Slide Title

St. Pete's Sinkhole


Chet Smolski, Rhode Island College


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St. Petersburg and Pinellas County lies in what is called a “sinkhole alley.” The towns of Pasco, Hillsborough and Hernando, which leads the state in sinkhole claims, have all had issues concerning sinkholes developing on private property. Pictured is a sinkhole located outside of the city that Smolski photographed in 1978. From 2007 to 2012 there have been numerous reports of sinkholes appearing all over the city and even within a few miles of Beach Drive, a popular spot for restaurants and shops.

St. Petersburg is prone to sinkholes due to its geological make-up. The region sits on underground limestone caverns full of voids that can collapse because of fluctuating water levels. Pinellas County, outside of St. Petersburg, is built on sandy soil, so occurrences of sinkholes in the area are greater than the rest of the region.


(Accessed 17 May 2012)


This object from the Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, housed by the Rhode Island College Special Collections, and any of its digital surrogates are the intellectual property of Rhode Island College. This digital object is protected by copyright and/or related rights. The digital material presented here is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This content can be used, shared, or adapted for educational and scholarly purposes. For permissions to use this item please contact All uses must include appropriate attribution.

Creator 1 Role


Subject Headings

Sink Holes -- Saint Petersburg (FL) -- Georgraphy; Aerial Photography in Geography -- Sink Holes -- Urban Geography;

Country Name

United States of America

Region Name


City Name

Saint Petersburg


Saint Petersburg, Florida, urban geography, Pinellas County, sinkhole, water levels, aerial photograph