Pothole science and how they form

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) –  They are all over the Miami Valley and causing problems, but we wanted to know how a pothole is actually formed?

Chances are many of you have tried to dodge them the last couple of weeks.  Potholes are more of a problem this season and it is all because of our brutal winter.

Some are easy to spot while others come out of no where.  Potholes are making area roadways look like Swiss cheese.

Temperatures play a big role in the pothole problem.

Underneath the pavement lies gravel and soil.  After it snows or rains, the water seeps into the soil below the road surface.   When temperatures drop, the moisture then freezes, causing the ground to expand and push the pavement up.  As temperatures rise, the ground returns to a normal level however, the pavement stays raised.  This creates a gap between the pavement and the ground below.

When a car drives over the gap, the pavement surface cracks and falls into the hollow space creating a pothole.


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