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Eric Blair

Theoildrum Responds Directly To Gulf Oil Spill Doomsday Scenario

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Guest Noodle

There's no mention of Godzilla anywhere in that thread.

I can put Godzilla in there if you like.

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I stopped reading here:

"The BOP is not in danger of tipping over."

I'm glad there's other far more qualified people out there doing my worrying for me.

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http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2010/06/21/bp_foresaw_possibility_that_well_could_leak_42m_gallons_a_day/

Newly released internal documents show BP estimated that 4.2 million gallons of oil a day could gush from a damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico if all equipment restricting the flow was removed and company models were wrong.

Representative Edward Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, released the documents yesterday, showing BP said in a worst-case outcome that the leak could gush between 2.3 million and 4.2 million gallons (about 100,000 barrels) of oil per day.

The current worst-case estimate of what’s leaking is 2.5 million gallons a day.

“Right from the beginning, BP was either lying or grossly incompetent,’’ Markey said. “First they said it was only 1,000. Then they said it was 5,000 barrels. Now we’re up to 100,000 barrels.’’

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,’’ Markey said that when the company submitted the documents to Congress, it was publicly estimating 5,000 barrels a day. BP officials told lawmakers at the time that the worst-case outcome would be 60,000 barrels a day.

“It was their technology. It was their spill cam,’’ Markey said. “They are the ones that should have known right from the beginning and either to limit their liability or because they were grossly incompetent they delayed a full response to the magnitude of this disaster.’’

The problem is they have all been lying form the start, you can't trust anyone to be telling the truth.

I note that this rebuff doesn't even draw on the supposed Russian report on the seabed which says it's completely compromised.

Can't find the link to that report at the minute.

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http://beforeitsnews.com/news/76/057/Scientists_Warn_Gulf_Of_Mexico_Sea_Floor_Fractured_Beyond_Repair.html

A dire report circulating in the Kremlin today that was prepared for Prime Minister Putin by Anatoly Sagalevich of Russia's Shirshov Institute of Oceanology warns that the Gulf of Mexico sea floor has been fractured “beyond all repair” and our World should begin preparing for an ecological disaster “beyond comprehension” unless “extraordinary measures” are undertaken to stop the massive flow of oil into our Planet’s eleventh largest body of water.

Most important to note about Sagalevich’s warning is that he and his fellow scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences are the only human beings to have actually been to the Gulf of Mexico oil leak site after their being called to the disaster scene by British oil giant BP shortly after the April 22nd sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform.

BP’s calling on Sagalevich after this catastrophe began is due to his being the holder of the World’s record for the deepest freshwater dive and his expertise with Russia’s two Deep Submergence Vehicles MIR 1 and MIR 2 [photo below] which are able to take their crews to the depth of 6,000 meters (19,685 ft).

Equally this could be misinformation as well.

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http://www.earthbyte.org/Research/Current/Resprojects/Platekinematics/Caribbean/caribbean_paper.html

Abstract

We review the plate tectonic evolution of the Caribbean area based on a revised model for the opening of the central North Atlantic and the South Atlantic, as well based on an updated model of the motion of the Americas relative to the Atlantic-Indian hotspot reference frame. We focus on post-83 Ma reconstructions, for which we have combined a set of new magnetic anomaly data in the central North Atlantic between the Kane and Atlantis fracture zones with existing magnetic anomaly data in the central North and South Atlantic oceans and fracture zone identifications from a dense gravity grid from satellite altimetry to compute North America-South America plate motions and their uncertainties. Our results suggest that slow sinistral transtension/strike-slip between the two Americas at rates roughly between 3 and 5 mm/y lasted until chron 25 (55.9 Ma). Subsequently our model results in northeast-southwest oriented convergence until chron 18 (38.4 Ma) at rates ranging between 3.7±1.3 to 6.5±1.5 mm/y from 65°W to 85°W, respectively. This first convergent phase correlates with a Paleocene-Lower Eocene calc-alkaline magmatic stage in the West Indies, which is thought to be related to northward subduction of Caribbean crust during this time. Relatively slow convergence until chron 8 at rates from 1.2±0.9 to 3.6±2.1 mm/y from 65°W to 85°W, respectively, is followed by a drastic increase in convergence velocity. After chron 8 (25.8 Ma), probably at the Oligocene-Miocene boundary, this accelerated convergence resulted in 92±22 km convergence from chron 8-6, 127±25 km from chron 6-5, and 72±17 km from chron 5 to the present measured at 85°W near the North Panama Deformed Belt at convergence rates averaging 9.6±3.1 and 9.6±2.1 mm/y from chron 8-6 and chron 6-5, respectively, slowing down to 5.2±1.3 mm/y after chron 5. Neogene convergence measured at the eastern Muertos Trough, at 17.5°N, 65°W, is 41±18 km from chron 8-6, 58±25 km from chron 6-5, and 22±17 km from chron 5-present day, at rates between 4.4±1.7 and 1.6±1.0 mm/y. These well-resolved differential plate motions clearly show an east-west gradient in plate convergence in the Neogene, correlating well with geological observations. We suggest that the early Miocene onset of underthrusting of the Caribbean oceanic crust below the South American borderland in the Columbia and Venezuela basins, the onset of subduction in the Muertos trough, and folding and thrust faulting at the Beata Ridge and the Bahamas, and the breakup of the main part of the Caribbean plate into the Venezuela and Colombia plates, separated by the Beata Ridge acting as a compressional plate boundary (Mauffret and Leroy, this volume) may all be related to the accelerated convergence between the two Americas.

The main differences with previous analyses are that (1) our model results in substantial variations in convergence rates between the two Americas after chron 25 (55.9 Ma), (2) we have computed uncertainties for our North America - South America plate flow lines, and (3) we show Tertiary Caribbean plate reconstructions in an Atlantic-Indian hotspot reference system. Our absolute plate motion model suggests that the Caribbean plate has been nearly stationary since chron 18 (38.4 Ma). The east-west gradient in convergence between the Americas in the Neogene has not resulted in substantial eastward motion of the Caribbean plate, but rather contributed to causing its breakup into the Colombian and Venezuela plates along the Beata Ridge where east-west oriented compressional stresses are taken up. Our model also suggests that the eastward escape of the Caribbean plate in a mantle reference frame ceased when seafloor spreading started in the Cayman Trough, if the current interpretation of magnetic anomalies in the Cayman Trough is not grossly in error. Our model suggests that the opening of the Cayman Trough was accomplished by westward motion of the North American plate relative to a stationary Caribbean plate in a mantle reference system. This implies that subsequent North America-Caribbean and South America-Caribbean tectonic processes were no longer dominated by Cocos-Caribbean and Nazca-Caribbean plate interactions, as the latter had ceased to drive the Caribbean plate eastwards. We conclude that the west-northwestward motion of South America relative to a trapped, stationary Caribbean Plate caused oblique collision along the passive margin of eastern Venezuela in the Neogene.

Then again the whole region could be completely unstable.

More at the link.

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Guest anorthosite

As in not completely stable.

Just like everywhere else then.

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Guest Noodle

i haven't a clue but i expect we'll all know in a couple of months tops.

I've studied fault lines for that whole region. Fear not. Could be the salt movement they are referring to.

Anyway . . .

While the Gulf of Mexico is geologically passive, the region to the south is still very active. Five structures give an indication of geological history and active processes.

NOAA link

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I've studied fault lines for that whole region. Fear not. Could be the salt movement they are referring to.

Any idea what the rock underlying the ocean's like at the point where BP were doing their drilling? Presumably there's a layer of soft sediment at the ocean floor, but there must be plenty of solid bedrock underneath. There were various links posted here where people were making dire predictions about the oil flow eroding the borehole until it was metres across, or the oil escaping through lateral fractures in the rock, but no-one seemed to have any geology to back it up with (is the rock soft or hard etc?). I had a look a while ago, but couldn't find anything on the web. Given that BP have actually drilled through several miles of rock they must know exactly what's down there, but it doesn't seem to be easy to find out.

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Guest Noodle

Any idea what the rock underlying the ocean's like at the point where BP were doing their drilling? Presumably there's a layer of soft sediment at the ocean floor, but there must be plenty of solid bedrock underneath. There were various links posted here where people were making dire predictions about the oil flow eroding the borehole until it was metres across, or the oil escaping through lateral fractures in the rock, but no-one seemed to have any geology to back it up with (is the rock soft or hard etc?). I had a look a while ago, but couldn't find anything on the web. Given that BP have actually drilled through several miles of rock they must know exactly what's down there, but it doesn't seem to be easy to find out.

Seems the biggest geological risk (apart from an uncontrolled hole in the cap rock) is the soft sediment overlying the cap rock not providing sufficient lateral support to the blow out preventer.

Need the log really, but it has apparently disappeared . . . <_<

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  • 261 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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