2019/10/21

Big Tennessee Sinkholes


Tennessee has perhaps millions of sinkholes, most of which are very small features. Based on data analysis from a 2013 sinkhole study (Dunigan/Sutherland 2013) I have listed here some of the largest features by dimension in the state. Below you'll find an interactive map, and a table with this information, and more.

Largest Sinkholes by Area
Rank Name Area
1 Grassy Cove 3,362.73 acres
2 Mt Vernon sink 1,204.34 acres
3 Sinking Cove 1,114.87 acres
4 Booger Swamp 1,040.74 acres
5 Elijah sink* 868.27 acres
6 Dog Cove 853.20 acres
7 Byler Bottoms 806.31 acres
8 Walnut Grove 724.36 acres
9 Union sink* 662.93 acres
10 Bethel sink* 661.47 acres

Largest Sinkholes by Depth
Rank Name Depth
1 Big Sink 260'
2 Wolf Cove 242'
3 Icy Cove 206'
4 Whiteoak Sink 199'
5 Unnamed sink* 182'
6 Big Sink 164'
7 Dykes Mountain 155'
8 Buel Hall sink* 152'
9 Round Cove 149'
10 Big Sink 142'

Largest Sinkholes by Volume
Rank Name Volume
1 Grassy Cove 4,061,967,153
2 Icy Cove 918,252,383
3 Sinking Cove 463,242,303
4 Dog Cove 429,197,113
5 The Big Sink 426,734,493
6 Big Sink 340,585,093
7 Big Sink 335,136,723
8 Sinking Cane Hollow 319,797,263
9 Union sink* 267,670,633
10 Round Cove 26,127,688 ft3

Excluded from these lists is Montlake in Hamilton County. It may fit on the volume or depth list, but I cannot easily get at that information since it is flooded. It is a truly spectacular feature. More about Montlake here.

Map of Grassy Cove, Cumberland County, Tennessee
Overlook, Grassy Cove, Cumberland County, Tennessee 1
Granddaddy Sink, Big Creek, South Cumberland State Park, Grundy County, Tennessee 1
Unnamed stream, Bright Sink, Putnam County, Tennessee 2
Montlake, Hamilton County, Tennessee 1

Name Coordinates (WGS84) Area (Acres) Depth (Ft) Volume (ft^3) Perimeter (ft) Compactness Thickness MinElev MaxElev
Big Sink 36.039613,-85.390357 164 260.43 33,513,671.59 13,376.46 1.37 0.5 1,427.13 1,687.23
Wolf Cove 35.049637,-86.016843 121.15 242.06 19,228,967.68 16,139.71 2.21 0.25 962.68 1,204.42
Icy Cove 36.058645,-85.293733 490.37 205.98 91,825,237.61 36,889.13 3.51 0.2 1,371.70 1,577.35
Whiteoak Sink 35.635743,-83.749339 172.17 199.1 16,431,943.54 26,970.98 4.34 0.13 1,609.17 1,807.94
Unnamed sink* 35.546072,-85.62248 12.91 182.04 998,910.68 4,379.16 1.97 0.37 1,637.70 1,819.42
Big Sink 36.424762,-83.735956 95.26 164.66 10,775,783.37 19,480.25 4.47 0.14 1,162.10 1,326.43
Dykes Mountain 35.517246,-85.65071 11.55 155.8 1,159,045.24 3,539.36 1.86 0.5 1,590.14 1,745.62
Buel Hall sink* 36.453074,-85.336649 26.39 152.19 2,544,769.82 6,238.58 1.98 0.37 1,192.94 1,344.80
Round Cov 36.074993,-85.354436 199.5 149.9 26,127,688.00 18,295.00 1.86 0.33 1,373.66 1,523.23
Big Sink 35.586443,-85.672679 309.66 142.02 34,058,508.79 32,574.10 2.15 0.16 1,095.85 1,237.54
Turkey Cot Cove 35.75857,-85.419588 110.81 141.37 10,977,717.85 15,116.03 2.1 0.27 1,314.30 1,455.34
Grassy Cove 35.837423,-84.927752 3362.73 140 406,196,714.93 127,683.48 3.44 0.11 1,528.00 1,667.00
Little Cove 35.850228,-84.892025 213.52 130 22,732,107.00 24,168.90 3.55 0.2 1,555.00 1,684.00
Pass Cove 35.979505,-85.359774 234.33 118.08 16,824,388.71 37,909.46 2.68 0.09 1,107.66 1,225.41
The Big Sink 35.137725,-85.906803 509.59 110.86 42,673,448.59 54,476.67 4.99 0.09 946.28 1,056.82
Sinking Cane Hollow 36.200275,-85.269992 556.85 106.6 31,979,726.48 92,733.15 7.83 0.04 1,135.86 1,242.14
Sinking Creek 36.333643,-82.300053 296.67 104.3 13,824,354.12 61,606.46 8.89 0.04 1,451.07 1,555.05
Round Cove** 35.013707,-85.993681 215.97 103.98 15,863,366.27 32,579.55 4.73 0.11 912.5 1,016.14
Walker Hollow 36.176813,-85.298605 132.69 99.38 8,145,574.86 24,413.11 6.22 0.12 1,249.02 1,348.08
Sinking Cove 35.03797,-85.973261 1114.87 93.81 46,324,229.60 99,477.60 7.29 0.06 783.59 877.07
Dry Shave 35.52793,-85.722465 204.09 88.89 12,605,837.73 34,374.41 3.34 0.09 1,124.06 1,212.62
Dog Cove 35.870705,-85.358425 853.2 82 42,919,711.15 106,529.88 5.96 0.04 1,231.97 1,313.64
Crabtree Cove** 35.02261,-86.06261 155.5 77.74 9,101,534.76 29,759.92 7.25 0.1 1,230.33 1,307.74
Board Valley 36.041696,-85.375447 508.3 77.08 20,588,337.32 78,039.01 7.2 0.05 1,229.02 1,305.77
Unnamed sink* 36.518118,-87.454714 370.86 62.32 12,164,077.88 37,621.46 2.38 0.14 485.11 547.1
Ebenezer sink* 35.901836,-84.073098 546.41 60.35 16,531,542.50 107,845.92 5.52 0.03 838.37 898.39
Gray Cove 35.02362,-86.084069 239.51 59.04 9,275,866.02 56,580.03 18.85 0.04 944.64 1,003.35
Beech Hollow 35.58921,-85.763029 186.31 58.38 7,947,020.74 29,695.34 4.18 0.12 1,021.39 1,079.45
Union sink* 35.717974,-85.701955 662.93 57.07 26,767,062.69 69,167.57 2.53 0.08 925.62 982.36
Mount Pisgah sink* 35.857046,-85.595231 467.84 52.81 12,905,804.01 46,910.15 3.05 0.12 919.38 971.86
Doyle sink* 35.844634,-85.507111 461.54 49.53 16,115,007.89 69,703.56 4.42 0.05 884.94 934.14
Mitchell Hollow 35.733144,-85.547193 562.54 49.53 14,362,824.48 80,921.95 3.61 0.05 907.9 957.1
Dry Hollow 36.234322,-85.288135 480.46 49.2 14,440,736.32 72,519.75 9.67 0.05 1,098.47 1,147.34
Rickman sink* 36.270051,-85.376914 397.72 45.59 9,725,706.01 57,585.91 3.07 0.07 1,034.51 1,079.78
Mt Vernon sink 35.729982,-85.636409 1204.34 44.94 22,654,366.51 169,226.46 4.28 0.02 917.09 961.7
White Seminary sink* 35.909889,-85.510413 368.94 44.61 9,746,214.19 46,909.05 2.34 0.09 912.5 956.78
Crab Orchard sink* 35.907048,-84.876446 352.65 38 9,084,184.89 31,965.18 3.01 0.19 1,656.00 1,693.00
Countryside sink* 36.183114,-85.439526 475.73 37.72 10,118,641.08 49,248.39 3.24 0.11 1,072.89 1,110.28
Elijah sink* 35.964303,-85.540697 868.27 36.41 11,871,719.30 99,277.87 3.8 0.05 933.49 969.57
Bethel sink* 36.626273,-87.434395 661.47 34.11 8,840,520.21 78,785.17 6.05 0.06 494.62 528.41
Booger Swamp 36.162334,-85.456784 1040.74 32.47 18,435,455.55 73,183.00 2.78 0.11 1,071.90 1,104.05
Byler Bottoms 35.697008,-86.595564 806.31 22.3 9,012,593.33 61,798.44 2.83 0.12 739.64 761.62
Walnut Grove 36.039651,-85.505123 724.36 20.01 11,290,017.30 69,584.08 4.73 0.08 971.86 991.54

* No official place name, named for nearest GNIS feature if nearby.
** Multiple possible names for feature. Made best guess.

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