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Public-images-osm logo.svg sinkhole = pit
Golondrinas Entrance Rappelling.png
A simple sinkhole, opened in the ground, which may present a waterbody at any depth Edit or translate this description.
Group: Natural
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations


Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal


A pit is a simple hole, opened in the ground, which may present a waterbody at any depth. This description includes cenotes, whose waterbody is often larger than the orifice in the ground.

A sinkhole is a pit when the downward orifice is the only feature, i.e. there is no water flow and it is not filled with debris, even partly; if the sinkhole is known to be a cave entrance, map it as natural=cave_entrance in lieu of natural=sinkhole in order to reflect that the cave entrance is a pit, but keep it also tagged sinkhole=pit to reflect its dual nature. If the sinkhole is a cenote, map the underground waterbody as it is, with natural=water+layer=-1+whatever.

Such sinkholes can also be the consequence of mining activities, like cave-ins. If the pit appeared because of human activities, use anthropogenic=yes; if the cause is known, for example a mine whose entrance is mapped, add the pit to a relation:site also encompassing the mine entrance. See sinkhole=* for additional informations.


The  Cave of Swallows, a pit in Mexico, would be an area tagged this way:

name=Cave of Swallows
name:es=Sótano de las Golondrinas

See also

  • sinkhole=*, especially for details on the link between karst features and how to map it.
  • name=*
  • depth=*