Sinkholes—Buried Alive

The catastrophic collapse of the ground beneath our feet is a growing worldwide hazard. Airing October 21, 2015 at 9 pm on PBS Aired October 21, 2015 on PBS

  • Originally aired 01.28.15

Program Description

In a leafy suburb near Tampa, Florida, on February 28, 2013, a giant hole opened up under the bedroom floor of Jeffrey Bush, swallowing him as he slept. His body was never found. Bush was a victim of a sinkhole—a worldwide hazard that lurks wherever limestone and other water-soluble rocks underpin the soil. When carbon dioxide from the air dissolves in rainwater, it forms a weak acid that attacks soft rocks, riddling them with holes like Swiss cheese. Sinkholes can occur gradually when the surface subsides into bowl shaped depressions or suddenly when the ground gives way. These geological hazards have swallowed highways, apartment buildings, horses, camels, even golfers, with monster-size holes cracking the earth from Siberia to Louisiana. Filled with compelling eyewitness video of dramatic collapses, and following scientists as they explore the underlying forces behind these natural disasters, NOVA travels the globe to investigate what it's like to have your world vanish beneath your feet.

Broadcast Credits

WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
Larry Klein
EDITED BY
Sam Green
CAMERA
Gary Henoch
Mike Fox
NARRATED BY
Jay O. Sanders
UNDERWATER CAMERA
Andrew Pitkin
DRONE CAMERAS
Brandon Baudier
Renato Cortabitarte
Michael Dorr
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Sara Crosby
LOCATION COORDINATORS
Caroline Penn
Shanna Forrestall
Jesus Guerrero Iturbe
K.J. Wang
SOUND RECORDISTS
Rob Peterson
Hans van den Bold
Philip Antigua
MUSIC
Associated Music Production
ANIMATION
Doug Quade
ASSISTANT EDITOR
James Sullivan
ART DIRECTION AND SET DESIGN
Katha Seidman
ONLINE EDITOR AND COLORIST
Dave Markun
AUDIO MIX
Heart Punch Studio, Inc.
ARCHIVAL MATERIAL/STOCK FOOTAGE
ABC NEWS VideoSource
AP Images
AP Archive
Assumption Parish, Office of Emergency Preparedness
CCTV News Content
The CONUS Archive
Courtesy CNN
Florida Geological Survey
Getty Images
Highlight Films
NBC Universal Archives
El Perií³dico de Aragí³n
Siberian Times
SPECIAL THANKS
Jonathan Arthur
Robert Brinkmann
Wanda Wicker Carter
Kevin Cawley
Ted Corless
Sonny Cranch
Daniel Doctor
Michael Dupre
Bob Donahue
Dan Fritz
Tara Haggett
Martin P.A. Jackson
Mary Ellen Klas
Pam Parks
Wilma Subra
John Thompson
Mike Wightman
Sara Zekri
Leon Sinks Geological Area
National Speleological Society Cave Diving Section
NOVA SERIES GRAPHICS
yU + co.
NOVA THEME MUSIC
Walter Werzowa
John Luker
Musikvergnuegen, Inc.
ADDITIONAL NOVA THEME MUSIC
Ray Loring
Rob Morsberger
CLOSED CAPTIONING
The Caption Center
POST PRODUCTION ONLINE EDITOR
Spencer Gentry
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Jennifer Welsh
PUBLICITY
Eileen Campion
Eddie Ward
SENIOR RESEARCHER
Kate Becker
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Linda Callahan
PARALEGAL
Sarah Erlandson
TALENT RELATIONS
Janice Flood
LEGAL COUNSEL
Susan Rosen
DIGITAL MANAGING PRODUCER
Kristine Allington
SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR
Tim De Chant
DIRECTOR OF NEW MEDIA
Lauren Aguirre
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
Lisa Leombruni
UNIT MANAGER
Ariam McCrary
POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Brittany Flynn
SUPERVISING PRODUCER
Kevin Young
POST PRODUCTION EDITOR
Michael H. Amundson
BROADCAST MANAGER
Nathan Gunner
BUSINESS MANAGER
Elizabeth Benjes
DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER
David Condon
PROJECT DIRECTOR
Pamela Rosenstein
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Laurie Cahalane
SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR
Evan Hadingham
SENIOR PRODUCERS
Julia Cort
Chris Schmidt
SENIOR SERIES PRODUCER
Melanie Wallace
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Alan Ritsko
SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Paula S. Apsell

A NOVA production by Lawrence Klein Productions, LLC for WGBH Boston in association with ARTE France.

© 2015 WGBH Educational Foundation

All rights reserved

This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content.

IMAGE:

Image credit: (Sinkhole in Guatemala)
© DANIEL LECLAIR/X00162/Reuters/Corbis

Participants

Byron Anderson
Engineer
John Boudreaux
Director of Emergency Preparedness
Jeremy Bush
Rachel Bush
Jacki Clark
Patrick Courreges
La. Dept. of Natural Resources
Mike Fasano
Former Florida State Senator
James Ferraro
Francisco Gutiérrez
Geologist
Brett Hemphill
Brian Jory
Engineer
Dennis Landry
G. H. "Harley" Means
Geologist
Miguel Angel Lizaga Pueyo
Javier Rome
Mike Schaff
Richard and Betty Theodore
Janell Wheeler

Preview | 00:30

Full Program | 53:10

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