Subsidence and ground movements in chalk

  • F. G. Bell
  • M. G. Culshaw
  • B. S. P. Moorlock
  • J. C. Cripps


Subsidences which occur within, or near, the outcrop of the Chalk are due to the collapse either of solution features or of old mine workings. However, only the latter are considered here. Mine workings in the Chalk extend back into the distant past, the most ancient workings being those which Stone Age man excavated in his quest for flint. The collapse of old mine workings is unpredictable and, to make the situation worse, most old workings are unrecorded and are therefore a potential hazard in areas scheduled for development. The investigation of such potentially hazardous ground conditions, especially the detection of sub-surface cavities, is by no means a simple task although geophysical methods of exploration are being continually improved. Remote sensing and aerial photography have also proved useful in recognizing the surface expression of mine workings. In addition, hazard mapping techniques have been developed which attempt to identify problem ground conditions. Two case histories of mine collapse at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and Grays, Essex are described.


Ground Movement Chalk Flint Mine Working Drill String 

Effondrements et mouvements de terrain dans la craie


Les affaissements qui se produisent dans ou à proximité des affleurements de craie sont dus à des effondrements qui sont liés soit à des phénomènes de dissolution soit à d'anciens travaux miniers. Seuls ces derniers sont étudiés dans le présent article. Les travaux miniers dans la craie remontent à un passé lointain, les plus anciens travaux étant ceux de l'homme de l'Age de Pierre lorsqu'il recherchait le silex. des risques potentiels dans les zones prévues pour des aménagements. La recherche de ces conditions potentiellement dangereuses et en particulier la détection des cavités de sub-surface n'est pas facile, bien que les méthodes géophysiques soient sans cesse améliorées. La télédétection et la photographie aérienne se sont également avérées utiles pour la reconnaissance des manifestations de surface des exploitations souterraines. De plus, des techniques de cartographie des risques ont été développées, qui tentent d'identifier les situations à problèmes. Deux cas d'effondrements miniers situés à Bury St Edmands, dans le Suffolk et à Grays, dans l'Essex, sont décrits.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Engineering Geology 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. G. Bell
    • 1
  • M. G. Culshaw
    • 2
  • B. S. P. Moorlock
    • 3
  • J. C. Cripps
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Geology and Applied GeologyUniversity of NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.Engineering Geology and Geophysics GroupBritish Geological Survey, KeyworthNottinghamUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Eastern England GroupBritish Geological Survey, KeyworthNottinghamUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.Earth Sciences UnitUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUnited Kingdom

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