Holes in yard

After a big rain, I see holes in bare spots in my yard - an inch or so, sometimes 8 - 10" and quite deep.
Just wondering where the dirt goes? I have no tunneling animals like moles or gophers that I'm aware of so it doesn't go in their lairs.
Has me curious.
Sink holes are likely a much larger form of the same thing but I know nothing about them - never even seen one, just read a little about them.
TIA
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On 9/25/2015 10:46 AM, KenK wrote:

Here, holes that aren't caused by burrowing critters (always brings the image of Bill Murray as groundskeeper to mind! :> ) are usually the result of decayed/decaying roots.
I've felled most of the large trees in the yard. Those that I did early on were limited to just removing the bulk of the trunk and root crown. Over time, I started noticing "soft spots" in the yard -- walk along and your foot "falls" 6 inches into what you thought was firm soil!
As the larger trees had very extensive root systems, I started removing much more of the "tree" when felling more recent trees. The most recent tree I cleared an area for 12 ft in each direction and to a depth of 4 ft to clear the soil of the bulk of the "buried wood" (many of the roots were still thicker than my thigh at that distance from the trunk -- lots of "volume" that can disappear when decay sets in!)
Yesterday, I noticed a largish void developing by the (below grade) water meter First thought that came to mind was a water leak that is slowly eroding the surrounding soil. (this may, in fact, actually be the case, but...) On opening the meter vault, I noticed it *full* of soil (which shouldn't be there as it is *above* the level of the pipes). So, I now suspect it may be some critter thats found the soil in that area easier to manipulate (because it had previously been excavated for the plumbing, then refilled) than the hard-pan/caliche that lies elsewhere.
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email.me:

I doubt that's the case here. Only one tree in the yard, a rather small one - 7" diameter trunk, cut down some 20 or more years ago. Its stump is far from where the holes appear. So it's possible but not likely.
Any other trees have not left a stump and would have been removed well over 30 years ago, before I moved here.
Thanks for the idea though!
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In typed:

Just a guess on my part, but one possibility may be along the lines that Don Y mentioned -- buried brush, trees, construction debris, etc. from years ago when the land was cleared and the home was built. I know of a condominium complex not too far from me in New Jersey that had a similar problem 10 or 15 years ago. The land between the buildings was caving in due to prior construction debris, brush, and trees being buried when the property was built. Similarly, in Philadelphia PA here was an area where row homes were built on ground that had poor fill underneath and the homes started settling and collapsing. I think it may have been called the Tioga section of Philadelphia, or Tioga homes, or something like that -- not sure.
Another guess would be if the water table under your property is being depleted by water usage and causing the ground to settle.
And, finally, maybe some kind of broken pipe or water leak in a water pipe that leads to your house but before the meter so you don't notice a high water bill?
Are your neighbors experiencing anything similar in their yards?
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In typed:

My mistake. It was not the Tioga section; it was the Logan section. And, the poor fill that was used was "ash" and not construction debris, brush, trees, etc.
http://philadelphianeighborhoods.com/2010/12/09/logan-still-sinking-after-25-years/
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4ax.com:

Congratulations! Good memory. Much better than mine.
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