Halite karst geohazards (natural and man-made) in the United Kingdom

Cooper, Anthony. 2002 Halite karst geohazards (natural and man-made) in the United Kingdom. Environmental Geology, 42 (5). 505-512. 10.1007/s00254-001-0512-9

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In the United Kingdom Permian and Triassic halite (rock salt) deposits have been affected by natural and artificial dissolution producing karstic landforms and subsidence. Brine springs from the Triassic salt have been exploited since Roman times, or possibly earlier, indicating prolonged natural dissolution. Medieval salt extraction in England is indicated by the of place names ending in “wich” indicating brine spring exploitation at Northwich, Middlewich, Nantwich and Droitwich. Later, Victorian brine extraction in these areas accentuated salt karst development causing severe subsidence problems that remain a legacy. The salt was also mined, but the mines flooded and consequent brine extraction caused the workings to collapse, resulting in catastrophic surface subsidence. Legislation was enacted to pay for the damage and a levy is still charged for salt extraction. Some salt mines are still collapsing and the re-establishment of the post-brine extraction hydrogeological regimes means that salt springs may again flow causing further dissolution and potential collapse.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s00254-001-0512-9
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Other
ISSN: 0943-0105
Additional Keywords: Halite, Salt, Subsidence, Geohazards, Salt springs, Brine, Brine extraction, Place names, Industrial history, Salt mining, planning, Domesday Book,
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Earth Sciences
Date made live: 24 Feb 2009 15:22

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