Officials developing plan if giant Louisiana sinkhole compromises important highway — Concern about “entire salt dome”, not just cap?

Published: June 12th, 2013 at 7:33 pm ET


Title: DOTD studying La. 70 detour near Assumption Parish Sinkhole
Source: KATC
Date: Jun 12, 2013

DOTD studying La. 70 detour near Assumption Parish Sinkhole

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced that a feasibility study has been initiated to identify a possible detour route for La. 70 in Assumption Parish and help to identify the cost. The detour route would serve as a primary solution for an alternate road to be built as DOTD continues to study options for the La. 70 bypass route. […]

DOTD’s feasibility study continues to determine if a long-term alternate bypass route could be built in the affected area, in the event that the existing roadway is compromised. Multiple alignments are being studied, including alignments around the salt dome cap and alignments around the entire salt dome. […]

See also: [intlink id=”new-highway-may-be-built-around-giant-sinkhole-official-the-route-could-be-built-in-the-affected-area-if-la-70-is-compromised” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: June 12th, 2013 at 7:33 pm ET


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  1. New development at giant Louisiana sinkhole — Another salt cavern now causing concern for officials March 8, 2013
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  3. Gov’t engineers now monitoring highway’s elevation levels in 4 areas near Louisiana sinkhole August 15, 2012
  4. TV: Worse than giant sinkhole? Louisiana sheriff concerned about bubbling above salt dome, contacts Gov. Jindal (VIDEO) March 21, 2013
  5. Problem at ANOTHER cavern in salt dome near giant Louisiana sinkhole — “Automatic emergency systems” engaged — No ‘immediate’ safety risk to public July 18, 2013

38 comments to Officials developing plan if giant Louisiana sinkhole compromises important highway — Concern about “entire salt dome”, not just cap?

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    just because you hollow out fifty caverns each as big as the empire state building, how can that affect the integrity of the salt dome?

  • many moons

    Oh Lord, Please don't let nothing happen to that highway!!!

    And the good people of Bayou corne, are there any plans to save them?

    • ftlt

      Many Moons: How do you fix mother nature???

      • ftlt

        This fix or remediation thingy is killing me… It is everywhere now.. It is utter hubris.. It is us at our worst in so many ways…

        Most is kicked around so someone can write a paper/book and talk on NPR or get a grant or funding… Most are total nonsense – many are potentially more harmful than helpful…

        In California, when Mona Lake was """saved""" from mass diversions of in-flowing waters… The Mono Lake Committee had all this money to spend… So they spent it on "Disney" landscaping of the creeks – something that would have occurred naturally … It was a personal power trip for those in charge and a complete waste of money and time…

      • many moons

        I guess the easy solution would be to not "break her" to begin with…I think many cultures, civilizations felt that need to protect her…just the recent greedy past has kicked her to the curb.

    • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

      many moons, they are pretty confident if they keep these subterranean skyscrapers at two thousand pounds per inch pressure and dont empty and fill them more than 20 times a year, they shouldnt really collapse. I mean they have engineers on it, so the probability of an accident is so low it isnt worth thinking about

      • irhologram

        Lol CodeShutdown. That's sarc, right? Two months ago it was announced the cavern next door was compromised and both are having major tremors daily. Nearly 10 months ago, it was announced that there were …what was it, a million barrels of butane stored 1000 feet away, as well as adjacent caverns storing acetone and other flammables, along with nuclear waste. discussion has it that if it explodes, the reflection would be seen off the MOON! Rain updated us that, at most only 40% of that has been drained…correct me with the exact figure, Rain, please. There is bubbling under driveways in a Nawrleens suburb, throughout the bayou, and all the way up to Lake Peignoir…hum, methane comes to mind. "The probability of an accident is so low it isn't even worth thinking about." Lol fof ! Good one! I responded just so newbies who don't know your sense of humor can have a good laugh with you. "They have engineers on it." Har, har, bust out laughing. You rock,, CS.

      • many moons

        KKKK I see your point, lots of worry for nothing…that highway is safe from harm, whew!

  • razzz razzz

    I vote for a bypass around the entire salt dome. If any freshwater aquifer is in contact with the salt then it is going to be a long long exercise in waiting for the final results.

    • dosdos dosdos

      If any aquifer were deep enough to affect the salt dome, the collapse would have happened geological ages ago. The reason that there is a salt dome to begin with is that there is no aquifer that deep. The geological pressure keeps water near the surface. Only man with his drilling rigs and hardened steel casings and massive pumps can force water that deep.

      One reason for going fully around the salt dome is to isolate the sinkhole from public view. "Out of sight, out of mind" is the politicians' motto.

      The government of Louisiana is not going to take any measures that scare off industry. They want to keep all of it in place and generating tax revenue.

      • razzz razzz

        The high brine readings are coming from somewhere and with a failed part of a cavern and penetrations available for further erosion, anything is possible. Chunks of the dome are still falling because the sidewalls of the dome are not stable. Aquifers flow like rivers deep underground.

      • 16Penny 16Penny

        Dosdos, I mean no disrespect so please don't take this wrong. You need to review a few things.

        "If any aquifer were deep enough to affect the salt dome," the collapse would have happened geological ages ago."

        Study oil and gas wells. When I did I learned that after the target resource is pumped out the product comes out mixed with more and more water. The produced water contains dissolved salts but not usually at a totally saturated concentration. The water is there and there is plenty of it. The ratios of produced water to hydrocarbon range from around 2 to 1 all the way up to 43 to 1. How many barrels of gas have been flared? That doesn't account for what I suspect is the majority of gas that has leaked but not been metered, like the bubble sites.

        Page 28:

        "the collapse would have happened geological ages ago."

        The shale sheath which formed when the salt punched through the layers of rock allowed oil and gas to sit on top of the formation water. That is why these formations are referred to as traps. The hydrocarbons float on top of the water and form pockets at any high points where the top confining layer has little or no permeability. The sheath consisted of alternating layers of shale and sand/gravel. The permeable layers which we have all seen on previous subterranean models, held hydrocarbons. This "waterproofed" the salt dome until the…

        • 16Penny 16Penny

          Dosdos, continuing:

          "The reason that there is a salt dome to begin with is that there is no aquifer that deep."

          That is not true. This has a good graphic:

          Don't take my word for it, look at oil and gas production logs around Louisiana. Note their depth and you might get lucky and find their logs recording the volumes of produced water. When the ratio gets to some predetermined limit or oil prices drop, wells get shut in. Oil and gas wells typically produce more water as the hydrocarbons stored in the trap are exhausted.

          "The geological pressure keeps water near the surface."

          This is only relatively true. There is water at the depth of the failed cavern, no doubt. You are correct that at deeper depths there is such a thing as hot dry rock. Here is a wiki article on it:

          "EGS technologies, like hydrothermal geothermal, can function as baseload resources that produce power 24 hours a day, like a fossil fuel plant. Unlike hydrothermal, EGS appears to be feasible anywhere in the world, depending on the economic limits of drill depth. Good locations are over deep granite covered by a 3–5 kilometres (1.9–3.1 mi) layer of insulating sediments that slow heat loss."

          I see this as a much more sensible way of boiling water but how are you supposed to make nuclear weapons this way?

          Dosdos, don't believe me, do your own research and form your own…

  • wetpwcas1 wetpwcas1

    You think the statist give a crap? Wake up, greed & power trumps common sense! Just keep telling folks the truth & just maybe some will do some thing about the crapola we are in!

  • 16Penny 16Penny

    That highway has been under mandatory evacuation just the same as the residents. It had it's chance to move out of the way of progress and profit just like everyone else.

  • dana dana

    16Penny, if the caprock is broken, can water get around the dome that way and reach the salt?

    What worries me is how far this gas has spread out from Bayou Corne?

    • irhologram

      Dana, "produced water" that 16penny refers to, is coming from the ground up. As for the gas "spreading out from Bayou Corne," there is ubiquitous gas…gas all the way to Lake Peignoir and possibly to Kenner, a suburb of New Orleans…per this report from "Charles." Posted June 4 On Godlike Productions. I live in Kenner, Louisiana which is a suburban area of New Orleans…in the summer of 2010 something caused the boulevard in front of my house to be forced up about 2 feet in the shape of a V. It raised up about half a foot and about 15 minutes later when I was standing outside it raised up almost another 2 feet but this time it sounded like an explosion occurred! The force shook the ground and my son was so scared he ran inside the house! I thought it was a huge earthquake at the time!…I was told by the city workers that it was heat related AND THERE WERE OTHER AREAS (my emphasis) in Kenner that had cement lift up…Now 3 years later the other day we had several inches of rain in just a short time! …Enough to flood the sidewalk area in front of my house and the neighbors house next door…When I arrived home I noticed powerful bubbles coming up from under the sidewalk in front of my house and my neighbors house next door. Also bubbles came up from my front lawn area. Many people think these bubbles could be caused from methane gas building up under the ground by and under my house… Cont.

      • irhologram

        Cont. I called the sewer department…The rep opened the sewer cover and there was no pressure in the line. The gas company said it is not a natural gas leak….The gas rep believes that it is just hot air coming up bubbling in front of my home and my neighbors house. But I am not so sure since the air pressure is so strong! Could this be methane gas bubbling up and could methane gas be what caused the boulevard in front of my house to explode in 2010? The asst Fire Chief also came out and he said he did not think we have anything to worry about. I am concerned since methane gas is very explosive and I certainly do not want it building up under my home! The gas rep pushed a metal pole about 4 feet into the soil in front of my house and he had no resistance doing so! It would seem that there is some type of huge air pocket under the ground in front of my home. The gas rep believes that water from the heavy rain pushed air out from under the ground and forced it up into the sidewalk and lawn area causing bubbling. But I wonder if it could create such a strong pressure to cause air bubbles… I have never seen bubbles come up from the sidewalk and front lawn area until the other day! (My thought: because paved areas were not displaced this way ever before, nor was bubbling ever seen…in many areas of Kennar, if the bubbles are "air," what is suddenly displacing the air? Do flooded streets usually rip apart because of "air"?) cont.

        • irhologram

          Do you think the street (boulevard) exploding into a V shape in 2010 could have been caused by a methane gas explosion under the ground? And could this be related to the high pressure bubbling in front of my house and my neighbors house the other day? …Is there any way to tell exactly what is occurring here? Any type of underground ex-ray or sonar device etc? Some type of inexpensive meter, etc? Do you think I am in danger right now with the 100 degree plus New Orleans summer coming up? I really do not have the money to move and I love my home! …Is is possible that there is a sinkhole under my home?…Do you think that methane gas is building under my home area and could this cause my home to explode? …Any suggestions and thoughts are appreciated! Any advice would be helpful since this could be a dangerous situation! Please see the video below for info about what has been occurring! …I am concerned and I certainly don't want anyone that stays and or visits in my home to be in danger! Thanks for any helpful information you can provide me with! Charles
          Link to video:

          • dana dana

            It's very unsettling to me that all of this has started in the last year. Do I think all of this is caused by what happened in Bayou Corne? No, I don't. But I think it could all be part of a bigger change in the environment that is causing it all. I live in Pierre Part. About 3 miles from the sink hole. I live in a mobile home that I had leveled last summer. Never had a problem with the level until a few months ago after the tremors. Spill water it runs to one side. NEVER has it done that. I've looked for bubbles on my property during heavy rains and so far I haven't found any. I felt tremors twice. Others have felt them more. There are bubbles in the bayou in Pierre Part that they claim is swamp gas. There's one big problem with that. Swamp gas does not come up for months. This bubbling has been there. There have been reports of damage in Pierre Part but no one seems to be taking it serious. We have asked for testing to be done but they have not done it. Leaves you wondering.

            • irhologram

              Dana. For YOU it started last year with the sinkhole. For Charles it began in 2010, coincidentally the year of the BP disaster…and at least a dozen others have reported here, the bubbling in the swamps…which was reported in a story here to have been "displaced" swamp gas by gas from BELOW the peat bogs…. and on property all the way to Lake Peignoir. I'm glad some are at least "wondering" regarding official reports in view of what you see WITH YOUR OWN EYES. There is NO ONE you can trust except your own observations, research, and intuition.

          • many moons

            Can't you put some glass dome with a tight fitting cover, over one of the areas where you saw the bubbles and try to capture the gas and have it analyzed by a honest laboratory?
            Who knows how many years this gas has been leaking out on your property, you just noticed it now because of the bubbles. Can you remember another flood recently, where you were in the front yard and would have noticed bubbles…try to get a time line.

          • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

            irhologram, Charles must act. Quite a story. Anyone having similar alarming experiences should take it seriously.

            I wonder if a DIY gas meter like this would help


            Even small amounts of gas can have bad effects on your health, what to say of the risk of explosion if it builds up in the house.

  • dana dana

    There's a new situation summary that was posted on June 11. You can get to it through this link.

    • 16Penny 16Penny

      Dana, Thanks for the update about the situation summary. I am glad to see that they are doing some shallow sampling and it looks like they ran some tests on the submerged soils under part of the berm. Now they need to remember to take into account that everything that is in what they call the "subsidence" zone (it's all sinkhole, they are using semantics to give a more cheerful number) has been disturbed by the loss of the aggregate in the MRAAquifer. Also the soil that has sunken is now most likely sitting at an angle sloping towards the center of the sinkhole. I would have to do research to see if there are any standard soils calculations that account for that. I seriously doubt it, but there may be some research done about sloped layers of soil.

      Caprock, boy that has been a very unpopular topic the last few months. I haven't heard caprock mentioned. Is it the new "no no" word?

      Dana, you likely know my opinion on that issue. The caprock is below the MRAAquifer and is what protects the salt dome from being washed out by the aquifer. I have been wondering for several months if it has been fractured. There were a few very quiet reports of gas leaking around one of the well heads towards the interior of the salt dome complex and adjacent to the failed cavern, I don't recall the well name but it can be found if someone wants to research, I don't have the time ATM. That leaking could be from several potential pathways, shifting salt or caprock included. Time will…

      • gottagetoffthegrid

        16Penny, the sinkhole and the subsidence zone are two different things. think of it as a dartboard the sinkhole is the bullseye the subsidence zone extends out to the "doubles" ring on the outside.

        they reported cracking in house slabs and walls in B. corne. that is the edge of the subsidence zone. all of that land between is moving down and in towards the collapsed cavern.

        • 16Penny 16Penny

          Don't fall for it. The only difference between what they call subsidence and the sinkhole in their opinion is whether it is 10 feet below water (sinkhole) or 9.99 feet or less (subsidence). Semantics.

          The dart board area you talk about, directly around the sinkhole is caused by the aggregate in the MRAA falling down the same hole that the clay confining layers above are falling into. This is semantics. Just because the soils falling in from the aquifer are out of site does not mean that they are not going down the same hole, filling the same cavern, and adding to the same sinkhole on the surface. I think that if they actually calculated the volume of sinkhole on the surface they would find a portion of the elusive unaccounted for volume that they were trying to find a month or so ago.

          Your welcome to your opinion and I definitely have mine. Why not use 2 feet or less for subsidence? They picked a number and I feel that they only make the distinction so that they can report smaller areas for the total sinkhole size to the public. How close is the 10 foot down sinkhole from the highway? How close is the 2 ft "subsidence" zone from the highway? How close to the nearest home?

          Hell they might as well be channeling that PBS painter guy. . .

          And you see that sinkhole there. . . Now it's a bird. Happy little bird flying to the trees.

          RIP Bob Ross, sorry to drag you into it.

          • 16Penny 16Penny

            site should read sight, apologies for all your eyes.

            • irhologram

              Sorry. I thought a website was site, not sight. Happy to be wrong?

              • irhologram

                Question mark should have been a period. Also, you probably weren't referring to me anyway…but I'm still happy to be wrong. Lol

                • 16Penny 16Penny

                  Your actually correct, website would be referred to casually as site.

                  From my post:
                  "Just because the soils falling in from the aquifer are out of site does not mean. . ."

                  I used the word incorrectly and I guess that is just a typical nuclear period with a smoke plume raising from it 🙂

          • gottagetoffthegrid

            the diameter of the subsidence zone extends to teh edge of measurable movment. this is, for most practical suveying methods about a quarter inch of vertical and horizontal movemtent.

            the reason for separating the two zones is that mechanism of the movemtent is differnent, as clearly shown by the differnt manifestations (ie a big, steep sided hole VS a broad, shollow dish.)

            it is important to distinguish between them, because they present much different hazards to people and infrastructure. for expample no one is going to get hurt walking down the street in B. Corne due to the subsidence zone extending that far, but a burried gas pipeline coud be broken by the same, bearly noticable to the eye movement.

            focusing only on the sinkhole is ignoring other, real risks to people and propery, which of course is why TB et al. keep it quiet. they don't want to pay for losses already incurred by the peopl of BCorne.

  • Mothercares


    It's been a while, since I've responded to anyone. Therefore, I am not an expert in the field of engineering, however your situation in my opinion is not good. If there are "air bubbles" escaping, what is it escaping from?. I would suggest that you look for tiny cracks in the drywall of your home, especially where the corners, wall and ceiling meet. On the outside of the home, at the base-where the ground meets the foundation. Check to see a rise or drop in the landscaping. Get a level as well, go around to the windows, door frames and such. This will clear up any misgivings or create more questions. I also suggest that you get your neighbors involved and do the same thing with them. If there is enough people involved-Go to the building department. Get a sample of the bubbling water as well, sent it to a water tester-if you have family that lives out of the area, send them a sample and have that mailed from their location. This will clarify the components or makeup of the water supply and trust as well. Yes, I know I sound like an alarmist-however you live there and I don't, it is your choice and with the way this screaming planet is going, I would not take chances and if you need to make a choice, you won't be alone-because your neighbors are in it with you. Peace and I hope the outcome is better than I think!!!

    • irhologram

      Mother. Thank you for your excellent advice. To clarify, it's not my home…I was relaying Charles's concerns. IMO ene should act as a collection point for these personal accounts, using your criteria to establish damage…in whatever part of South LA they may be. Only with a compilation of experience will even the people ON THIS SITE begin to understand this is not merely a "sinkhole" problem…which IMO is a gross mistake.

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    FYI… Huge chemical plant explosion in Geismar Louisianna, 35 miles northeast of Bayou Corne happened at 8:30 am this morning. Plant sits on the Mississippi River. Many badly burned workers taken to area hospitals.

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    O/T: Just a reminder. There seems to be a complete news blackout on the Bridgeton landfill fire in Missouri.

    After acknowledging that the MO DNR is not testing for either alpha or beta radiation because it "takes weeks" to get results, the fire is still headed for the buried nuclear waste, if it hasn't gotten there already, which many think it has.

    Should Greater St. Louis be evacuated, or will they be left there to inhale burning hazardous nuclear waste by .gov?

  • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

    June 14, 2013

    11:30 a.m. Presence of Gas Found During Under-slab Monitoring

    Texas Brine has reported to us that two additional homes (that had not previously been monitored) have undergone under-slab monitoring and the presence of gas has been found – 100% LEL and traces of H2S. Texas Brine will advise what additional steps will be taken to mitigate the presence of gas from the underneath of these slabs. No changes have been made to the evacuation order and we will update as information becomes available.