By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 11 January 2022 • 11:31
A small sinkhole in the cliffs of Whitburn near Sunderland, has grown so large that it it now reveals a hidden beach.
According to Geology expert Dr Vanessa Banks when speaking to the Daily Mail, the sinkhole is a natural phenomenon known as “doline”. According to her the sinkhole first appeared in 2003 and has been growing ever since with seawater pushed through fault lines in the limestone cliffs gradually eroding the outskirts of the hole.
Dolines are usually formed where you have cold water along with glacial sand and gravel deposits, under which lies soluble rocks such as limestone or gypsum. In this case the limestone is what is being eroded away allowing the gravel above to fall through into the gap below.
The National Trust who manage the property have warned visitors to avoid the sinkhole as it does post a danger. A spokesperson for the organisation said “By its nature the coastline is constantly changing, with some areas particularly prone to erosion and landslips,”
Continuing they said: “There are warning signs at key points along the cliff edges, as well as visitor information panels in each car park. We’d urge people to take a moment to look at these signs, and to stick to the main paths to keep themselves, their children, and their dogs safe.”
Those that walk the area will be well aware of the sinkhole and would no doubt love to see the hidden beach, which the hole reveals more of as it grows.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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