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Latest photos show oil sheen covering giant Louisiana sinkhole

Published: February 21st, 2013 at 3:42 pm ET
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Assumption Parish Police Jury, February 21, 2013:

Bayou Corne, Louisiana Sinkhole

Watch the new flyover footage here

Published: February 21st, 2013 at 3:42 pm ET
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24 comments

24 comments to Latest photos show oil sheen covering giant Louisiana sinkhole

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    Why won't they show the bayou south of the sinkhole. There is sheen on that as well. Going into three different lakes and then into atchafalaya bay and then into the gulf. What else besides the oil sheen is getting into the main waterways of southern louisianna? Radioactive pipe scale, thats what, among other crud.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The new flyovers..shows the 'containment' ..a dirt road…ha!
    Totally disregarding the total area involved.
    I chose 1/17/2013 as an example..ongoing.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/assumptionoep/8390707322/in/set-72157630330363084/


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I bet the bubbling areas have started presenting oil…or going to.


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  • onehit

    The flyover videos show them building a dirt road!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDnnNXyFlPg

    Be sure to 1080p!

    In the bottom right, one full truck can be seen turning around at a dirt pile. Another, empty truck is seen driving away!


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    • 16Penny 16Penny

      Yes, this dirt road is the containment berm. It has caught a bunch of criticism, but I am glad to see it finally. This should have started the first week of the sinkhole saga. I am still of the opinion that it will not last long but at least it is there now and helping to prevent further soil and water contamination. It is also serving as the access road for installing more wells for the VSP they are trying to complete in the next few months.

      My opinion is that they should start a second layer of containment, as is done in landfills. This will give them a way to monitor the effectiveness of their containment and a safeguard if the first berm fails suddenly or is less effective then they had hoped.


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      • Thad

        16 Penny
        Onced closed it will be possible to monitor any underground flows from aquifer or formation waters–by monitoring sinkhole lake level. Of cource that beggers the question – what will they do if it starts to overflow–?


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        • 16Penny 16Penny

          They will crap their pants and then come to the next meeting and say (I do respect you Hecox but you do provide fertile sound bites) " In true bayou Corne fashion it proved us wrong again. Then the naysayers (me included) will start renaming it Oxy 3 fountain or Oxy 3 geyser or something more creative. That possibility is another good reason for a redundant (2nd) berm.


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    • Thad

      It is not a dirt road– it is a levee with a road on top. The purpose of the road is to build the levee–
      There is one thing that Cajuns do know how to build it is levees–and before you bring up the levees/ NOLa/ Katrina know that those levees were built by the Yankees' Corp of engineers.


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      • 16Penny 16Penny

        I have heard that the south will rise again but lately all I hear about is it sinking? Any insight there Thad?


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        • Thad

          16 penny
          Just a thought– weird but —
          Have you seen the airbags they use to lift trucks and other equipment- the airbag that can be connect to a car exhuast to lift for a tire change? Or the airslide Caterpillar uses to move their units on production line? All operate at a lower pressure than what is in the aquifer. Could the pressure in the aquifer be LIFTING the landscape?
          2 square miles = 8,028,980,000 square inches x 50 psi = 401,449,000,000 lbs lift over 2 sq mis
          Would have to calculate over burden weight to have a meaningful annswer BUT those place where the over burden load is less than the 50 psi it would lift– which explains why bubbles sites form first as the water over soil has less weight than the same measure of just soil. Those places under water lift until they crack and gas starts venting/ bubbling


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          • FREEDOMROX

            Thad, I have been saying that for a while, and thanks for touching on that, for that is precisely what has happened and the cause of the damages to houses, and driveways. I have seen people's photos and those are not cracks, they are gaps.

            The most amount of damage will be done when they actually make any headway with venting the aquifer, for the sinking will be even more drastic and devastating. That will take more than 60 vent wells, IMHO.

            I have checked the last Tilt Meter and Inclinometer Reports, and the BERMS are sinking.

            Example: Take a sponge and innundate it with water and soap, then put a brick on top of the sponge…. What happens?


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            • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

              Yep..the berms are sinking..don't need a read'em stick' for that.
              The gas/will be forced to present in greater quantities..on the inside and outside of the berm.
              Like I said a while back..I watched a road berm type thing..built over a natural spring.
              The spring..found it's way out… on the other side of the berm.
              The berm did not leak..the spring found its way up on the outside…through the ground..several yards away.
              The weight of the berm..sinking..is only help this process..IMHO


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          • 16Penny 16Penny

            Yes Thad, I am familiar with those, they are also used for fire and rescue. I think it would be possible in the upper foot or so of the topsoil, but I do not think it would be as drastic as your calculation.

            Gas pockets in the upper layer:

            A typical saturated unit weight for clay would be around 120 psf. I think the overburden at a few feet down would be enough to start restricting any big expansion at low pressure. I am reading this now to find out I hope:

            http://arblast.osmre.gov/downloads/Mine%20Gases%20and%20Dust/FINAL-Methane.pdf

            Gas is more compressible than the soil, but your clay may be plastic enough to deform as the pressure builds in a pocket or horizontal sand, gravel or sediment seam. The Formerly Shaw group should be doing some soil surveying (IMO) to attempt to document if the soil properties are contributing to the damage being seen in the slabs and sheetrock / doorframes in the homes.

            I do not think these would be big areas, many smaller pockets are likely and more likely under slab foundations. Think of how 4 car tires at 35 psi holds up a 2000+ lb vehicle. You need a cavity to fill and a footer around a slab filled with gravel then capped with a slab would act like an upside down saucer.


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          • 16Penny 16Penny

            I agree that some calculations would need to be done to come to a meaningful answer.

            Deeper gas pockets:
            In larger permeable soil layers like the aquifer, I think the gas pockets along the ceiling of the aquifer would be displacing water. This would slow down the flow of water in the aquifer by reducing the cross section of the flow path. I know that was techie talk so it is like stepping on a hose, restricting flow and building head pressure in the fluid.

            These layers are under much more overburden and the methane bearing sand/gravel does not have plasticity. That is why I think the methane would displace water before it could lift the entire confining layer above. The math needs to be done before I would say for sure.


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Road..levee..dirt..


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  • razzz razzz

    I am beginning to think they need to run a dredging operation and fill in the sinkhole. They need to replace the strata layers. Some common clay wet enough to be pumped. Add layers of sand at the aquifer levels, whatever. Don't know what the source would be maybe barge it in. I think it was Thad that estimated the displacement already. Sounds like a large earth moving project to me.

    Be better than waiting for the sinkhole to devour the countryside.


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    • Thad

      Razzz
      My opinion — that the way to go– Drl pressure relief wells and kill wells. Buy the residents out and relocate– Cause the surface/ sinkhole area to collapse into the void. Then suction dredge the outer rim dumping in the deep center make lake as big as necessary to back fill until lake is shallow enough to support fish etc..
      Donate to parish as a public park. Production from pressure relief well to maintain—


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  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    Houston Chronicle article regarding the sinkhole. Word is getting out. Hope you folks get the compensation you deserve so you can get on with your lives.

    http://www.chron.com/news/texas/article/Assumption-Parish-residents-seek-sinkhole-buyouts-4291404.php


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  • razzz razzz

    Yes to the buyouts and relocations.

    Letting trees/organics and sand & mud fall in at will, does nothing to help stop the gas and liquid flows.

    Just for starters you would have to fill in the cavern void before it backfills itself with whatever happens to be falling down the sinkhole. If they let the sidewall erode away vertically on its own accord, they are asking for trouble. If the natural tendency is to fill itself in, then help it do so in a controlled fashion.

    I'm afraid the vent wells so far just add new migrations avenues closer to the sinkhole. They are going to depressurize the whole region and wonder why new sinkholes and bubbles are forming.

    Sand and rock when piled up will form a pile with 45degree sides. Mud like water will seek it's own level. No telling what a violated salt cavern might do with unknown sidewall structure, so far nothing good.

    Still waiting for the ping and thump reports. I read where they can use lasers in some situations now for soundings but I don't know how reliable that can be.


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