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Geologic Threats

Landslides or Rockslides 

Landslides or rockslides threaten to cause unexpected damage where higher ground is found near some construction, whether it is a house, business or road. Due to having been cut through or due to being near mountains or ridges, roads are the most frequently reported target of land or rock slides. TEMA typically does not get involved in these local emergencies unless the accident involves some other threat, such as hazardous materials release or the damages exceed Stafford Act thresholds.

Sinkholes or Caves

Tennessee is subject to unexpected appearances of sinkholes or caves in property or roads. These threats are caused by the type of geology found in the State of Tennessee. Subsidence is especially prevalent after excessive rains.

Karst topography

Karst topography is limestone which is subject to or is eroding due to water leaching into the ground. The water rapidly erodes the surrounding soil and rock into tunnels, caverns and sinkholes. This is particularly threatening near a dam. Some of the dams in the Tennessee Valley have been discovered to suffer from this weakness.  

NOTE: Earthquakes are a geologic threat, but due to the unique issues found in an earthquake that type of geologic threat is dealt with as a separate threat.