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Public-images-osm logo.svg natural = sinkhole
Rax Splitterbombenloch.jpg
A natural depression or hole in the surface topography. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: natural
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
See also
Status: approvedPage for proposal

A  sinkhole, also known as a sink, shake hole, snake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline, or cenote, is a natural depression or hole in the surface topography caused by the removal of soil or bedrock, often both, by water and/or by collapse of an underlying cavity. A typical form of a sinkhole is a crater. Sinkholes are abundant on  karst plateaus.

Don't mix this up with a  polje, which is much larger, or with a natural=cave_entrance. On the bottom of a sinkhole, however, there may be a cave entrance. In this case, you may wish to map both, if the sinkhole is of remarkable size; or the cave entrance only, otherwise.

Sinkholes vary in size from 1 to 600 m (3.3 to 2,000 ft) both in diameter and depth, and vary in form from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged chasms.

Consider also tagging any cliffs using natural=cliff

This tag can be specified using sinkhole=*, to precise the type of sinkhole; for OSM, used with anthropogenic=yes, natural=sinkhole and sinkhole=* can describe an anthropogenic sinkhole-like orifice, a cave-in for instance. Remember that natural=* doesn't necessarily designate natural features.


See also