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March 03, 2013


we have sinkholes here in DC, too. I'm watching the metro parking lot near me, which seems to be acquiring lots of new cracks from underground springs?

XE--Yes, sinkholes are not just indigenous to Florida. Worldwide, there's no shortage of them.

Underground springs can play havoc with parking lots and building foundations, as can voids of various types. They did a good job of laying drainage tiles around this house and, usually when it rains, just one of the drains (there are four) that goes into our sumphole flows - and it doesn't take much rain to start the flow. That flow comes from the tiling that services the foundation under the front of our house. I've been able to isolate the cause of the flow (through experimenting with garden hoses) as the area adjacent to just two of our rooms, but I don't know why that section has more/faster percolation than the sections adjacent to the rest of the house.

The current New Yorker has a great article about Florida sinkholes.

Hattie--Thanks. My copy of the New Yorker has not yet been opened (it was in yesterday's or Monday's mail. Hunky Husband is religious about picking up our mail, but - probably because I'm an atheist - I'm not at all religious about looking at mine.)

I think there must be a point at which extraction or injection of various matters from or into underground can become a problem. There's interest here in California about possible fracking/earthquake relationships if the former is instituted here.

As I recall Ohio, around the Akron/Canton area, I think, experienced a small earthquake that was attributed to fracking in recent years. Kay D. might recall. Earthquake is quite atypical for that area. Coal mining and the mountain topping done in the southern part of Ohio has been terribly destructive as is more recent fracking.

Joared--US Geological Survey has tied fracking to the increase in numbers of small earthquakes in the mid-section of the Continental US, according to news reports. [One such report is carried by Bloomberg.]

We, here in south-central Kansas, experienced an earthquake in November 2011, the epicenter of which was in Oklahoma. It was pure speculation on my part that decades of pumping oil out of the ground may have been a contributing factor, if not a cause.

According to news reports, the magnitude was greater than had been previously attributed to fracking, and there was a fault along which the quake occurred. According to an article in Huff Post Green, "In the past, earthquakes have been linked to energy exploration and production, including from injections of enormous amounts of drilling wastewater or injections of water for geothermal power, experts said. They point to recent earthquakes in the magnitude 3 and 4 range – not big enough to cause much damage, but big enough to be felt – in Arkansas, Texas, California, England, Germany and Switzerland. And back in the 1960s, two Denver quakes in the 5.0 range were traced to deep injection of wastewater."

Logic dictates that, just as injecting our own effluents into the atmosphere has consequences, injecting our effluents into the underground has consequences. Recognition that pumping oil out of the underground had consequences (for instance: collapse into the void) is, after all, what first led to injecting water into the underground to replace the oil. I'll stop now. I see eyes glazing over. *smiling*
P.S. The Huff Post Green article has an embedded video that is interesting.

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