After few incidents of recurrent sinkholes in Florida the ground opening and swallowing you up without any warning has become one of the worst nightmares these days as human population grows and we invent new ways to exploit underground resources. These sinkholes today are becoming more common in the US.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the American space agency, claims that it has developed a radar called Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (iSAR) which when mounted on planes or satellites can scan the land for areas which may be prone to sinkholes.
The iSAR, after scanning the ground multiple times and at different wavelengths, generates an interferogram which would show minute movements of the earth including the ripples of the earthquake, the ground sinking areas and also the effects of floods on the land.
NASA’s vehicle called the Uninhabited Airborne Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, or UAVSAR, system in 2012 gathered information about the various movements beneath the earth surface using the radio waves. This data was studied at the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The study analyzed data obtained after and before the occurrence of a sinkhole at the giant Bayou Corne.
The ability of detecting these sinkholes can prove to be a boon and save many lives, cattle and money while on the other hand scientists say that this may work in the theory but practically the technique is still hit and miss and the likelihood of detecting the sinkhole is not hundred percent.