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Growth of Daisetta sinkhole has stopped

May 9, 2008

At the time of this post (noon Pacific time, Fri 5/9), it appears the growth of a sinkhole in Daisetta, Texas has stopped. A recent news report states:

The massive sinkhole managed to swallow up oil tanks, barrels, tires, telephone poles and several vehicles after it began as a 20-foot hole in the ground on Wednesday. By Thursday, it had grown to 900 feet (275 m) across and 260 feet (80 m) deep. A geologist said late Thursday that it appeared the hole’s growth had stopped.

People are so curious about the feature that they’ve had to threaten arrest to trespassers and are now bringing small groups to view it.

At a press conference on Friday, … Liberty County Sheriff’s Department said that residents of Daisetta would be allowed to see the hole in groups of 25 in an attempt to stop the curious from wandering near the sight. [They] warned that people who try to get down to the sinkhole on their own, could be arrested.

I can’t lie … I’d like to go view the feature (from a safe vantage) just for the geologic experience.

UPDATE:

The video below (from AP’s channel on YouTube is a short report summarizing the information I mention above:

UPDATE UPDATE:

Check out this report from May 10, 2008, which discusses possible causes:

A company that sits near the edge of a massive sinkhole in Southeast Texas has been accused of violating permits for disposal of saltwater, which some geologists suggest may have caused the crater.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2008 3:24 pm

    I’m with you. I’d love to watch one of these things over the course of a couple days. Set up a picnic nearby, crack a cold one, and sit back and watch. Ditto for flash flooding in a southwestern US canyon.

  2. May 9, 2008 6:21 pm

    I was raised in Daisetta and moved away about 5 yrs ago. I still own property there and will be going there in June . If you would like I will email you pics as I intend to inspect this when I arrive . ( From a safe distance acourse)

  3. May 9, 2008 7:06 pm

    RH … sure thing … if you send them my way, I will post them here.

  4. May 10, 2008 8:03 am

    Wow, that’s a pretty large sinkhole! I agree it’d be quite interesting to visit.

  5. Jeff permalink
    May 16, 2008 11:43 am

    I hear they they’ll be celebrating “Sinkhole De Mayo” day in Daisetta every May 7th from now on.

  6. May 30, 2008 8:32 pm

    As one of the geologists studying the Daisetta sinkhole, I would like to to clear up a couple of points:

    1) the sinkhole is only about 600 feet in diameter and the depth to water in the hole is on the order of 25 to 30 feet. The actual depth of the hole is unknown. It may be a few feet beneath the present water surface or it could be much deeper. Soundings will need to be made to determine actual depth and this is not feasible until the hole and its walls have stabilized.

    2) the sinkhole is not the result of the collapse of the salt dome; rather, it is a collapse of a solution cavity in the salt and/or caprock — not the salt dome itself.

    Sinkholes over salt domes are a natural phenomena and a geohazard for the Gulf Coast. In the case of the Daisetta sinkhole origination, there are three possibilities:

    1) the sinkhole is an entirely natural phenomenon.

    2) the sinkhole may have been created by dissolution of salt and/or caprock wherein such dissolution is a result of injection of oilfield brines and other waste.

    3) the sinkhole could be a natural solution cavity at depth that was exacerbated by subsurface fluid injection.

    Until sufficient subsurface data has been gathered, analyzed, and correlated with pumping data, it will remain uncertain as to the actual cause of the sinkhole. Even then, the cause may remain uncertain.

    The immediate concern for the sinkhole is the threat to public safety. Monitoring of surface movement and sinkhole expansion is ongoing on several fronts.

  7. May 30, 2008 9:47 pm

    rghowe … thanks so much for stopping by and providing this info … I haven’t had a chance to keep up with the news

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  1. Daisetta sinkhole « Clastic Detritus

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