Sheriff: Giant Louisiana sinkhole may expand beyond control — Professor: It could be a ‘significant’ event (VIDEO)

Published: November 8th, 2012 at 4:28 am ET


Follow-up to: [intlink id=”official-statement-gas-pressure-detected-20-feet-below-community-near-giant-louisiana-sinkhole-immediate-actions-to-protect-public-safety-mentioned” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Title: Assumption Sinkhole
Source: KLFY Channel 10
Author: Chuck Huebner
Date: November 2012

Part III

Chuck Huebner, KLFY Journalist: Sheriff [Mike] Waguespack says the worst-case scenario is another sinkhole could form or the current one could expand beyond control.

Professor Kinsland says that’s a possibility. […]

Professor Gary Kinsland, UL Lafayette: It could be a significant thing, I’m glad I don’t have to try to fix it.

View the full broadcast here

Published: November 8th, 2012 at 4:28 am ET


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27 comments to Sheriff: Giant Louisiana sinkhole may expand beyond control — Professor: It could be a ‘significant’ event (VIDEO)

  • dosdos dosdos

    Why do people keep thinking that this can possibly be fixed? It's definitely going to get bigger, and Bayou Corne is a dead town. People there need to realize this.

  • 16Penny 16Penny

    They needed a professor to tell them that? How far back do people need to stand? 1 mile? 10? or 100?

    I am wondering why they haven't identified the source of the hydrocarbons yet, or announced it anyways. I looked through some of the PDF's that discussed the profile of the hydrocarbons they examined but the report never disclosed the known sample they were testing against. Did I miss something?

  • Radio VicFromOregon

    Precisely, 16Penny. The first results were that it was from the Macondo well which led to all sorts of speculation about how it got all that way – was it dumped after the Gulf spill or did it recently travel. And, at the time, the sheens in the Gulf were also starting to appear. Did that get retracted? There was a report stating that the names on the list that WAS published were not the source of the leaking oil in the salt dome. So, at least 2/3's of the other cavern users are not contributing to this particular issue. And, while on the topic of test results, where is the 3D scan they did last week that was to show all the various caverns and maybe the cracks or leaks? Or, is it too early for the results?

    • 16Penny 16Penny

      Thanks Vic. If I remember correctly the 3D scan is due to be public any day now. So then if it tested similar to Macondo oil samples it is possible that it flowed from the gulf underground mixing with a source local to Assumption Parish before coming to the surface.

      I am not ruling out that they scooped it up from the ocean and dumped it, it just didn't look like the samples were digested or altered by co-wrecks-it.

      Were they scanning all of the caverns? I thought it was just the T.B. cavern. It would be interesting to find out if other cavern owners are finding Gulf of Mexico soup in their pits. Also, wonder how/if corexit effects salt formations? Anyone have a good handle on the chemistry of that?

      • Radio VicFromOregon

        16Penny, "co-wrecks-it! I like that. I hope the scan is like Google Earth. I hope for too much. I think just this salt dome. I'm hoping they are doing the entire dome and ALL the caverns, cuz, if this is happening in one part, might it happen in another? I still have a niggling feeling that someone illegally fracked or drilled outside accepted parameters, but, maybe they really did just use old geology maps and punch through a side wall. But, even with going through a side wall, wouldn't it fill in as debris came down and refill such a relatively small area? They keep saying the pressure is low, so i would expect heavy cavern sidewall rock and gravity to have a chance against outflow if it was a sideways drill path, especially with claims that the earthquakes are just resettling of debris and not new fractures or underground methane explosions. Shouldn't be any explosions underground, right, cuz there should not be any oxygen? So, then, back to Macondo – how did it have a methane explosion underground undersea? Is it just me? What? Chemistry fremistry. It still doesn't add up right.

        • 16Penny 16Penny

          Not so much of an explosion. Have you ever played with (do not try this at home!) dry ice and a 2 liter? Methane hydrates are stable solids at low temperatures, but sublimate into gasses when heated.

          So one possibility is that the macondo drill bit hit mantle oil or "hot" oil and they drilled into a salt dome. the very high pressure hot crude came into contact with the Methane Hydrate formations and set off a chain reaction releasing more methane and exposing more surface to the hot crude.

          as far as rocks/debris stopping outflow, try to seal a crack in any solid surface with sand and then pressure test it. It would take a long time for the geology to come back into balance down there and I read the salt is somewhat plastic/malleable under the pressure of the rocks.


          Wish I could credit the op of that link but I couldn't find their name.

        • 16Penny 16Penny

          Sorry I forgot to mention if you have a short attention span skip to section 5 of that PDF.

  • richard richard

    When was there 'control' to go 'beyond'?

    • Radio VicFromOregon

      Ah, richard, always the stickler for public messengers to be precise when giving the public information that may effect their very lives while trying to give an impression of being in charge of an otherwise apparent runaway situation. Perhaps he meant the problem might become "uncontrollable" as in – not a snowball's chance in…to contain this as opposed to "beyond control" as in – we are currently monitoring the situation and think we won't need to do further containment, which would be impossible to accomplish in the event that this grows.

  • markww markww

    This story was killed by someone who either did not like me or what I do not know this event happened a few days ago Why it was killed i Do not know


    La. sinkhole methane explosion possible says sheriff, refuting naysayers


    • Radio VicFromOregon

      That info is making its way out now, in this article above as well. This sheriff has been the stand-up guy through out. Folks, re-elect that man when the time comes. He's making the experts spit it out cuz he takes his job of protecting the public seriously and he can't protect them if the experts talk with dry oatmeal in their mouths all the time.

  • lam335 lam335

    re: "… the current one could expand beyond control."

    … As if it's currently under "control."

    • many moons

      My thoughts exactly…Like perhas something will happen and THEN the massive sink hole will be out of control shhhhh Please…..

      no one has a clue about how this happened or where it's going…that's the truth….wonderful speculation though!

  • Sol Man

    It seems that this very bad situation is much like the story of nuclear energy; that from the beginning of the process that it was set up to be a mess from the loss of control, it was just a matter of time.

    • many moons

      Control is an illusion, it refers to a calm point of existence between anomalies and chaos; the true reality that exists. The best laid plans of nuclear engineers doesn't allow for this reality, they prefer the illusion of control they call it of their own making because it fits their egos.

  • kalidances

    Okay back to the real stuff now that I've had my laugh for the day. It can't get better than that 🙂
    Gas burn-off duration increases at sinkhole

    "Texas Brine Co. LLC is burning off natural gas being vented from an aquifer near a Bayou Corne-area sinkhole 24 hours a day, company officials said Wednesday.

    The gas was forced into the Mississippi River Alluvial Aquifer through a chain of events arising from a Texas Brine salt cavern failure, which scientists think also caused the sinkhole to form during early August in swamps between Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou in Assumption Parish.

    The continuous flaring represents a greater rate of gas removal since late last week when Texas Brine initiated gas flow from a “vent well” in the aquifer and then set up a system to remove the gas from the aquifer during daylight hours.

    But Commissioner James Welsh of the Louisiana Office of Conservation announced Wednesday a joint effort between his agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to test for methane in slab-built homes and structures in the Bayou Corne area.

    Office of Conservation officials said in a statement that sampling results from 18 shallow monitoring wells, called Geoprobes, installed around the Bayou Corne community found gas in layers of sediment above the aquifer Texas Brine is now venting.

    Five wells detected gas at low pressures, parish officials said."

  • kalidances

    Options Few for People Displaced by Huge Sinkhole in Louisiana

    "After three months living in a hotel while a sinkhole near his Louisiana home grows and grows, Carl Dugas has realized he won’t be moving back. When he left Aug. 3, he was willing return, though his wife was dubious about the prospect.

    Dugas he feels that his two houses in the Bayou Corne area have been taken from him with no way to recoup his losses.

    …Dugas said he has resisted joining lawsuits already filed. Now, says Dugas, he feels he doesn’t have any other choice.

    …Dugas said he does not believe the salt cavern can be repaired or brought to a point that will make him and his wife feel safe in the place he built with his father and where he planned to retire.

    They are living with friends in Vacherie, but know they’ll need a new home.

    They’d like to be bought out.

    Shane Guillot, associate broker with Guillot Realty in Donaldsonville, said, “As of today, right now, that land is absolutely worthless back there.”

    Even if someone was willing to buy, he said, at least two mortgage companies won’t lend money for it."

  • kalidances

    Natural gas detected closer to community near sinkhole than previously thought

    'New data shows natural gas much closer to the Bayou Corne community of Assumption Parish than previously detected.

    Officials said the additional testing is out of an abundance of caution.

    Shallow-depth wells near the community are now indicating natural gas pressure 20 to 40 feet beneath the surface.

    That's much shallower than previously reported.

    Officials want to test for gas accumulation inside every structure built directly on the ground."

  • owlafaye

    It was my understanding that a very close evaluation of the radioactivity aspects of the sinkhole contents revealed that it contained government nuclear waste.

    What happened to this story?

  • kalidances

    Did you mean this one?

    Texas Brine is dancing around the terminology of "naturally occurring" radioactive material versus otherwise acquired radioactive waste.

  • arclight arclight

    heres a story of damning decrepitude in the oil industry in norway but its relevant here too!
    More disturbing still, reported Teknisk Ukeblad, was that the Norwegian Maritime Authority revealed that 19 serious deficiencies aboard the Floatel Superior platform were allowed to slide when the platform was approved for drilling Norway’s continental shelf.

    Bellona President Frederic Hauge called this a “disturbing revelation.”
    “Bellona now believes that it is time for investigators to investigate,” said Hauge. “The Petroleum Authority is simply not functioning well enough.”

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    flyover available, yes, only one, and not the greatest..

    we did get one reasonibly good pic of the other side

    • 16Penny 16Penny

      WOW, that looks like a lot of fresh oil floating in the water. The last pictures I saw they had cleared the center of the stinkhole up pretty good. I guess the last chunk to fall in has started to break up and let the BP Macondo brew+ back through. Usually another section follows that. My only question is will it be big or bigger?

  • frankfan42 frankfan42

    How do you fix something you don't understand? You can't.