Sinkhole salt dome outer edge collapsed, fracked by Deborah Dupre, October 25, 2012, examiner
The outer edge of Napoleonvill, Salt Dome near the failed storage cavern is gone, “fracked-out”, according to the key geologist working on the Bayou Corne sinkhole disasterwho broke the news Tuesday night at a Resident Briefing meeting in Pierre Part. Dr. Gary Hecox, geologist and technical advisor with Shaw Environmental contracted by the state of Louisiana, told residents, including evacuees, that the outer edge of the Napoleonville Salt Dome is gone. The massive dome collapsed near the breached cavern that is on edge of the Bayou Corne sinkhole. The salt dome involved in what officials say is a historic event globally, is a 1-mile by 3-mile formation with caverns primarily used by oil and gas industry storage. One of the over 50 underground caverns in that salt dome is leased by Texas Brine LLC, blamed by the state for the disaster due to its failed cavern. Texas Brine has contended that it’s cavern failed due loss of integrity elsewhere in the dome due to seismic activity. … “Yeah, the outer edge of the salt dome, best we can tell, is gone,” Hecox told a few hundred residents Tuesday evening in Pierre Part at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church hall. The sinkhole, above the outer edge of the salt dome, is the size of five football fields. The ground is breaking up in areas far from it, according to official Assumption Parish flyover videos.
Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) civil engineer Chris Knotts explained at an earlier resident meeting that if the cavern was fractured, there was little chance of repairing it.
Tuesday, Dr. Hecox explained that the problem is that the dome had a “frack-out.” “There’s a lot of gas venting off at the sinkhole. Where all this leads, we don’t know,” Hecox said. ….”It probably happened in a matter of seconds.”
“The pressure of the brine got so much, essentially you had a fracking out of the brine going all the way up to the surface,” said Hecox. “That’s why you have a collapse and fracturing all the way to the surface.” “It went right on the side of the salt dome because that’s where the rocks in the formation are the weakest.” “The rocks coming down were increasing the pressure in the brine until the frack-out.” [Emphasis added]