Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is home to two sinkholes, the deeper of which was recently found. On Monday, May 09, researchers discovered a second sinkhole that mirrors the one identified in the park in January. Its massive mouth, though, is just about half as big.
The first sinkhole was discovered in January, and at the time, Oregon State Parks Park Manager Jason Elkins estimated its dimensions to be 20 feet wide and 15 feet deep. Its current width is said to be around 25 feet.
Public information officer for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Stefanie Knowlton estimated that the second sinkhole, which developed around 10 inches distant from the first, is roughly 10 feet broad and 30 feet deep.
According to a tweet, a second sinkhole appeared on the Oregon coast near Cape Kiwanda-
The park personnel was alerted to the new sinkhole on Monday, May 09, night after seeing a snapshot on social media. The second sinkhole developed within the perimeter fence around the first. Since then, the park has increased the size of the safety barrier surrounding both sinkholes.
“We ask that visitors respect this barrier and all park safety barriers and that they keep pets on leashes and children away from the edges. We are monitoring the site daily, but it’s a dynamic environment. The soft sandstone cliffs can give way without warning, which is why it’s important to respect safety fences everywhere in the park,” said Park Ranger Supervisor Travis Korbe.
Park authorities said the second sinkhole sprang up Monday between 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The sinkholes occurred amid a unique and delicate geological structure for the Oregon Coast: an outcropping of sandstone in Tillamook County.
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Naturally weaker and more prone to unexpected collapse, Elkins told January that the sandstone is more common along the Oregon coast than the basalt islands.
A geologist is helping the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department determine where to put a permanent safety barrier to keep people out of the sinkholes. Knowlton said in a news statement, “The soil appears to be falling into large, unstable voids beneath the cliff caused by strong ocean waves.”
Despite the fencing surrounding the sinkholes, authorities from the state park warn that the landscape might shift at any time, and new sinkholes could form. If you visit Cape Lookout State Park and see a new sinkhole, please call the park rangers at (503) 842-4981.
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