Thursday, August 16, 2012

Louisiana - Gas bubbles, 1000s of recent quakes and giant sinkhole 'quite possibly' have same source: oil and gas industry environmental modifications. On Monday, as officials warned an explosion is possible from gas in Louisiana's sinkhole area where radioactive waste has been pumped into a cavern and the Department of Natural Resources authorized drilling a new well in the danger sinkhole zone, a seismologist said that seismic activity exists in that zone and that fossil fuel industries’ environmental modifications (ENMODs) as the cause of the State of Emergency, is a “real possibility.” Reported diagnostic tests from federal, state and local officials and industry pinpoint no source of the sinkhole or gas bubbling bayous.
Have fossil fuel industries in Louisiana, through their ENMODs caused today’s geological instabilities that have resulted in this disaster? “Possibly – I think that’s a real possibility. DNR – they’re the big players here. They don’t think the sinkhole caused the bubbles. The bubbles were there before the sinkhole.” So were thousands of earthquakes before the giant sinkhole developed.
“On July 24th, the number of quakes went up hundreds or thousands or so a day until August 2nd when they stopped. The next day, August 3rd, the sinkhole occurred – that morning.” Seismometers picked up thousands of quakes in the Assumption Parish disaster area since June.
Monday, DNR issued a permit to the company possibly partially responsible for causing the disaster, Texas Brine Company to investigate the problem by drilling into the sinkhole area. "We have to arrange for the driller. We have to pick a location. We have to be very careful to not be in a point that's too close to the sinkhole because of the weight of the rig. We don't want to aggravate the situation."
Assumption Parish Sheriff said last week that his greatest worry is a nearby butane well exploding. "That's why the mandatory evacuation is going to stay on, because there is a risk for explosion." Locals say their greatest worry is the explosion and cover ups, not being well enough informed about matters such as the Texas Brine cavern near the sinkhole having radioactive waste pumped into it, and the massive butane-filled well only 1500 feet from that salt cavern. Locals reported feeling quakes which caused small damages. People reported quakes on June 8 and July 3.
“We were surprised there were quakes large enough to be felt and had done damage but not recorded. They were picked up by a program at the national seismologist that didn’t initially see or report them. The signal was there but may not have gone above the noise level. USGS then looked and said, 'Yes, there have been tremors there.' The quakes ended when the bubbling sinkhole developed but seismic signals continue from the sinkhole area.
The 372 feet diameter sinkhole is centered in the “worst-case scenario area” in the Napoleanville Salt Dome. "The worst-case area displayed is a smaller area than the 2,000-foot worst-case scenario that parish and state officials feared Friday was a possibility when a mandatory evacuation was ordered for the Bayou Corne community."
Sharp tremors stopped the day the sinkhole occurred and there has been no resumption of them. Seismic signals, however, continue in the sinkhole area. There are seismic signals that appear to emanate from the vicinity of the in the Napoleonville salt dome, in the low amplitude range. “I don’t know what they are or what they mean seismically, but they are happening.”
One of the reasons it’s hard to pinpoint this is "a lot of plants have more than one pipe coming into their operations. They get their natural gas from more than one supplier, and the suppliers can also reroute their gas depending on the capacity of various pipelines.” DNR ordered Texas Brine to evaluate the structural integrity of the salt cavern and begin remediating any problems in the seismic activity area. An explosion from a natural gas pocket or from a nearby salt cavern failing and releasing flammable gas is possible.
Eighty miles west of Bayou Corne is Lake Peigneur that balances above a salt dome that collapsed in 1980 when a drilling rig punctured a protective layer in the salt mine wall, causing the entire lake, including a drilling rig, several larges barges and large chunks of surrounding land to be pulled down into the cavern. Pressure was so great, the bayou ran backwards, created a large waterfall, and was sucked back into the puncture hole.

**Do not resent growing old.
Many are denied the privilege.**
Irish proverb

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
8/15/12 -

Nearly 1000 earthquakes shook Arizona in recent years - Arizona isn't known for its earthquakes, but researchers said Tuesday that nearly 1000 earthquakes were recorded in the state over the past three years.

In the Atlantic -
- Tropical depression 8 was located about 550 mi. [885 km] E of Bermuda. The depression could become a tropical storm today. Interests in the Azores should monitor the progress of this system.

In the Eastern Pacific -
- Tropical depression Hector was located about 455 mi [730 km] SW of the southern tip of Baja California. Hector is forecast to degenerate into a remnant low today.

In the Western Pacific -
- Typhoon 14w (Kai-Tak) was located approximately 245 nm southeast of Hong Kong. Heading toward eventual landfall in China.

Tropical storm Kai-tak (Helen) may strike Hong Kong as a typhoon. The strong tropical storm that slammed the northern Philippines has its sights set on the region around Hong Kong.


Landslides kill up to 10 times more people across the world than previously thought, according to a study. It has calculated that 32,300 people died in landslides between 2004 and 2010. Earlier estimated suggested the toll was between 3,000 and 7,000 people. Weather patterns, deforestation and increasingly dense population settlements were factors in the toll caused by landslides.
The report's main author said landslides should be seen as a major global hazard. "Areas with a combination of high relief, intense rainfall, and a high population density are most likely to experience high numbers of fatal landslides." There were several reasons that earlier estimates put the number of those killed during landslides at a lower figure. "Other data sets tends to collect data on the basis of trigger - hurricane or typhoon. Most of the other data sets also have a higher threshold - they only record events that kill 10 people or more, for example, but there are lots of landslides that kill relatively small numbers of people." Controlling land use, managing forests and discouraging development in vulnerable areas could help manage and mitigate landslide risks. The main global trigger for landslides is monsoon rain which causes a spike in the number of fatal landslides each year between May and October. Tropical cyclones also generate extreme rainfall, leading to landslides in Asia, and hurricanes have the same effect on regions in the Caribbean and Central America.
The figures, which are likely to still be underestimates, do not include landslides triggered by earthquakes. The study, which has spanned almost a decade, said that areas where landslides are more likely to occur are countries which sit along the Himalayan Arc - India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh - as well as China, and Central and South America.
Global landslide hotspots -
Southern edge of the Himalayan Arc
South-west coast of India
Sri Lanka
Southern and eastern coasts of China
Central China, notably the mountains around the Sichuan Basin
Western edge of the Philippine Sea plate (Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines)
Central Caribbean islands, including Haiti
Indonesia, especially Java
Along the mountainous chain from Mexico, Central America, to Chile, South America, especially Colombia