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Solution mining has resulted in land subsidence in and around the city of Hutchinson.

Relation of roof rock failure to method of salt mining (after Walters, 1978)
Mining Method Portion of Salt Removed Associated Surface Subsidence
Underground Mines One bed 8' to 15' thick in lower salt;
room and pillar with 75% of salt removed.
None known
Solution Mining
Predominantly the uppermost salt decreasing downward. Known surface subsidences
in 1914, 1925, 1952, 1974
Solution Mining
Predominantly the lowermost salt decreasing upward.
Void space is a narrow corridor.
None known
Solution Mining for storage
of Liquefied Petroleum Gas
Lower salt below "shale" marker;
100' +/- vertically, 40' +/- diameter.
None known

Hutchinson, Kansas: Land Subsidence Areas (after Walters, 1978)
Year Company Area Remarks
1914 Morton Salt Company Southwest of city Rapid surface cratering
1925 Carey Salt Company Downtown Slow subsidence of only a few inches
1952 Barton Salt Company Southeast of city, north of plant Ground subsidence with water coming in the hole
1974 Cargill (formerly Barton) Southeast of city, south of plant 300 ft diameter crater, volume calculated
to be 90,000 cubic yards (see photos below)

Photographs of Cargill Sinkhole-1974 (from Walters, 1978)

Cargill Sinkhole, October 21, 1974

Cargill Sinkhole Stabilized, November 12, 1974

Cargill Plant Layout, Showing North and South Sinkholes and other Features (after Walters, 1978)

Cross Section Through South Sinkhole, Cargill Site (from Walters, 1978)

For More Info

Info from the U.S. Geological Survey--Land Subsidence related to Groundwater Withdrawal:

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Kansas Geological Survey, Hutchinson Response Project
Updated March 29, 2001
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