Follow-up to: New sinkhole image shows 'original edge' of Napoleonville salt dome may be gone — Section thousands of feet tall (PHOTO)
Title: Geologist details failure factors
Source: The Advocate
Author: DAVID J. MITCHELL
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. [...]
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. [...]
Watch: Local TV: Concern over potential for additional collapse around Louisiana sinkhole -- "More than 50 caverns underground" (VIDEO)
Published: December 15th, 2012 at 2:09 pm ET