Top Expert: Fears Napoleonville salt dome to continue to break up below giant sinkhole; “An underground Mt. Everest” — Over 50 caverns inside, some with explosive gas

Published: December 15th, 2012 at 2:09 pm ET


Follow-up to: [intlink id=”new-official-sinkhole-image-now-shows-original-edge-of-massive-salt-dome-collapsed-section-may-be-thousands-of-feet-tall-photo” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Title: Geologist details failure factors
Source:  The Advocate
Date: December 15, 2012

[…] The assessment by Jeffrey Nunn, [LSU’s] Ernest and Alice Neal professor of geology and geophysics and Pereboom professor of science, was a step beyond what other officials and scientists working on the sinkhole response have presented in public meetings […] during a luncheon talk at Mike Anderson’s restaurant to the Baton Rouge Geological Society. […]

LSU Professor Jeffrey Nunn (Source: Baton Rouge Geological Society)

Nunn, who has been speaking with a group of scientists working closely on the sinkhole, pointed to 3-D seismic imagery of the salt dome from 2007 to make his case.

“What this indicates is that the bottom part of this abandoned cavern completely dissolved away the salt and the cavern was in direct contact with whatever formation is in the area,” Nunn said.

The seismic data indicates that the western side of the dome has an overhang […]

One suspicion of scientists working on the sinkhole has been that the overhang, which is above the Texas Brine cavern, collapsed as part of the cavern failure.

Nunn told geologists Friday that one of the scientists’ worst-case fears is that the salt dome could continue to break up from its western edge and threaten other underground caverns. […]

Describing what scientists fear, Nunn added: “ ‘OK, you know, this one cavern has collapsed, so is that going to have any impact on the adjacent caverns or not?’ ” […]

The dome, a solid salt deposit that Nunn described Friday as an underground Mt. Everest, was thrust up over geologic time through overlying sediments. […]

According to this December 11, 2012 email, there is still nearly half a million barrels of butane in Crosstex’s nearby caverns. (h/t Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle)

Watch: [intlink id=”officials-concerned-potential-additional-collapse-around-louisiana-sinkhole-50-caverns-underground-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: December 15th, 2012 at 2:09 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. “Domino Effect” below giant sinkhole? Officials concerned about stability of rest of salt dome — Failed cavern may affect other caverns January 20, 2013
  2. New sinkhole image shows ‘original edge’ of Napoleonville salt dome may be gone — Section thousands of feet tall (PHOTO) November 15, 2012
  3. Federal Lawsuit: Giant Sinkhole May Be Radioactive — Failed salt cavern “may have breached Napoleonville Dome’s outer wall” August 13, 2012
  4. Professor on Sinkhole: Salt dome can flow out like toothpaste when under pressure (VIDEO) November 20, 2012
  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

84 comments to Top Expert: Fears Napoleonville salt dome to continue to break up below giant sinkhole; “An underground Mt. Everest” — Over 50 caverns inside, some with explosive gas

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    While some more caverns may fail, after reading the entire article, it sounds highly unlikely but anything is possible.

    • garjackson

      I think I'll go with the actual scientist who are in 'fear':

      "Describing what scientists fear, Nunn added: “ ‘OK, you know, this one cavern has collapsed, so is that going to have any impact on the adjacent caverns or not?’ ”"

      Also, you may want to check out the phrase in the article 'short term':

      "He noted that testing by operators on the dome have showed those other caverns have integrity. He said those tests probably settle those concerns in the short term, adding the fear is probably unlikely but more study is needed to be certain."

      And your "highly unlikely"… See actual scientist who above says "probably unlikely"…. much different.. and he is highly likely being very conservative.

  • dosdos dosdos

    When they see butane or propane in the aquifer, or monitor either coming up in bubble spots, then I'll get actively scared about the gas filled caverns failing. Until then, I'm going to have a little faith that the gas storage caverns haven't failed yet.

    There is a huge amount of salt down there, and the salt mining caverns are pretty tall and skinny. Dropping fracking sludge down a cavern will melt that cavern and any strata it reaches (especially if contains crude). But there is a HUGE amount of salt down there. The domes are not that close, and it would take an enormous amount of sludge to reach neighboring caverns. Even with the addition of strata filling the cavern, it would just take far more than Texas Brine pumped down into the well to threaten the other caverns.

    So I'm not worrying yet. When butane is found in the aquifer……

    • dosdos dosdos

      Typo, second paragraph: "The domes are not that close" to

      The wells are not that close

    • 16Penny 16Penny

      Each to his own. ya, there's a lot of salt down there, but it formed there naturally over millions or thousands of years, depending on individual beliefs. How much water flows through the Mississippi valley aquifer in a day? Bet that's a lot of water huh? So what is concerning about the current situation is several things:

      Man decided to stick his dick in the ground and screw up the STABLE natural formation. Sure it was still changing but it would be changing at a geological pace, not what we have seen lately.

      After Modifying the salt domes Man decided to dump chemicals down there that would not be found in that type of formation naturally. If it was a great idea why don't we see natural salt caverns inside of salt domes? Why doesn't mother earth just horde up a few million gallons of butane or natural gas? Because it is not a good idea, it is stupid.

      The cavern failure is not just letting some oil and gas escape, it has effected the dynamics of the interaction between the salt dome and surrounding formations. That is why it is perfectly reasonable to be very concerned about the artificial bomb someone decided to store underground.

      Your argument for not being concerned assumes that the salt will not fracture. You are guessing that the water will have to dissolve its way through. I do not have enough insight to hazard that type of guess. From what we have been told portions of the OXY 3 cavern are breaking loose, sounds to me like it can fracture.


      • davidh7426 davidh7426

        "…Man decided to stick his dick in the ground and screw up the STABLE natural formation…"

        An enthralling if somewhat disgusting image, though it goes a long way to explaining why Bayou Corne is well and trully F**Ked.

      • dosdos dosdos

        What I said is that the chance is small of the butane being a problem, not non-existent. Keep in mind that when the strata collapses into the cavern, it pushes up the lighter elements (gas, water, crude, fracking sludge, etc) to the surface, those elements which would erode the dome's salt further. We have seen the fracking sludge, BP oil from the cleanup, crude from the strata, brine from the cavern, all come to the surface. It's not staying below because of gravity.

        It's pretty elementary physics and chemistry, as polar compounds can only dissolve so much salt before becoming saturated and no longer being capable of dissolving salt. And the non-polar compounds can not dissolve salt. To wipe out the dome, you'd need to introduce more polar compounds into the cavern, and that isn't happening. They're all being forced from the failed cavern and pushed to the surface. Yes, there is fracturing of the salt as the strata fills the failed cavern, but salt doesn't fracture very far because of its crystal nature. The salt is not going to fracture hundreds of yards, only from the walls of the cavern.

        Like I said, when butane is found in the aquifer, then I'll worry about a potential for a massive explosion. Keep in mind that at the depth the butane is stored, its natural state is a liquid, not a gas. It won't evaporate because of the atmospheric pressure that deep. And there is no oxygen down there to allow it to ignite.

        • FREEDOMROX


          I have a theory, not conclusive, but a theory as to why there is continued seismic activity,

          • dosdos dosdos

            There is still seismic activity, because the sinkhole has not yet reached the size of the failed cavern. It will continue until the cavern is filled and all the displaced strata has settled back into a stable state. The sinkhole has yet to get close to the half way point in its growth. There will be plenty more tremors to come before this is all over.

            • FREEDOMROX

              Ummm, excuse me, but what cavern? Oxy 3 is gone. Even they state only a very few feet that could even be considered a cavern, and I claim less than hundred feet at best, swimming in oil, brine, and H2S. Thsi indicates travel, and I show the mode of travel that I think is most plausible.

          • Thad

            Frox– Looked at your theory– some questions–
            First pic shows brine on top fresh water- how is that possible when the brine is heavier than fresh water.
            Both pics show fresh water down below 4,000' yet Dr. Hecox data show that it is brine in the bottom of the sinkhole and he stated it would be brine all the way down. How did the lighter fresh water get below the heavier brine? Last pic shows fresh water across the cavern into the salt HOW is that possible there have to be some form of circulation to displaces the brine that would be made dissolving the salt with fresh water so dissolving could continue—

            • FREEDOMROX

              I never said it was pefectly to scale and I even stated it was larger to illustrate the actual mechanics. As for Hecox, then all I have to say is prove it. He can't and when pressed, he stated that was a theory as well.
              As for the conveyor, then it seems obvious that frsh water would be on outer edges and the heavier brine be a larger and more concentrated column forced back towards the surface.
              Now, take your best shots, and I really could care less, because everything is cursory to you Thad. You never look beyond the end of your own narrow minded nose, or your 'tool-handler' mentality.
              But truth is, the theory has already been modified because of the presence of artifices I just found in a USGS report and seems to explain that the Salt is brining out, and has also infiltrated the rock and shale strata just westward of the stream I postulated.
              This adds a dynamic that I hoped not address, since it involves a whole new level of emergent data that threatens the western geologic structures, and more dangerous to the residents on the south side of Hwy. 70.
              As for you Thaddy boy…. More progress is made when you are not here, considering you are just here to be the 'monkey wrench' in the works, but if you would like to be a contributor instead, then we will all welcome you.
              Otherwise, back to 'ignore"

              • Thad

                And once again you chos to repeal the laws of plysic and call names and belittle to hide just how ignorant you are-
                You did not answer the simplisest of questions
                How can brine "float' on top of fresh water that is lighter?
                How can a lighter fresh water displace a heavier brine column down to 4,000 ft ?
                How can fresh water go across the cavern dissolving out a void becoming brine then displaced with more fresh water to continue dissolving out the void?

                • FREEDOMROX

                  Actually the depiction of the brine is to show the force with which it was expelled. I also did not show the oil or the100 other aspects of hydrocarbons either. It seems everyone else got this, except you. But just before I started this comment, I hope I did not see….

                  • Thad

                    The difference in presure of 4,000 ft of fresh water at 1.0sg and 4,000 ft of brine at 1.3 sg is 522 psi that wiuld have to be exceded before fressh water could displace the brine.

                    • Jebus Jebus

                      you only need a 1 ft diameter column of fresh water 65 feet tall to displace 500 lbs of mass…

                    • Thad

                      Jebus — remember that is 500 OVER the mass being displaced– and where would you stand the 65 ft column of freshwater– both sinkhole and cavern are full to ground level—

                      Fresh water 1.0 sg/ 65 ft column
                      28.25 psi/ 3,195 pressure per ft2

                      Brine water 1.3 sg/ 65 ft column
                      36.73 psi/ 4,154 pressure per ft2

                      A pressure equal to the difference, 8.48 psi per 65 ft would be require to BALANCE the two columns – greater to move..and as said before once the pressure is removed it goes back to before the pressure was applied—

                • markww markww

                  THAD you either help or SHUT UP all you do is criticize people .

                  You are either a SHELL or paid person to come on to forums and spout your stupid thoughts.

                  You have NOT DONE NOTHING TO HELP in this Disaster. people try to figure out how to stop this ongoing cycle and you sure do not help but HINDER

                  • Thad

                    markww — your own contribution is mind boggling – sum zero.
                    Your own lack of knowledge keeps you from realising that I'm question faulty information. False, faulty or distorted information will not help in any way.
                    Now if you would like to show your great understanding of the situation and knowledge and where I'm wrong then you answer the questions–
                    "How can brine "float' on top of fresh water that is lighter?
                    How can a lighter fresh water displace a heavier brine column down to 4,000 ft ?
                    How can fresh water go across the cavern dissolving out a void becoming brine then displaced with more fresh water to continue dissolving out the void?"
                    And you do need a good dictionary the term is "schill" not "shell"

                    • Jebus Jebus

                      Although you are correct that salt water has more mass than fresh water, therefore it is "heavier", fluid dynamics dictates that simple hydraulic pressure can easily allow fresh water to displace salt water or brine…

                      It all depends on which fluid has the greater "head" of pressure…

                    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

                      Actually, Thad… it's *shill*.

              • Thad

                Tell you how this is going to play — I will ask honest sincere questions- and posting honest sincere comments based on my experiece.
                And you can take the same approach —OR you can play the child if you so wish calling name- belittling – Either way your knowledge and intelligence or lack of will show—
                You see I know what I know and you have shown all that you don't know.

                • FREEDOMROX

                  No, you don't tell me sh-t, got that Thaddy boy? You don't get to call plays here.

                  You truly need to get over your 'I am God complex', because I don't have to deal with it.

                  I share what I know…you attempt to club victims. I try to help them.

                  You are now my speed bump, and thus on 'ignore'.

                  I did give you a chance….

                • Thad


                  The only force being applied in this is gravity-"fluid dynamics dictates that simple hydraulic pressure can easily allow fresh water to displace salt water or brine"
                  Need a pump to generate that 'simple hydraulic pressure' the lighter would have to be pumped down a pipe to keep fluids separate. The moment the pump was shut off and the pipe removed the lighter fresh water would rise and the heavier brine sink–…

                  "It all depends on which fluid has the greater "head" of pressure"
                  In this the brine in cavern has the highest "head"…
                  See "U" tube –visualise one side being cavern–bottom passing through the breach and the other side being the sinlhole—


                  • Jebus Jebus

                    Sounds good, but you, I, or anyone else here knows exactly what the "heads" or hydraulic pressures are. "Volume of mass" comes into play here and no one knows the exact pressures and volumes of fluids entering that cavern. Gravity is not the only factor here…

                    • Thad

                      As an engineer with over 40 yr experience in the field no problem to calculate-
                      All the data is known– the specific gravity for fresh water, the specific gravity of NaCl brine,Values can be found on internet along with formulas to calculate pressures and hydrostatic. Other data is public record – various sources- the depth of the sink hole, the top of the salt, the top of the cavern, the breach in the cavern.
                      The salinity damaged trees indicate brine in sinkhole high enough for the tree roots to suck and the cavern is being kept filled.
                      And just for an old man's education what other factors or forces other than gravity.

                    • FREEDOMROX

                      It seems someone doesn't read the updates or understands that TB is pumping thousands of gallons of brine into a failed cavern, thus creating high head pressures.

                  • FREEDOMROX

                    "Other data is public record – various sources- the depth of the sink hole, the top of the salt, the top of the cavern, the breach in the cavern."

                    Sources please?
                    Especially considering they are drilling two 6000 ft. holes to see what is actually happening, because no one actually knows?

                    We only know the height of the cavern, which is coincidentally the exact same 3400 ft. that TB sought to expand in 2010 and then recorded the failure of the MIT. Doesn't anything scream out to you about that?

                    Seriously, you won't address the actual question I asked and, as usual, went off on a long ardous diatribe about nothing and leading the other posters down another path you refuse to address….

                    The most important development is that they, (Texas Brine) are going to flare H2S, which is normally illegal, because it creates S02, as soon as Monday morning.

                    • Thad

                      Frox the two 6,000 ft hole are for running the 3D seismic for data in locating any voids.
                      And yes there will probably be some corrections— But most data will not change.
                      As far as the burning of the H2S Im against it but like you not a resident of Bayou Corne so can do little more than send e-mail protesting– You have sent ??

                      Now chill out and re-ask your question evidently it got lost in the back ground noise–
                      And don't get too upset about unanswered questions there is at least 5 I've ask you. Is it you can't and hope no one notices–

                  • FREEDOMROX

                    No, your questions just make no sense from an observational standpoint, and you continually contradict yourself.
                    What people don't seem to understand is that there are two separate processes happening here. The 'sinkhole' is not connected directly to the cavern, as it shows all the signs of a 'blockage', that only during 'burps' or 'throat clearing' events, makes any real intrusion to the surface.
                    What is happening within the collapsed shelf on the western side is an access point for the alluvial aquifer sands to gravitationally enter the edges of the salt dome layers, creating pools of brine and undermining the salt at unknown levels. As the freshwater enters it then forces out pockets of gas and even oil by dispacement. The pressures down there have taken on a dynamic all it's own.
                    I knew the simplistic graphic would fail to convey this but was a model that many could wrap their minds around. It is more like a spiderweb of freshwater incursions, seeking equilibrium, but acted upon by so many variables. It is literally roiling underneath the actual Salt Rock Cap downwards, and we do not know actually where.
                    Further subsidence is a given, because equlibrium cannot be found. Especially with the vast amounts of brine TB is sending into a failed cavern.
                    The more pressure from beneath will continue to force any and all gases to seek release points.


                    • FREEDOMROX

                      I do want to amend this to state that Texas Brine is PUSHING copious amounts of brine they are bringing up 3100 plus BARRELS OF OIL A DAY from the 'Observation Wells', along with flared gas and WATER. Not Brine, WATER!
                      Read the actual reports and for once begin to step outside your little 'drig' bubble.

                      Please, someone wake the hell up!

                    • Thad

                      Frox –sorry this is no more plausible than your previous– First time around with your own graphic you show a connection between the sinkhole and cavern via the debris shaft. And on the graphic and by your words you claimed that lighter fresh water passed through the heavier brine and into the cavern.. NOW realising the impossibility your scenario has changed – Now claiming there is no direct connection. BUT still claiming that fresh water is being gravitionally drawn down from the aquifer to the salt— Won't work, first the bottom of the aquifer sand is 300ft above the top of the salt -you show that quite well in your graphic– yes we know the scale is not true– the dimensions are. And this 300 ft gap is filled with the heavy brine which the lighter fresh water would have to 'sink' through to get to the salt. You comment about brine being pumped in to the cavern– that verify that both side are filled..
                      "the vast amounts of brine TB is sending into a failed cavern." This is not really a vast amount when the amount of oil taken out is subtracted from the amount brine pumped in —

                    • FREEDOMROX

                      I change with the conditions that continually change. From Dr. Hecox presentation he now acknowledges that the slough was a months long process outside the salt dome, carrying water from the aquaifers down with the rock fractures and collapse down to the dome and did not frack out the lower dome casing, but was forcibly penetrated by the slow motion rock slide. They also admit they bring up water in every extraction, and not brine.
                      So please hydrostatically explain water, not brine being brought up every single time and documented on the BC Inspections, please. According to you it is all brine…just simple hydrostatics, yet all the experts say that is not what is observed and they can't explain it. They just don't know…
                      Why not finally admit that you don't either, because every 'Science' and Physics you know says this is impossible.
                      Yet I predicted it, and expected it.
                      Don't treat me as a school child ever again…as I am man enough to admit when I make mistakes.
                      Are you?

              • sentinelle sentinelle

                Freedomrox, (putting emotions aside and I'm not involved in past disagreements or taking sides), I think Thad has a good point here regarding fresh water being lighter than salt water. The brackish water would be where the two meet and blend. They are not separate like oil and water would be.


                Water can only hold so much salt, so the water in the cavern is likely brine unless it is being flushed out and replaced by fresh water. Earlier in the process the reports were consistently saying that brine was being pumped into the cavern.

                My thought is that the salt under the cap rock is more in danger of being eroded by the fresh water than in the inner side of the cavern.

                • Thad

                  Sentinelle – Any water in the cavern will be saturated salt brine- No fresh water is being pumped in and even if it were it would become saturated as soon as it contacted the salt.
                  Brine being heavier than fresh water would backflow out the breach in a "U" tube effect until both sides are in balance, [research "manometer"]
                  It is very evident that the brine has back flow all the way back to the sinkhole to be in balance as the salinity is killing the vegetation/ trees.
                  The top of the salt dome is 700 ft the bottom of the sinkhole is 400 ft so there is 300ft of brine above the top of the salt- no exposure to fresh water.
                  This is all within and according to the physic principles set by Archimedes, Newton, Boyles and Bernoulli

                  • sentinelle sentinelle

                    The aquifier runs over the top of the caprock. As the overhang of salt breaks away falls and dissolves, it most likely leaves the area between the cap rock and salt, an area of erosion. See "Conceptual Model of Current Situation" pdf.

                    I'm not sure what you mean by "back flow all the way back to the sinkhole" of the brine, as what is being sucked into the sink hole with each burp is fresh bayou water.

                    I doubt there'd be a U turn of brine vs fresh water as the two do not repel each other, they mix.

                    Gravity isn't the only thing at work here, there are pressures of oil and gas. Pockets of gas released when rocks, broken salt, and earth settle further.

                    • Thad

                      Pls understand I'm not just commenting out of the air- have been involved with the Bayou Corne residents from the beginning–
                      Go to the drawing – bottom of aquifer 396 ft top of salt 700 ft– thickness of caprock and separation between salt and aquifer 300 ft.
                      "U" tube effect is not related to the two fluid type but the hydrostatic pressure in each leg of the "U"tube–
                      Fresh water and brine do not mix with out agitation- in your sink the agitation would be from pouring
                      Gas and oil pressure– are actually very low go back and read the various TxBrn and DNR reports 15-16 psi on the surface.
                      The sinkhole is not sucking water or anything else– trees fall, earth fall in and sink– The earth slides over the bottom of the sink hole blocki
                      ng gas until the dirt broke up in the water allowing the gas to "burp". The fact there was no great wave or tsunami shows the pressure was low—

                    • sentinelle sentinelle


                      The U shaped space you're describing does not exist under the sinkhole as a vacuum or contained space. There is brine being pumped from an added well above and there is an opening from Big Hum below along with the sinkhole opening.

                      Regarding the caprock (unrelated to U shape movements of water) if you look again at the drawing you will see that gray colored caprock is broken under the sink hole.

                      The yellow/orange colored Mississippi Aquifier is touching the very edge of the salt where the crumbled caprock and aquafier meet. It doesn't need to bother with the 300' of solid (hopefully) caprock.

                      This is where I think the big cavity is likely forming and the side continues to break up and fall leaving the rock as an overhang until it breaks and caves in.. slowly across the top of the dome.

                    • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

                      Hey Thad…

                      Last BIG burp, it was reported that the swamp was seen actively draining INto the sinkhole, and yes, there was quite a bit of agitation of the water for about 2 minutes.

                    • FREEDOMROX

                      seismic activity cannot possibly cause agitation underground, now can it? (sarcasm)

            • 16Penny 16Penny

              Thad, wouldn't fresh water be transported to the lower depths of high salinity when soils accelerate towards the bottom of the stink hole? How much fresh water mixes into the brine when there is a slough off of several hundred square feet, possible a thousand or two cubic feet, of fresh water saturated soil? Wouldn't the ongoing collapse in the subsidence zone carry fresh water with it, diluting the in-situ brine at depth and causing circulation as the now lighter brine seeks a lesser pressure near the surface.

              Please don't get me started on what may be happening down below. We know several formations are leaking hydrocarbons, how many underground springs and aquifers are interacting down there? Who knows. It is possible that fresh water is interacting with the formation at depth.

              Thad, since your recent arrival on this site I have noticed that you are great at attacking posters with magical physics principles. Having worked in the engineering field for 40 years you should know that physics works great in the lab, but the planet has a way of complicating things beyond the point that magical physics assumptions hold true.

              • 16Penny 16Penny


                You are assuming that we have only pure fresh water interacting with the system which would have a specific gravity of 1. What is the specific gravity of the sludge suspension floating down there? Since most types of soil have a specific gravity greater than 1 (2.5 to 2.7 for most sands and around 1.8 for most saturated clay) isn't it possible that fresh water could be circulating along with the more solid chunks of soil?


                Would you wait until you tested positive for hiv before you started practicing safe sex? Same logic to me.

                I understand that the butane cannot explode underground. I also understand that it likes to pool in low lying areas, much like the SO2. I would not sit in my chair 30,000 feet away and wait until it is detected to decide to get away.

                Both Thad and Dosdos

                The public has not been well informed of emergent conditions as this has unfolded. I do not understand what knowledge or information either of you has that would suggest that this accident is contained or decelerating in it's decay of conditions. The recent absence of useful information coming from the state and TB is alarming to me if anything.

                There are plenty of erosive forces in action underground. Have you ever seen how a small pebble can drill through a bigger rock when it is trapped in a whirlpool circulation. Imagine how fast a rock could drill through salt in a similar fashion.

                I hope you are right. I am afraid you are wrong.

                • Thad

                  There is only one aquifer and no springs — that is a known fact–Water in the sediment that sloughs off– Prior to sloughing most of the rim area would have become very salty due to osmotic interaction with the brine in the sinkhole-This induced salinity kills the root system weakening it which leads to the sloughing. The sediment stacks in the bottom 120-150ft of the sink hole several days before sliding down in to the debris shaft/ cavern during time osmosis would have finished turning any ground water in the sediment to being very close to the salinity of the brine–
                  No – was not assuming pure fresh water – someone had claimed fresh or at not salty water had gone down the debris shaft. The calculation using 1.0 sg water vs 1.3 sg brine was to show why it could not..
                  It is a fools arguement as there very little or NO fresh water in the sink hole except a very little floating after a rain and none but brine in the debris shaft below —
                  There is no circulation other than the brine in the cavern "U" tubing through the fracture over into th debris shaft then upward toward the sink hole– this only when the brine cavern is toppped off.
                  Circulation? what volume -from where to where and what force moving—
                  Any sludge would settle out as the only viscosifier to suspend solid would be native clays which is suppressed by high saline solutions– with no circulation and no viscosifier the only solids that would stay in suspension would be those that are colloidal in…

                  • 16Penny 16Penny

                    My reply to your first sentence fragment:


                    On Rainbeaudais youtube page, Bayou Corne Resident MTG~Part 7~ Oil and Gas NOT from Big Hum~12.

                    Hecox, of whom I am an admirer, flat out says water is coming up from formations along with hydrocarbons.

                    • Thad

                      16Penny – Have gotten only as far as part 3 After lunch for the others.
                      Hecox is good. Has my respect. Water coming up with the oil is "formation waters" also known as "produced waters" the same waters that contain MORM. salinity varies 120,000 ppm to fully saturated. For reference the gulf's water is 30,000-35,000 ppm. The higher the salinity the less effect on the salt dome there more require to dissolve a given amount of salt.
                      It is NOT fresh

                  • 16Penny 16Penny

                    Thad, my reply to the rest of the stuff:

                    I agree with you that any pore water in the soil would become very salty during it's trip down the stinkyhole slide. Hecox gave some figures, I did not write them down, for the salinity at different depths. Between what keeps burping up and the microtremors they are talking about, there seems to be enough circulation in the debris tube to keep many particles in suspension. If the water is fully saturated with brine and has soil fines suspended it would tend to want to settle still.

                    There are so many dynamics and the conditions underground are changing so rapidly that I think it will be difficult for them to give accurate predictions. I respect that they are honestly telling people their best understanding, but in the next breath Hecox frequently said, (paraphrasing ever so slightly) "The situation is changing rapidly"

                    What I took away from the latest meeting:

                    If they are looking for H2S on the ground, monitor where you see a fracture in the cap rock to the southeast of the sinkhole. As the supporting sand is undermined by the sinkhole the slab will lean towards the collapse allowing gas to follow it up to a fracture.

                    They are addressing concern over cavern failure. I am still not saying that the caverns will or will not fail. I am saying until I know they will not fail I would not be within ten miles, or not for long duration. I look forward to the 3D imaging.
                    Hecox rocks! +1000 for tonight!
                    God bless that 7 yr old.

                • Thad

                  Take your sand/ water sample sit it — how long does the sand stay in suspension without circulation same for soil in brine. Clay supressed no viscosity–

                  Ok we, I think, all agree there is a direct communication between the sink hole and cavern. so there is the same communication from the cavern to the sinkhole– What would keep the brine from going from the cavern to the sinklole? How high up the debris shaft would the brine rise? Until the Hydrostatic pressures in the cavern and the debris shaft were equal.

                  • FREEDOMROX

                    No, I have never agreed to direct communication of cavern to sinkhole. Always maintained the opposite. Now use your hydrostatics to explain fresh water extracted from the wells, shown on every BC update. Even Texas Brine, nor Hecox, nor Itasca could explain that one simple fact you refuse to get thru your head.
                    I know, hydrostatically impossible, but is what is ACTUALLY hwat is happening, hydrostatically speaking…it breaks all the laws of physics and mechanics…but now fully admitted to.
                    I made a mistake and admitted that I did not know all the answers, and all the experts say they do not know all the do you still maintain you can drig an answer, or admit you could be clueless as the rest of us? I higly doubt it, but will allow the chance to join the rest of the human race, humbly.

                    • Thad

                      The laws of physics remain intact- inviolate.

                      Water coming up with the oil is NOT from the aquifer it is "formation waters" also known as "produced waters" the same waters that contain MORM. salinity varies 120,000 ppm to fully saturated. For reference the gulf's water is 30,000-35,000 ppm. The higher the salinity the less effect on the salt dome there more required to dissolve a given amount of salt.
                      It is NOT fresh water—


                    • 16Penny 16Penny

                      "Produced water salinity in the US ranges from 100 mg/l to 400,000 mg/l (seawater is 35,000 mg/l)."

                      sounds like you are bringing up an unknown as a way of saying it can't dissolve salt from the dome to me. Do you have a value for the salinity of the produced water or are you telling people that there is nothing to worry about when you don have the groggiest idea?

        • dosdos dosdos

          The butane would have to rise to the surface to ignite. It can't explode underground as it is stored in liquid form. The ratio of gaseous butane to oxygen has a very narrow range to be explosive. The mix has to be just right for it to explode, and it can't explode in liquid state.

          It would be a very rare event if the butane were to reach explosive mix in open air. Usually it only happens in closed spaces, because the wind dissipates the gas before it become rich enough to explode. A flame at the exit point is the most likely possibility if the gas were to be forced to the surface and ignited, much like a flare off.

          And to get the butane to the surface, you need to displace it with something heavier, like water. Fracturing to the butane cavern wouldn't send the gas rushing to the surface, because nothing would be displacing it.

          I know there is more drama to talk about fusion bomb intensity explosions, but that just doesn't happen. You can't get an explosive mix that big that far underground. That is why it's stored there, because it is safe.

          Until someone shows me that butane is in the aquifer, I'm not going to worry about the butane stores exploding. Chemistry and physics applied honestly doesn't lie.

          • FREEDOMROX

            I see. So now I must defer to your incredibly long neck and observation skills at 3600 ft. and your understanding of physics with no other factors contributing to the actual situation. Gotcha!

            BTW, I am not exhorting anything about a butane explosion…yet, because the most important development is that they are going to flare H2S, which is normally illegal, because it creates S02.

            Of course, if you have some other physics and chemistry expertise that counters current physics, then I will retire for the evening.

          • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

            Hi dosdos, just wanted to thank you for your reasonable thoughts on many threads. Much appreciated!

    • Thad

      DosDos Fracking sludge in caverns??? where did that come from both the information and source of said fracking sludge.
      Spot on about the butane — also the hydrostatic of 3,000 ft column of butane exceeds the liquidficationpressure–


        Welcome back. I knew the hydrostatics of a former drig 'tool handler' would inevitably allow the re-emergence of said turd from the bottom of the toilet bowl to float again to the surface.

        I take it your masters have sent you to explain away vent flaring of H2S now? Maybe explain how S02 is actually great for the residents of Bayou Corne? Does it make watermelons even bigger next summer??…

        Please hydrostatically educate us on the characteristics of a turd?

        Why can't you just get the thaddy ones to go down and stay in the septic tank?

        • Thad

          Frox why can't you act as an adult there is no need for your childish attempts at put downs- If you don't respect my experience it only because of you lack of-

          • FREEDOMROX

            Read the above post. When you can address others and attempt to be a part of the solution, then welcomed. Not an easy thing to do considering your past behavior…but all are willing. Well, I doubt TM2020 will but most.

            As long as you attempt to 'put others down', as you say, acting as if you are the final authority, and instead help the whole community figure out what is really happening in the face of continued lies by Texas Brine and LDNR, then you are just a speed bump, that we all roll over with caution.

        • gladys a milyon gladys a milyon

          Lol I appreciate his humor. And dosdos can not worry as much as he wants and blow smoke on every post. But the news keeps rolling in.

          • ftlt

            FIGHT!!! FIGHT!!!! FIGHT!!!!

            O boy, we have a pissing match going on the ENENEWS playground…

            Thank you DosDos….

            This whole thing has become biblical in some folks minds on here….

            I only find it biblical – when you multiply this sinkhole by the 10,000s (and accelerating daily) of other arrogant major abuses our race (human) is doing to the planet we live on..

            We are turning the earth into a giant privy…

            The big problem really is the way we strive to live..

            We need to begin to weed out our technological garden to create some room for reason…

            Firstly, we will need do away with growth based systems of governance (that means tackling animal greed – Good Luck!!!)…

            Willful waste makes want – now on a global scale… Trite but true

  • ironbark

    so right dosdos
    fear mongering needs to stop
    sink hole only one bottle of salad oil
    and fuku radiation is only one case of bananas

  • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

    The big difference that comes to mind is that Mt.Everest isn't dotted with caverns filled with unknown quantities of unknown materials dumped into them by the type of d-bags we've been allowing to get away with this crap for far too long already. Too bad we can't pool our money together to cover the costs associated with tracking down those responsible and "confront" them?! 😉

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    And so on and so finitum..

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Sinkhole prompts road study

    DOTD to examine feasibility of alternate route for LA.70

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    There is open depressed area on the left..I have my eye on.
    Also the vegetation in the road way area on the looking 'different'.

  • Ibuiltthis Ibuiltthis


    The ProMix Fractionator is owned by K/D/S ProMix, LLC, which is a partnereship owned by Dow Chemical and Enterprise Products Partners. Enterprise Products Operating, LLC (Enterprise) id the operator of the plant.

    At the facility, the plant receives natural gas liquids (NGL) as feedstock from natural gas processing facilities. The incoming plant feed is fed directly into the plant by pipeline with any excess feed being diverted by pipeline to the underground storage caverns located nearby. When the quantity of feed supply from the process gas plants is insufficient, supplemental feedstock from the underground storage caverns are returned back to the plant feed system (by pipeline) as feedstock. This feedstock is treated (for removal of CO2) prior to entering the fractionation process. This is
    accomplished by an Amine system, which uses a Diethanolamaine and Methyldiethanolamine mixture to remove the CO2.

    The facility has a capability to fractionate the feedstock into six product streams:

    Purity Ethane
    Ethane/Propane (E-P) Mix
    Normal Butane
    Natural Gasoline

    These product streams are further purified to remove contaminants such as water and mercaptans. The purity products are stored either in tanks or underground storage caverns (by pipeline).

  • Thad

    "It seems someone doesn't read the updates or understands that TB is pumping thousands of gallons of brine into a failed cavern, thus creating high head pressures."

    YES you finally got it — the cavern has a higher head pressure than the sinkhole– so brine goes out the fractured side and then upward through the debris shaft to the sinkhole.. Until the two side balance— cavern on one side– debris shaft on the other–

    • sentinelle sentinelle

      Cavern and debris shaft are probably one and the same by now. I imagine when we see Oxy No. 3 sink we'll know how far inward the side of the dome has eroded.


        I will never be able to get through that tunnel vision, but some people do get it.

        • Thad

          Dupre for a scientific reference–LOL

          Hard to credit anyone that can not tell or does not know the difference in size between Mt Everest and the Napoleanville saltdome.
          ""Fresh water on top of the dome will continue to penetrate and melt/erode the walls of the salt dome," said the insider" Facts — bottom of aquifer 396 ft, top of salt 700 ft, thickness of caprock and separation between salt and aquifer 300 ft. How is the water to get to the salt.. and if it does reach and starts to dissolve salt once it is saturated it stop dissolving salt what would displace that brine with fresh water to continue dissolving —- nothing— It takes 3 bbls of fresh water to dissolve one bbl salt—-
          There has been no seismic data except recording of tremors and that tells nothing about underground structure — just that there was a tremor..


      I know I got it…just seems you don't or won't.

  • Thad

    'Last BIG burp, it was reported that the swamp was seen actively draining INto the sinkhole, and yes, there was quite a bit of agitation of the water for about 2 minutes."

    Drained back to fill the space created when the gas came during the "burp" Agitation OK in the sinkhole and the sinklple is all or almost all brine– so nothing mix– Does anyone claim the sinkhole is full of fresh water—

  • sentinelle sentinelle

    Rainbeaudais, you mentioned something about the water level being low and that was normal, I think, and others have referred to this being high water time.

    Is this normally high water time and now it's lower than usual?

    I guess what I'm wondering is if since the time in 2011 they discovered the cavern had been breached, the water was slowly seeping into a tiny seephole that eventually became a sinkhole. And that would cause the water level to be lower in the bayou in recent years than it has prior to the start in 2011.

    In that sense… thinking that it took from Jan/Feb 2011 (?) to August, 2012 for the caprock to break and cave in to the degree that it has now, the distance to Oxy No. 3 isn't too many months away. Perhaps they should be pouring concrete or something down the side to block the salt beneath the caprock from the aquifier water.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Assumption Parish Police Jury
    December 16,2012
    8:10 PM DNR Field Update

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Umm..Despite being watered ndown..the Assumption Police Jury Blog is the 'official record'..pretty much.
    Lots of flaring..preps for flaring.
    And a 'sand in' situation in observation/vent well number 4.
    I suspect..more "sand ins' in the future.

  • Thad

    December 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm Produced water salinity in the US ranges from 100 mg/l to 400,000 mg/l (seawater is 35,000 mg/l)."

    You will have to ask Hecox what the salinity of the produced water is. This concept of produced waters coming up with the oil is a suprise to me as it is to you. Also need to know–volume
    The salinity of produced water I seen offshore ran 135,000 to 160,000.. The produced waters can dissolve salt only until reaching saturation 188,000ppm Cl so needless to explain that reoduced waters will dissolve less than fresh water.
    Fresh water can dissolve 109 lbs of salt before it is saturated–120,000 ppm produced waters can dissolve 39 lbs before saturation

  • Thad

    Frox -and others—
    If Nunn and others had states it was formation waters coming up with the oil/gas that was dissolving the salt it would have been understandable.. Did he say? Is it possible the writer/ reporter the left that part out not realising the importance? Don't know —I do know about formation/ produced water, had not thought of it as a possible. and if I had and commented such –probably been shouted down…
    I honestly believe that if Hecox or anyone else had known and told us about the formation waters weeks ago you would not ever have considered the lighter fresh water going down through the heavier brine.
    And 90% of our disagreement would not have happen.