Fairbanks homeowner fills 8-story sinkhole

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

Geophysicists don't know what caused a sinkhole measuring about 80 feet deep to appear in a Fairbanks resident's yard last week.

And they might never know. Homeowner Al Schultz had safety concerns about the hole, which measure about 4 feet wide and up to eight stories deep so he had it filled Monday with five truckloads of gravel.

Reports say that happened before two university geophysicists arrived.

Matthew Sturm, with the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute, did watch a shaky video of the hole produced by the newspaper. From that, Sturm says the hole didn't appear to be man-made, discounting a theory that it was an abandoned mining shaft.

Instead, he thinks it was a fissure created by ice which has melted away.