Second sinkhole appears at Cape Kiwanda on Oregon coast

PACIFIC CITY, Ore. (KGW) — Another large sinkhole has formed at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area on the Oregon coast. It’s the second one to appear on the headland in the span of about four months.

The new sinkhole is located in the lower northeast corner of the dune and sits only a few inches away from the first one, which visitors had reported to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department in January 2023. The first sinkhole initially measured 20-feet wide by 15-feet deep. The second sinkhole appears to be slightly wider but more shallow.

The latest sinkhole is situated in an area that park staff had already blocked off to visitors as a safety precaution. On Tuesday, park staff added additional tape to section off a larger area near the dune. Visitors should be aware of their surroundings and stay away from the cliff edges.

It’s unclear exactly when the second sinkhole formed, but park staff were notified on Monday evening. John Yoswick shared a photo showing the two large sinkholes to a public Facebook group with the caption, “One sinkhole as become two.”

Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is made up of sandstone that is naturally much more fragile compared to harder rock, like basalt, making it susceptible to erosion and other sudden changes.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has reached out to geologists to try to determine what caused the sinkholes.

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