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Manmade Quakes Shaking Monster La. Sinkhole Area for Days

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Photo: Days of man-made earthquakes at Louisiana’s Napoleonville Salt Dome Disaster area: Seismic array, 5 Feb. 2013 Image credit: Assumption Parish Police Jury


A Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) scientist has confirmed above-normal seismic activity for several days in the Louisiana’s giant collapsing salt dome area Bayou Corne “sinkhole” disaster site where thousands of quakes have rocked ground beneath nearby Cajun communities since May. 

Experts are researching the cause of days of recent quakes near Louisiana’s historical collapsing 1-mile by 3-Napoleonville Salt Dome’s “sinkhole” in Assumption Parish, according to “news” reports.

Experts have been researching the cause of these quakes that began late May in the vicinity of the fossil fuel industry salt dome storage facility where the sinkhole is.

While sinkhole events are occurring throughout the world, the Bayou Corne “sinkhole” has risen to the title of Mother of All Sinkholes. It is unprecedented in its composition of fossil fuels. It is also irreparable, according to some officials. A global call for expertise has yielded no solution to stopping the expanding disaster.

On The Wings of Care recent “sinkhole” flyover showing oil slick entering nearby swamps and waterways about a half a mile from it, including Grand Bayou. Credit: On The Wings of Care, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, YouTube

In mid-August, seismologist Dr. Steve Horton told human rights reporter Deborah Dupré that over a thousand quakes had occurred within the first few months of the Bayou Corne disaster, made official on Aug.3 when it prompted a declared state of emergency and a mandatory evacuation.

These quakes have continued, with fluctuating intensity. So has expansion of the “sinkhole,” now approximately nine acres large.

At the time, Horton was the lead seismologist on Louisiana’s Bayou Corne disaster case. His work at University of Memphis involves monitoring the New Madrid fault line for the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Horton attributed the quakes to the fossil fuel industry, manmade. The official term for such manmade events is Environmental Modification, also simply called ENMOD

“Have fossil fuel industries in Louisiana, through their ENMODs caused today’s geological instabilities that have resulted in this disaster?” this author asked Horton.

“Possibly – I think that’s a real possibility,’ Horton responded.

“DNR (Department of Natural Resources) – they’re the big players here,” Horton said. “They don’t think the sinkhole caused the bubbles. The bubbles were there before the sinkhole.”

So were the thousands of quakes before the sinkhole developed, according to Horton, who said officials choose to call the small quakes “tremors.”

“On July 24th, the number of quakes went up hundreds or thousands or so a day until August 2nd when they stopped,” said Horton. “The next day, August 3rd, the sinkhole occurred – that morning.”

Since then, a published report showed that drilling wells can cause earthquakes, human-made quakes, the strongest of such quakes associated with deep-injection wastewater disposal wells.

Drilling even simple water wells is directly linked to man-made seismic activity, according to the study.

“Understanding how human-made activity triggers quakes” is important, Cornell University geophysicist Rowena Lohman said, referring to what the UN calls ENMOD techniques.

“‘Environmental modification techniques’ refers to any technique for changing – through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes – the dynamics, composition or structure of the Earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, or of outer space,” states the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques. (United Nations, Geneva: 18 May 1977)

Humans dump hazardous waste into Class II injection wells to save money for companies, changing dynamics, composition and structure of the Earth.

Near Louisiana’s Assumption Parish giant expanding sinkhole, Texas Brine company had been authorized by Louisiana’s DNR to inject hazardous waste, including radioactive waste from oil and gas industry operations, into the company’s leased storage well in Napoleonville Salt Dome.

That well had problems in early 2011, was sealed and abandoned. After two months of locals experiencing seismic activities and observing methane bubbles percolating in their beloved nearby bayous last spring, a large sinkhole emerged and has been expanding almost weekly, with chunks of land and swamp trees falling into it.

For decades. the fossil fuel industry has drilled, extracted and piped the oil- and gas-cursed area, devastating the once pristine and peaceful bayous of south Louisiana, Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou.

In Nov., public outrage erupted after learning that only two weeks after the sinkhole appeared and triggered a declared a state emergency, Louisiana’s Department of Natural Resources had issued a permit for deep oil drilling near the sinkhole. 

Drilling wells are more likely to cause quakes than fracking, according to Mark Engle, a U.S. Geological Survey research geologist.

By October, scientists were investigating whether Louisiana state-ordered removal of crude and natural gas through hydraulic fracturing of Texas Brine’s failed storage cavern in the Napoleonville Salt Dome might be connected to the quakes that had been more pronounced in the area at that time.

The state Office of Conservation had ordered Texas Brine to pump brine into the cavern to push out the crude oil, that’s now been leaking for six months or more. That pumping process was similar but not the same as fracking.

The outer edge of the salt dome, not just the breached cavern in it, had collapsed due to what Shaw Environmental Group’s geologist Dr. Gary Hecox called a “frack-out,” then saying that it was “just like fracking.”

BP Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophe on land

“Because of the logistical challenges of taking images thousands of feet underground, scientists do not know with certainty the condition of the ground under the sinkhole or if other voids exist under the surface that could cause the hole to grow or another hole to form,” reports Houma Today.

Only a few months ago at a public meeting, after a local Homeland Security official and Assumption Parish Sheriff said there was justified fear of another sinkhole forming, Hecox stated that another hole forming was less likely than the existing one continue to expand.

Officials anticipate that the “sinkhole” could become a chemical lake the size of 30 football fields.

On Aug. 3, the “sinkhole” above the salt dome was reported. Its size was approximately an acre. Today, it is approximately 9 acres.

State officials attribute the disaster to one failed cavern owned by Houston-based Texas Brine LLC, one of the two storage caverns the company has in the salt dome facility. There are 52 such oil and gas industry caverns in the dome.

Chris Knotts, a Louisiana DNR civil engineer, who was coordinating the science group studying the sinkhole, had said just over three weeks after the sinkhole appeared that, “If it’s a cavern fracture, failure, whatever, there’s little that you can do.

The cavern is fractured. Little done in the area has succeeded in stopping the catastrophe in the making.

Today, not only the salt dome cavern, but also the western edge of the 1-mile by 3-mile Napoleonville Salt Dome is collapsing. That western edge extends 7000 feet below ground, where gas and voids lurk.

Texas Brine’s contracted geophysicist Kevin Hill is creating a three-dimensional seismic image of the ground below the area. To do this, Hill is employing a network of 2,500 devices: air-guns, various vibrating devices and firecracker-sized explosives underground.

These devices will “thump” the area, yet another concern for locals. Can the vulnerable area be thumped much more without catastrophic results?

Previously, the company was ordered to drill investigation wells: “Texas Brine has been ordered to implement these steps as soon as possible and move full-steam ahead,” stated Commissioner of Conservation Jim Welsh in August.

One of those well-drilling missions was aborted after geological events occurred there. Texas Brine had warned that its new drilling as ordered might worsen the situation.

The unstoppable oil and gas industry’s collapsing dome, gulping part of Assumption Parish with it, has been referred to as a BP Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophe on land.

Human toll

As in other communties across the nation, the human toll of this historical fossil fuel event is immense and hidden.

For over six months, innocent locals caught in the state-declared emergency area have been under a mandatory evacuation. Many of these energy refugees continue working for their rights to health, security and safety they once knew at home.

Alicia Heilig, a nearby resident, has established and maintains a Bayou Corne Sinkhole Facebook Page. There local concerned citizens are learning and organizing. Most of them agree that government and industry are not protecting them adequately, according to their messages on Facebook and conversations with this author.

Aside from thousands of quakes shaking the ground beneath their homes over the past six months, and gas bubbling nearby, children and parents are reportedly ill from chemicals belching out of the sinkhole area. Little to no medical monitoring is being offered to the bayou residents, despite their pleas for help. (See video below.)


Demonstration of Bayou Corne sinkhole disaster response failing adequate medical monitoring of locals impacted by hazardous chemical release and of inadequately observing right to self-determination. Retired neuroscientist and professor Dr. Paul Brown addressed residents and officials at a public meeting in Nov. after a boat tour of the disaster area. Brown asserted that the level of chemicals being released in the area is posing a human health risk. Credit: Deborah Dupré, YouTube

Natural gas bubbling in those two bayous is now seen in over 30 spots.  After recent heavy rains, the gas was bubbling in the yards of some homes. A bus route was changed late last year after methane was discovered below the neighborhood.

Not only is methane being released. So is hydrogen sulfide. Since at least Oct. 2, other hydrocarbons have also been leaking into the bottom of the cavern in the collpasing salt dome.

Carcinogenic crude oil has now spread as far as half a mile outwards, into the swamps, bayous and communities, as Louisiana Environmental Action Network proved with photographic evidence this week. Its flyover in the video above shows more destruction than recent state official flyovers posted on the parish website dedicated to the disaster.

The possibility of a giant explosion is one reason these refugees remain under the mandatory evacuation, although some choose to remain.

“The hole has also sent naturally occurring petroleum and gas toward the surface, with natural gas accumulating in the area’s aquifer. This creates the potential for the gas to dangerously accumulate in enclosed spaces above the surface.”

At least insurance companies will not cancel the policies of the evacuation resisters, as companies are threatening some who did abide by the evacuation order.

Two or more evacuated residents and parish officials in the past two weeks have said some insurers were not renewing or had threatened not to renew their policies due to their homes being vacated over 30 days.

The Louisiana Department of Insurance is investigating those reports.

Officials will meet with disaster site locals again Wednesday at 6:00 P.M. at Assumption Parish Community Center, 4910 Highway 308, Napoleonville, LA. There, residents will be updated on this ongoing, man-made environmental and humanitarian catastrophe-in-the-making. 


Copyright 2013 Deborah Dupré

Related news by this author: 

The Fracked Faulkner Cover-up: House Explosions, Suicides, Miscarriages (with video testimonies)


Human Rights news reporter Deborah Dupré is author of Vampire of Macondo, Life, crimes and curses in south Louisiana that Powerful Forces Don’t want you to know,” packed with censored stories about the BP-wrecked Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico that continues causing hidden catastrophic human and environmental devastation.

Please watch the “Vampire of Macondo” book trailer, First book to reveal BP Gulf Oil Human Rights Abuses.”

Follow Dupré on Twitter @DeborahDupre. For radio and television interviews, email [email protected]


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    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Total 21 comments
    • Deborah Dupre

      Goes to show once again it’s time to stop blaming Mother Earth for these disasters. They are not natural or ‘God’s way.’ Renewable energy sources are, though.

      • Anonymous

        Couldn’t have said it better myself! Very scary. Our earth will never destroy herself, destruction comes with the evils of man that ruin the lives of those who try to save her. Thank goodness one day they will pay for this. We are not judges, but in time they WILL BE JUDGED! Thanks hun great article and video.

      • Jack Leonard

        Wonderful report! Thank you!

    • teapartyguardian

      Turns out oil is renewable too! And it WORKS. Unlike solar…night and wind…calm days, not to mention COLD!

      • Deborah Dupre

        TeaParty – Thank you for reading this. It’s sad seeing you do not have the facts about renewable energy. Maybe a simple example will help. Let’s use solar. We have solar panels covering the south side of our roof. It’s cloudy 50% of days where I live. We have more than enough energy for our old 3,000 sq. ft home, 100% electric car and to add what’s left over to the grid. Hurts nobody. Creates jobs. “Oil” is killing humanity and the planet. My plea to you is stop being complicit and keep learning the truth.

        • Jack Leonard

          You do realize that teaparty is a “believer” who never even considered “learning the truth,” let alone ever made any effort to do so, don’t you. Asking a reactionary ideologue to question their belief system is no more productive than asking the Pope to deny the existence of God.

      • Quantum Kev

        Oh really, it is? And how is that, considering that it took millions of years for it to form deep under the crust of the earth..??? And contrary to what you said, solar DOES work, as do wind, tidal, and other energy generation methods. Then of course there are all those that were conveniently “shouted down” like those Tesla discovered. But then again, he only invented the means by which the ENTIRE WORLD is now powered – the harnessing of alternating current. So what did he know, right???

        The ignorance and stubbornness of those who are drunk on the “big oil koolaid” is astonishing, no matter how many times I encounter it. Wow…. just, wow.

      • Jack Leonard

        So, teaparty . . . you admit to knowing nothing about anything.

        You need a RealityDrop:

    • W. Willow

      Our prayers are with those of Assumption Parish. :cry:

    • quisno

      why arent people taking this seriously? not by questioning but by learning then briging that knowledge to bare.
      By the time the fracking is over there will be mno more good water under the ground. Chemicals that the Controllers need hidden are covered by this activity as it hides what they are about. and let me tell you that eugenics is being used upon all of you.
      there ias more oil now with out havcing to quire more.
      In the Wyoming Utah area you have over 1.2 trillion bbls of oil most accessable only by fracking. and enough for the world for 300 years because you all have been trained to lies.
      lie 1:Oil comes from dinasaurs and plants and vegitation
      lie 2 Oil is quantifiable
      lie 3 the world needs al the oil that can be found as we wait for other energy sources.

      truths 1 Oils is formed from Hydrocarbons under the mantle ,they are gasses which build in pressure until cracks form into domes AKA the oil structures in the Ukraine.
      there are domes here in this country but they are being fracted it is abiotic in nature

      truth2 Oil companies are in leige with Bankerswho wish to complete destructionfor the masses habitat. Oil is only an excuse. Look at the cities like in Mewxico all people are moving to the cities small towns are now in evacuation(no jobs) Obama care is noyt for medical its for Taxes and reducing your hrs of work look at at the burden being placed on the entropenuers and the small buisnesses. This is a Agenda 21 program called ustainable living.
      more truth. the big push for guns was to hide their need to start ww3 and to have China bring their cities into this nation so that the citizens could start ar against these Fhinese citizens thus bringing nuclear destruction where by the Elite doing this has moved either out of the country or buried themselves in mountains and communities.>Joel Skowsen
      want links? go find i found them.

    • dimwit

      I have been following this story since last August. It sounds awfully scary at times…. please continue to report on it. It is important news.

    • W. Willow

      Is it just winter or are those trees dead?

    • Maverick

      Its HAARP

      • Anonymous

        It is the Idiot he’s back

        • Maverick

          I was bored for a bit so I decided to comment on a bunch of articles about HAARP…. and lo and behold….. You Anonymous Ball-less Coward predictably followed me around trolling on my comments.

          Thanks for proving my little experiment a success

      • Pick Up After Your Dogma

        Maverick of the anal variety

        • Maverick

          Hey new guy…

          Before you go trolling around on peoples comments maybe you should try building some credibility with posts that have substance.

          At this rate you’re coming off as a brainless two-bit troll much like the Anonymous Ball-less Coward above.

    • Anonymous

      @Maver dick

      Whom are you criticizing you idiot moron?
      We all know that you are just a uneducated Welfare Bum, with too much free time on your Hands and we the Taxpayers are paying you for harassing us with you stupid remarks.
      Not once have you brought forward any proof to dispute HAARP,despite all the technical papers that are available on the Net. Go get a Job and a life.

      • Maverick

        @Anonymous Ball-less Coward

        Resorting to insults to get your point across again hey.

        When have I have ever tried to ‘debunk HAARP’? What proof do you have ‘Im paid by taxpayers’? What proof do you have I dont have a job? Why do you still hide behind the handle of Anonymous?

        Thanks for proving yourself a troll again.

        Besides I could really care less what the likely 200 people who actually visit the website think. Its undeniable the people who post articles here mostly have zero concept of the things they write about and NEVER post supporting evidence.

        I could only wish my tinfoil hat was as tight as yours.

        • Anonymous

          @ MaverDick
          If idiots could fly, the sky would be like an airport

        • 69ingSquirrels


          @ MaverDick
          If idiots could fly, the sky would be like an airport”

          HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA you’re so clever……. MaverDick……instead of Maverick……. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA……. give this man a prize…….he is so fucking hilarious!!!!!!!!!!

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