Hazard a Guess? The riskiest science quiz you will ever take!

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How much of the Nation is susceptible to sinkholes (i.e., underlain by rock that dissolves easily)?

  1.  100%
  2.  55%
  3.  20%
  4.  5%

To see the answer, scroll down below the image.

Image: Sinkholes in West-central Florida, Freeze Event of 2010
More than 110 sinkholes formed in the Dover area of Florida during a freeze event in January 2010. Ground water levels dropped to record-setting lows as farmers pumped water to irrigate their plants for protection from the cold temperatures. The sinkholes destroyed homes, roads and sections of cultivated areas. Photograph Credit: Ann Tihansky, USGS

The correct answer is 20%. About 20% of the Nation is underlain by karst, which is characterized by terrain where the underlying rock can be dissolved by groundwater and is consequently vulnerable to the earth collapsing. Sinkholes are common in these areas and can be as sudden as they are devastating. Individuals can check if they live in areas underlain by soluble rock through county offices, local or state geological surveys, or USGS maps. 

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"Hazard a Guess?" is an ongoing series, so check out past questions and come back soon for more. Don't forget to share these with friends and family to help raise awareness of natural hazards.