At the request of the Liberty County, Texas, Office of Emergency Management, a Bureau of Economic Geology hazard assessment team made up of researchers Jeff Paine, John Andrews, Jennifer Morris, and Kutalmis Saylam visited the new Daisetta sinkhole on April 8, 2023. This new, nearly circular sinkhole, located on the southwest side of the larger 2008 Daisetta sinkhole (the subject of earlier Bureau investigations), collapsed on Sunday, April 2, on the northwest flank of the Hull salt dome in the community of Daisetta, Texas.
On this initial visit, the team mapped concentric fissures and scarps around the new sinkhole and conducted a drone-based structure-from-motion survey to obtain high-resolution images and construct a post-collapse topographic map of the sinkhole area. Water depth in both sinkholes was measured using a graduated, weighted string lowered into the sinkholes with the drone. The team also acquired differential GPS elevations for drone imagery georeferencing and elevation-change detection and used a passive seismic method to estimate the depth to salt along the FM 770 highway near the sinkhole.
Data from the site visit will provide critical information on the sinkhole to emergency responders and the public. Studies at the site are supported by the Bureau’s State of Texas Advanced Resource Recovery (STARR) program. The team’s report on the sinkhole is available here. For more information, please contact Jeff Paine.