Sinkholes pose a natural hazard, especially in densely populated areas. In Hamburg-Groß Flottbek, two slowly subsiding sinkholes are known that lie above a salt diapir flank. The Wobbe See sinkhole is a collapse structure that has been buried and built up. The Flottbek Markt sinkhole is a suffosion sinkhole. We applied P-wave and S-wave reflection seismics on coinciding profiles to study the structure of the sinkholes and their causes. Additionally, a pseudo 3D P-wave dataset was acquired.

The P-wave and S-wave seismic sections show mostly a good accordance. S-waves enable a high-resolution imaging of the near-surface. Below the Wobbe See sinkhole, a deepening reflector interrupted by staggered faults can be interpreted, which confirms the outcome of a previous study. Down-bending reflectors and an internal bedding structure are imaged in case of the Flottbek Markt sinkhole. The P-wave data reveal reflections of the salt diapir and caprock due to their higher penetration depth. The results suggest that the combination of P- and S-wave reflection seismics is a suitable tool for the investigation of sinkhole areas, even in urban environments.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Buurmann, N.
    [2010] Zirkularstrukturen in der Metropolregion Hamburg und ihre potenziellen Geogefahren. PhD thesis, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Hamburg, http://www.sub.uni-hamburg.de/opus/volltexte/2010/4495/pdf/Diss05022010NB.pdf.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Dahm, T., Kühn, D., Ohrnberger, M., Kröger, J., Wiederhold, H., Reuther, C., Dehghani, A. and Scherbaum, F.
    [2010] Combining geophysical data sets to study the dynamics of shallow evaporates in urban environments: application to Hamburg, Germany. Geophysical Journal International, 181, 154–172.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Dahm, T., Heimann, S. and Bialowons, W.
    [2011] A seismological study of shallow weak micro-earthquakes in the urban area of Hamburg city, Germany, and its possible relation to salt dissolution. Natural Hazards, 58(3), 1111–1134.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Krawczyk, C.M., Polom, U., Trabs, S. and Dahm, T.
    [2012] Sinkholes in the city of Hamburg - New urban shear-wave reflection seismic system enables high-resolution imaging of subrosion structures. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 78, 133–143.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Krawczyk, C.M., Polom, U. and Beilecke, T.
    [2013] Shear-wave reflection seismics as a valuable tool for near-surface urban applications. The Leading Edge, 32(3), 256–263.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Weise, A., Kersten, T., Timmen, L., Gabriel, G., Schön, S. and Vogel, D.
    [2018] Ein integrativer geodätisch-gravimetrischer Ansatz zur Erkundung von Subrosion im Erdfallgebiet Hamburg Flottbek – Oberflächendeformation und Massentransfer. Allgemeine Vermessungsnachrichten, accepted.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error