Piping cave/soil arch in Qamf deposit, Loutzenhizer Arroyo, Delta County, Colorado, April 2007. Photo credit: David Noe for the CGS.

Collapsible Soils

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Another type of ground subsidence that commonly occurs in Colorado is the settlement and ground collapse that occurs in certain types of geologically recent, unconsolidated sediments — usually referred to as soils by engineers and contractors. This group of soils that can rapidly settle or collapse the ground is known as collapsible soils. Ground settlement can damage man-made structures such as foundations, pavements, concrete slabs, utilities, and irrigation works.