within a limestone region; state-licensed geologists, local colleges, county planning commissions, local municipalities, and state and federal agencies are other potential sources of information
  • Know the location of any nearby underground mines
  • Ensure that municipalities maintain and regularly inspect water-bearing utility lines and that requirements are in place for development in subsidence-prone areas
  • Maintain sinkhole insurance