Officials: Increased seismic activity below giant sinkhole — Cracks developing on pad nearby — Another ‘burp’ this morning — State Police helicopter on-scene

Published: January 19th, 2013 at 2:11 pm ET
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Title: 11:50 a.m. Update
Source: Assumption Parish Police Jury
Date: Jan. 18, 2013 at 12:50p ET

There has been increased seismic activity near the cavern this morning as well as developments of cracks on Oxy 3 pad. At approximately 10:00 this morning, another burp occurred in the sinkhole. The State Police helicopter has arrived to provide aerial viewing. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.

See also: Photo: Gases seen bubbling up to surface of giant sinkhole -- Officials say it's coming up from center and along edges

Published: January 19th, 2013 at 2:11 pm ET
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17 comments

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17 comments to Officials: Increased seismic activity below giant sinkhole — Cracks developing on pad nearby — Another ‘burp’ this morning — State Police helicopter on-scene

  • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

    Bloody Marys on me!!!


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  • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

    Update…

    http://assumptionla.wordpress.com/

    In part…

    The Office of Conservation, in consultation with Assumption Parish Incident Command, is advising that the Texas Brine facility sinkhole appears to be undergoing a growth event….


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  • markww markww

    Breaking News Sinkhole Just Released

    http://assumptionla.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/330-p-m-update-from-dnr/

    The Office of Conservation, in consultation with Assumption Parish Incident Command, is advising that the Texas Brine facility sinkhole appears to be undergoing a growth event, indicated by a recent upswing in measured seismic activity that began to decrease about the time of this morning’s release of debris and crude oil to the top of the sinkhole, as well as the appearance of cracks on the surface of the Oxy 3 well pad, located directly above Texas Brine’s failed cavern and on the eastern side of the sinkhole.

    Monitoring of seismic activity and direct field observations from ground level and overflights are part of the ongoing response to determine the potential extent of this latest growth event – one of several observed since the formation of the sinkhole. Observations indicate that the current growth event is centered on the east side of the sinkhole – possibly related to shifting of salt and material within the cavern collapse zone. After a period of heightened activity, the number and strength of sharp seismic events dropped markedly following the release of debris and hydrocarbons from the sinkhole – though impacts at the surface on the eastern side of the sinkhole will continue to be monitored closely.

    Following the appearance of the well pad surface cracks on the southwestern corner of the Oxy 3 well pad, the Office of Conservation advised that…


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  • sentinelle sentinelle

    Cracks appearing on the pad are likely signs the top of the cavern and well is now gone and/or sinking.

    Which also likely indicates that the cap rock underneath it has broken away due to whatever supported it (salt) which also has broken or eroded away. (something I mentioned some time ago)


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    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      The top of the cavern is 3400' feet down and centered on the #3 wellhead, not the sinkhole. If the top of the cavern were to collapse and take the overlying 2700' of salt above with it, then I think you would have a bit more fireworks on the surface.

      No idea if the caprock has started cracking off yet, so you may be right about that.


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      • sentinelle sentinelle

        I'm referring to the cracks in the the pad which is over the well, not relating directly to the sink hole. This pad is supported by the cap rock.

        See the "Conceptual Model of Current Situation" illustrations. I don't have the link handy, I'm looking at my printed copy I keep by the computer for reference.

        My earlier theory was that the water from the sink hole and/or aquifer is seeping down the side of the collasped salt dome at about 700'. Once this salt is eaten away the rock above it collapses. I wondered how long it would take for the rock to eat away above the cavern and below the well pad. I guessed that when the pad sunk that would be a sign that the cap rock below had failed.


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        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          I remember the diagrams, but they never had an accurate picture of the cap rock edge. Nobody really bothered to image it. They guesstimated from the various wells drilled over the years. Grand Gulf may have something useful in their 3D surface seismic data.

          "…I guessed that when the pad sunk that would be a sign that the cap rock below had failed…"

          The Itaska people do all kinds of slope stability modeling, so they would have a better idea. My uneducated guess is that the mud, silt and sand above the edge of the cap rock slides in when the slope is steeper than something like 30 degrees. If the top-west edge was 450 feet down, then everything on the surface 900 feet back from the edge is going for a dive.

          The cap rock isn't solid rock either. It's all busted up and fractured on the bottom half and there are voids and caverns between it and the salt. Kind of like a plank of wood with termites snacking on the bottom.

          The cap rock seems to have been sturdy enough for 45,000 years. Nice job, Texas Brine! I hope you guys got a Mining and Minerals permit for moving all that gypsum. If not, they can backdate one for you in ten years and send it to the DNR.


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    • FREEDOMROX

      Sent, if that were true, it would have imploded by now…but there is nothing saying the caprock won't give way to a catastrophic implosion. If so, God help the people nearby, for it will be a doozy!


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  • markww markww

    Continued

    of the well pad surface cracks on the southwestern corner of the Oxy 3 well pad, the Office of Conservation advised that personnel and equipment should be removed from the site to ensure safety while observation and analysis of the growth event are ongoing.
    Though the exact timing and extent of episodic growth events cannot be predicted, the Office of Conservation and its consultants had identified the Oxy 3 well pad as being within the area of potential sinkhole growth, and has maintained constant monitoring of subsurface conditions and activity for signs of instability in order to act quickly to protect the safety of the public and workers on site.


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  • PavewayIII PavewayIII

    At least they got some worthless seismic before they lose the casing integrity entirely on #3A. Maybe they'll get lucky and the #3 and #3A casings will hold up the entire Western shore of the Occidental Sea. (name credited to the apparent land owner and it may reach 'sea' size eventually).

    On the brighter side, it looks like they are bringing a new seismic monitor on line added it to the CERI page.

    http://folkworm.ceri.memphis.edu/heli_temp/

    That would be LA10 described as "South of Highway 70, Bella Rosa, Louisiana, surface" The six channels belong to one set of normal 3-axis readouts on GS10 and another tilted 3-axis set on GS11.

    The channel equivalent to the old helicorder display is LA10 EHZ GS 10. It can sample at higher rates than the the old helicorders, which (to me) means more precise, but meaningless shaky lines. All I know is Rock docs just can'g get enough numbers – they love these things.

    LA10 – id
    E – Bandwidth: Extremely short period (>80 samples per second)
    H – Instrument Type: High-Gain Seismometer
    Z – Axis: Up and Down (vs. lateral E-W or N-S
    GS 10 – Axis set identifier

    SEED format secret decoder:

    http://www.iris.edu/manuals/SEED_appA.htm


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  • irhologram

    measured seismic activity that began to decrease about the time of this morning’s release of debris and crude oil to the top of the sinkhole, as well as the appearance of cracks on the surface of the Oxy 3 well pad, ……….

    So…. I'm not seeing any DECREASE in seismic activity now after this event, and I've been seeing about the same level for days. I HAVE seen some interesting patterns, like pulses at specific intervals like a ping, and activity beginning at a specific time in the afternoon everyday…same time…same duration. But as far as activity decreasing after the belch….. Ummmm why am I not seeing that?


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