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Development of the Wink Sink in west Texas, U.S.A., due to salt dissolution and collapse

January 1, 1989

The Wink Sink, in Winkler County, Texas, is a collapse feature that formed in June 1980 when an underground dissolution cavity migrated upward by successive roof failures until it breached the land surface. The original cavity developed in the Permian Salado Formation salt beds more than 400 m (1,300 ft) below ground level. Natural dissolution of salt occurred in the vicinity of the Wink Sink in several episodes that began as early as Salado time and recurred in later Permian, Triassic, and Cenozoic times. Although natural dissolution occurred in the past below the Wink Sink, it appears likely that the dissolution cavity and resultant collapse described in this report were influenced by petroleum-production activity in the immediate area. Drilling, completion, and plugging procedures used on an abandoned oil well at the site of the sink appear to have created a conduit that enabled water to circulate down the borehole and dissolve the salt. When the dissolution cavity became large enough, the roof failed and the overlying rocks collapsed into the cavity. Similar collapse features exist where underground salt beds have been intentionally dissolved during solution mining or accidentally dissolved as a result of petroleum-production activity. ?? 1989 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

Publication Year 1989
Title Development of the Wink Sink in west Texas, U.S.A., due to salt dissolution and collapse
DOI 10.1007/BF01728499
Authors K. S. Johnson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Geology and Water Sciences
Index ID 70015673
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse