Geomorphology Gallery


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Geomorphology Subcategories:   [ Sinkholes ] [ Streams ] [ Pillow Lava ]
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Sinkholes

Montezuma Well 1
Montezuma Well 2

Montezuma Well 3
Montezuma Well 4
Montezuma Well 5

A sinkhole is a funnel-shaped depression in the land surface, generally in a limestone region communicating with a subterranean passage developed by solution. Water commonly drains downward and is lost, but the passage may become blocked so that a pond is formed. Sinkholes may also be produced by the collapse of a cavern roof.

Montezuma Well, in central Arizona, is a sinkhole formed by the collapse of an underground limestone cavern filled with water. More than a million gallons of water per day flow continuously. At an elevation of 3,618 feet, Montezuma Well measures 368 feet across and 55 feet deep. The source of the sinkhole's water has not been identified. Tests using gas and dye have not made a connection with any other water source in the area. This sinkhole receives and discharges large quantities of warm water (76° F) that enters through underground springs, keeping the environment within the well very stable. Two distinct desert cultures, the Hohokam and the Sinagua, irrigated their crops with the sinkhole's waters.

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