Bayou Corne Sink Hole


The main purpose of this page is to annotate any unusual events if possible and to keep a record of the seismograms in a standardised scale so comparisons are relevant. I will also use it to give some explanations of reading seismos.

Links to seismogram page. Below each seismo on the seismogram is a link to get today’s seismogram in the wide format (new page), or yesterday’s seismogram or the day before that. Then there are links to archives of each month available.

LA10 (3) LA11 LA12 LA13 LA14 LA15
LA16 LA17          

Cultural Noise

How do we determine cultural noise on a seismo? Basically this is patterns which predominantly occur at more or less the same time each day and tail off around the same time each day. Thumbnails, such as are on the pages, are particularly useful for identifying this. Below is an example from LA02.

LA_CulturalNoise

The third thumbnail down on the right is quieter than most, so why is that? Basically because that is the 22nd November which is of course Thanksgiving in the US. These thumbnails are in reverse order so the next one left from that is Black Friday with a little bit of traffic, then the next across is the Saturday. The one immediately above the 22nd is the Sunday. After a peaceful Thanksgiving weekend it is back to normal on the Monday, next left from the Sunday.

To help you identify the days above here is thanksgiving marked, and the is 3rd down on the right on the full image.

LA_CulturalNoise02

If this is traffic, or much of it is traffic, then we should be able to see vehicles moving past LA01 and LA02 in different directions. In deed we can. Take a look at day 314. This GIF will make you go cross eyed, but look between 0700 and 0800. You can see a red signal moving to the left and a blue signal to the right. Just after before 0900 over on the right you can see a green signal moving to the right – moving from LA02 to LA01.

YOU MUST RIGHT CLICK AND VIEW IN A NEW TAB OR WINDOW FOR THE GIF TO WORK.

LA01-02_314_compare

Once you know what you are looking for you will be able to identify many more.

GS seismograph travel times.

The tables below give the travel times (approximately) from the sink hole location to each of the seismos. Bear in mind this is approximate because the Latitude and Longitude given for the seismograph stations is only to two decimal points and the measuring is being don manually on Google Earth.

The travel times are given for three speeds of seismic wave and for sound in air.

Louisana_sink_hole_travel_times

Identifying an airborne sound

On most of the seismograms it is very difficult to actually find two signals that match, which is another matter, but here I am looking at two which do appear to match. In the first diagram I have circled the two spikes

spikes

LA03 is ~0.26km from the sink-hole and LA06 is ~1.22 km.

In close up those two traces look like this.

spikes02

There is a good probability that those two signals are the same. The mark on the upper one is not part of the signal, it just the cursor position. The difference between those two is ~4 seconds therefore if that was a seismic event the source would have to be at the minimum 12km further away from the source for the later signal, and more likely 32km, BUT if that signal is being produced by an airborne sound and here I am using the memory (not good!) sound travels ~750 ft per second (at msl).

This is approximately 0.2286 km per second and that would make the second seismo 4 x 0.2286 km further away which is 0.914 kilometres. The difference in distance from the sink hole is 0.95 km given that these are not very accurately located. That seems to me to make this signal airborne rather than a seism if those are both the same event. (And yes loud sounds do show on a seismogram – e.g. sonic booms etc)

Update: It looks as if the seismograph stations LA01, LA02, LA03, LA06, LA08 and LA09 have been taken off line.

111 Responses to Bayou Corne Sink Hole

  1. jec says:

    Today, Bayou Corne, LA14 shows some unusual harmonic signals. Any clue, before the daily work signals, what caused the large amount of harmonics? Its not earthquakes..altho they are there. Also, noted the bore hole helicorders are set pretty high..10,000 and 20,000 microvolts compared to 500 for the rest. Just curious. Thanks, JEC

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  3. flyingcuttlefish says:

    Any idea what happened last night (Sun.) at LA11? Did the berm break?

  4. flyingcuttlefish says:

    [Dec. 27] Any ideas what is going on? Is Oxy 3 floor still sinking?

    • PuterMan says:

      No idea I am afraid. It looks fairly ‘normal’ to me on the basis of the deep borehole instruments with many small microquakes. Without access to other data I could not say if this is because of any sinking in the floor of Oxy 3. I am away from home at present but if I get the chance later I will see if I can download the instrument data for those LA10 and LA17 instruments and have a closer look.

    • Tony Gentile says:

      How do I convert the readings on the helicorders to readings on the Richter Scale?

      • PuterMan says:

        Hi Tony. There is no direct translation from the seismogram to Richter scale. To determine the strength and location of any earthquake requires the data from at least 3 seismo stations to triangulate the position. These are microquakes, none of which show anywhere in the USGS listings. Without more information it is impossible to put a magnitude on these but I am guessing they could be Magnitude 0 or less – maybe be magnitude -1.

      • flyingcuttlefish says:

        rrrggg … hard to figure out …
        “These data are combined with data from other seismometers to determine the actual location and magnitude of an earthquake or event.”
        http://www.mgs.md.gov/seismics/help.shtml

  5. flyingcuttlefish says:

    Oct. 21 – any ideas what is caving in?
    especially at 17-02.

  6. flyingcuttlefish says:

    [Sept. 24] can you look at this morning’s helicorders and give opinion about how/if they are affected by 7.8M quake in Pakistan.
    Does a big quake like that cause things to cave-in underground at the salt dome area?

  7. flyingcuttlefish says:

    (Aug. 30) this noon there was a huge earthquake in Alaska. 7.0
    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/shakemap/global/shake/b000jdt7/
    … at 11:30 ish CST. could that make the Bayou Corne helicorders go nuts? Or are they just nuts by themselves today??
    http://lasinkhole.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/fri-2/

  8. flyingcuttlefish says:

    [Friday] What are these steep spikes representing? Is it the cap rock?
    http://lasinkhole.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/315.gif

    • PuterMan says:

      I have tried to get copies of the data but the files are so fragmented that they are impossible to read with the SAC files I normally collect, and the old system no longer functions – not that the results would be any better.

      As far as I can see it appears to be a micro-quake, but I could not guess at the source without being able to download the data so my sincere apologies but that is about as much as I can say.

      I have downloaded the MSEED files from Nanometrics, and if I find a way to load them into my program then I will see what I can see but I have been trying for the last 3 hours and got nowhere so far.

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  10. flyingcuttlefish says:

    July 7 – Please give opinion – is the big Mexico volcano affecting the Bayou Corne helicorders?
    http://tinyurl.com/m4xwptx

    Also – do you know what happened to LA16?

    • PuterMan says:

      Not in my opinion. The quakes there are way too small to have any effect. I can see the two quakes at Papua New Guinea rolling though today however.

      Several seismos are down to IRIS. The system must have stopped again as the CERI versions are up. This is an IRIS SEED link problem but I have emailed Nanometrics as the enquiry is best coming from them.

  11. jandedandcynical says:

    PM, is there a way to distinguish if the fluid movement on the seismos is water or crude/hydrocarbons?

    This question was asked over on the BC sinkhole FB page and I positive that perhaps spectro or audio of the converted waveforms might show a discernible difference being as oil and water have differing densities, but I don’t know and told tem I would ask you as you were likely to know if this were possible.

    • PuterMan says:

      Hi JAC, sorry for the long delay in replying. A bit busy at the moment.

      I have to be honest and say I am not sure about that. I guess it might be possible but I don’t have the sort of kit that would give that kind of detail so I cannot say for certain. Sorry to be negative.

      You could try USGS Ask-a-geologist

  12. Baymuse says:

    Could be lightning today….

  13. crappiekat says:

    You Rock Puterman. I was kinda going with the same answer as you. But At this time in my learning I don’t have the confidence to say what I think. You are one of my best teachers.

  14. flyingcuttlefish says:

    [June 16 - SUNDAY] Something happened tonight at 6:15 p.m. — all helios. Any idea what it was?

    • PuterMan says:

      Very busy at present. Was that 6.15pm your time or UTC? I will try to take a look later.

      • flyingcuttlefish says:

        CST … a big plunk

        • PuterMan says:

          Found it. 23:15 UTC. Looks like a fluid event on the borehole seismos. I would guess a slump and then a big ‘sloosh’. There is a small amount of long wave fluid(?) signals before the bigger one. The long signal visible on several of the seismos is the Mexico earthquake. I can’t find any that account for the other long squiggles so they must be local.

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  16. flyingcuttlefish says:

    June 12 – any ideas what happened at 1 a.m. today? A cave-in or a cave-across? Huge thing on LA11. (see post also for today on the Bugle)

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  18. flyingcuttlefish says:

    [6-4] What do you make of today’s seismic activity?
    Is this geo-phone work making that solid color on the charts?
    Big subsidence on S. side today.
    The geo-phone work is detailed on p. 3 on the weekly SONRIS report —
    http://sonris-www.dnr.state.la.us/web_post/lafa_sct.pdf

    • PuterMan says:

      I am afraid I have no idea what the solid lines are. I have downloaded the data and had a listen but can hear nothing specific. At high speed it sounds regular and the sound beginning around 0300 UTC is definitely mechanical. I downloaded 0100 to 0300 UTC from LA11.

      At about 02:44:16 there is what sounds like a micro-quake. Some of the earlier sounds could be gas – there are some spots where it sounds like gas burps, but I may be guessing on that. The rest of it as I said is indeterminate but indeed I guess could be the result of drilling in view of the relative regularity of the sound/wave.

  19. flyingcuttlefish says:

    help me with time of day on these charts. On LA12 – the giant red mark at about 8:45 chart time would be about 4:45 a.m. Louisiana time (CST)??

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  21. flyingcuttlefish says:

    FYI – I got word from U of Memphis that LA15 is being repaired soon.

  22. flyingcuttlefish says:

    Mar. 27 – request from readers tonight for some insight on Helicorder activity at Bayou Corne. They are doing some mapping using air-boats these days.
    Also some new water level charts etc. from Tex Brine out (see http://tinyurl.com/bu6ty9y )

    • PuterMan says:

      Useful document that – thanks. It clearly pinpoints the signals we are looking for for sinkhole events – the long wavy lines which one of your readers pointed at before so this confirms it.

      The night (UTC) of the 25th is curious. Were they working late into the night? I think you are on EDT(?) at the sinkhole so currently that is currently 4 hours behind us but that will change on Sunday. Looks as if there was work related signals right through to about 1am.

      If those are sloughing events then it would seem there was a whole bunch of them between about 2200 UTC (1800 local) on the 25th and 0700 UTC (0300 local) on the 26th.

      They mention the 17th as having had an event, but it would seem that there were also smaller events on the 18th as well.

      On the 27th just after 12:36 UTC there appears to be a small sloughing event, but is the wavy line at 12:45ish also connected to this? There does not seem to be a marked event at onset yet the signal is similar wavy lines. Do other events affect the ground levels. I am assuming that these signals are indicating a slow rolling of the ground as we have discussed in the past in connection with bogs in Ireland so is it possible, as this signal is not strong, that since this is at the start of working hours it is actually the movement of equipment that is causing this. Problem with this is that it then would not explain the signals on the 25th/26th so in the absence of other information I think we should assume that any signal of this nature is most likely a sloughing event.

      I will take a look at the other channels later today as these are just the vertical channels. The North and East channels might give us a better idea.

  23. flyingcuttlefish says:

    March 11 — something is going on at the salt dome — overnight.
    LA 12, 14, 15 (I have a little map on my blog) — and I added button links to those on my sidebar that connect to your pages.

    • PuterMan says:

      What is it that you are seeing? Is it the wavy lines starting 2300+ hrs UTC? Those are caused by the Mag 6.5 in Papua New guinea.

      I see a couple of small events but nothing major.

      • flyingcuttlefish says:

        from this post I made out of Jeff’s comment –

        http://wp.me/p2GNDM-247

        Huge quake too in Guatemala last night — but on Pacific side.
        LA 12, 14 & 15 going lately more than the others.

      • flyingcuttlefish says:

        PuterMan — wouldn’t large foreign earthquake make ALL the monitors jump? Not just 12-14-15??

        • PuterMan says:

          I replied and it did not come up!!.

          No not necessarily and 6.5 is not that big that it will show on all seismos at all sample rates and sensitivities. It is showing on11 and 13 as well (I shall remove the scaling in future I think). It does not appear to show on the ESG seismos, but they are a different sample rate and probably sensitivity so that may account for it.

          • flyingcuttlefish says:

            OK. Thanks.
            I am keeping the post up because I think second shoe will drop. Soon.

          • flyingcuttlefish says:

            OK.
            I am keeping the post up (with Jeff’s comment) as I think these heliocorders are worth constant watching….

            • PuterMan says:

              Absolutely or I would not be collecting them!

              • flyingcuttlefish says:

                say, can you let me know if youare updating the helicorder links on your page for March?
                If you are busy I will change links I just put up for LA 12, 14 & 15 (new buttons on my sidebar).
                I prefer your site as the folk page won’t let me link to a helicorder location, just one with an exact date.
                I want my readers to be able to push the button and get your choices for data.

                • PuterMan says:

                  You should be able to get the current day from the main page on Bayou Corne and the plots should be up to date now and I am bout to add yesterdays. I will bring the today links onto the main helicorders page and maybe on to each helicorder page as well. Will take a look now.

                • flyingcuttlefish says:

                  Great! I know you have had some time away from the internet lately.

                  So that makes my great button links (to you) on my sidebar perfect!
                  I feel LA 12, 14 & 15 will be under lots of observation from now on ….

                • PuterMan says:

                  All done. There was an issue with the dates that meant March 6th was showing first followed by the 5th and then the later ones. All fixed now and ‘today’ links are on the main seismogram links page.

                • flyingcuttlefish says:

                  that is sooo great! I do JS code and know what a big feat your Bayou Corne page is … on top of all your other work!!

                  So anyone wanting to know instant update on those pages can click on the Bugle sidebar and reach them.

    • PuterMan says:

      Seems to be something going on today (16 March UTC). If you look at the LA12 seismo there are a large number of events outside of cultural noise hours. I am putting yesterdays seismograms up now as I have to be out later (St. Patrick’s approaching and all that!)

      • flyingcuttlefish says:

        I will be so mad if anything big happens on St.P day!
        I want to put the scratching chicken up and turn off the computer!

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  25. flyingcuttlefish says:

    Feb. 24,
    S – O – S , PuterMan! Please see this post … give yr opinion —
    http://tinyurl.com/acpdjnl

    thanks!!!!

  26. flyingcuttlefish says:

    Jim — the truck traffic etc. causes big affect on the helicorder charts… making them hard to read.
    Yes, everything is falling to sh1t at the sinkhole but this blog has the best info on separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to reading these darn helicorder charts from Bayou Corne.

  27. PuterMan says:

    There seem to be some new seismos coming on line but the database details are dodgy at present. LA15 & LA16 appear to be part of a monitoring network in Kamchatka, Russia!

    YC.LA15
    Z
    Bezymianny Volcano Campaign Seismic Network (PIRE)
    
    Operating range: 1960/01/01 - 2599/01/01
    Realtime data: 2013/02/20 - 2013/02/24
    Archive data: 2013/02/20 - 2013/02/24

    The ESG4 stations belong to Greenland network

    XW.ESG4
    ESG Salt Monitoring Station 4
    CRESIS Greeland 2012
    
    Operating range: 1960/01/01 - 2599/01/01
    Realtime data: 2013/02/11 - 2013/02/24
    Archive data: No archive data

    I expect it will all settle down in a couple of days.

    LA13 is located at 30.0134, -91.1445 at and elevation of -23 metres (so buried?)
    ESG2 which is marked as the Salt Dome monitoring lives in Aden, depending which of the dozen or so entries you read.

    XW.ESG2
    ESG Salt Monitoring Station 2
    Young Conjugate Margins Lab in the Gulf of Aden
    
    Operating range: 1960/01/01 - 2599/01/01
    Realtime data: 2013/02/20 - 2013/02/24
    Archive data: No archive data

    The strange thing is that LA11, 13 and 14 have not made it into the _REALTIME network details yet.

    A new one just appeared as I was browsing XW in Bud Explorer. ESG8 – interesting looking one if this is the correct data.

    ESG8

    I can’t get any data from Vase yet to find out where ESG8 lives. Too early – not updated yet.

    Retrieving stations for network:XW
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG2
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG2
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG2
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG2
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG2
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG2
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG4
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG4
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG4
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG4
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG4
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG4
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG8
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG8
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG8
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG8
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG8
    Warning! Missing meta-data for station:XW,ESG8
    Done.
    No data found!
  28. flyingcuttlefish says:

    it looks like about half the charts I posted on the Bugle showing ‘seismic activity’ at the sinkhole was really work trucks. . . .
    http://dnr.louisiana.gov/assets/OC/BC_All_Updates/Public_Briefing_2013_02_06_Distribute.pdf

    • PuterMan says:

      No problem. Better to be wary than complacent. :) (And don’t forget that a works truck rumbling past IS a seismic event)

      I did mention earlier that if the signal or series of signals start and finish in clearly defined bands, as they do, them it is pretty much certain that these are anthropogenic and not seismic – so called cultural noise.

      That aside, LA10 location 11 – the borehole seismo – shows many micro-quakes a day which are not works trucks.

      I was pleased to see the locations of the new ones marked on the PDF as I have not had time to download SAC files of data to determine where they say they are. (My earthquake sounds module reads the Lat/Lon from the SAC header)

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  30. flyingcuttlefish says:

    Feb. 2 – and idea of what’s going on? Crazy activity at the remaining helicorders.

    • PuterMan says:

      Definitely seismic, as in earth shaking, as opposed to any electrical interference. From the shape and frequency these are local but my kit is not good enough to pinpoint the exact location at such close distances. Closest I can get is ~0.8 km but that definitely puts it in a radius that includes the sink hole.

      As you say, busy busy. Here is LA10.10 the surface seismo

      la10-gs-10-ehz

      And the borehole version LA10.11

      la10-gs-11-ehz

  31. Pingback: About the LOCATIONS of the Seismic Monitors | The Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle

  32. flyingcuttlefish says:

    Jan. 24 evening – please see this — something ODD –

    http://lasinkhole.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/42-seconds/#comment-8416

    • Jim says:

      Or is it the sun at solar maxima and a damaged ionosphere, magnetosphere, damage done by climate control experiments, for example. Or is it fracking nearby? I don’t understand how highway traffic and aircraft could crack a 14 in. concrete well top, cause land to subside and release methane and other toxins for miles around…through land and water. Just sayin’ — don’t want to start a cat fight.

      • PuterMan says:

        The Sun is at one of the weakest maximums in a very long time so I don’t think it is that, in fact I believe that is why earthquake-wise it is so quiet but that is another story.

        I have to say that 14 inches is not that thick and could easily be cracked by ground movement and the land around BC is very ‘moveable’ if you get my meaning.

        No cats around here by the way. We just discuss stuff.

    • flyingcuttlefish says:

      Feb.24 -
      They are busy building a big levee all around the sinkhole and still drilling geo-phone holes … but even so there looks like a lot of seismic activity. What do you think?

  33. flyingcuttlefish says:

    Jan. 19 – a lot happening today … hope you can grab some heli images ….!! really!

  34. jec says:

    Wonderful and thoughtful commentary on seismic recordings. The comments now say they are using sonic booms instead of “thumper” trucks, but the trucks seen at the bore hole.are large, white and do have somesort of platform. The releases from the reports say “thumper” trucks, so hard to tell what or how they are getting readings. I do think they should be careful with this sinkhole. Its a process like an angiogram in a heart patient–you sign on the dotted line you know the process may cause a heart attack. Of course the doctors are quick to say its a small chance-but if you are one of the small percentages who does have a heart attack…..
    Keep up the good work, this is a professional and thoughtful site to keep us informed.

  35. flyingcuttlefish says:

    (Jan.) Now that the ‘thumper truck’ is on the scene does it show up on graphs when it’s in operation? It isn’t on 24 hr. schedule. Maybe you can do a post about how to identify thumper truck activity (as opposed to tremors).

    • PuterMan says:

      As you may have noticed there is a problem with the seismograms that I am putting up at present as WordPress seem to have changed something in the upload that is affecting PNG files – the large ones. I think it is to do with the transparency. I don’t seem to be getting any response from them however.

      Can you point me to some info on this ‘thumper truck’ please as I am run off my feet at present. Thanks.

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  37. flyingcuttlefish says:

    New end of Dec. development … they made a change in the helicorder data.
    Here is a bit on it -
    http://lasinkhole.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/little-items/

    You will understand it better than I do. I guess it will show more ‘small’ motion.

    • PuterMan says:

      I thought the scale had changed but thanks for pointing it out. For reasons of which you are aware I have only had time to just put the seismograms up but I did notice the reduction in detail. I will try and get a look at this by the weekend and make adjustments to the download program to compensate.

      Basically what they are saying is that they are getting too much ‘noise’ from the installations close to the seismographs and so they are changing the sensitivity so that the signal does not get swamped by the ‘cultural noise’. This has little effect – in fact none really – on the seismic signals as the ones they are interested in are < 10Hz normally which will still be apparent when the data is filtered.

      2000 mV IS quite high. Some of the Yellowstone seismos are run at 1600 mV and they are around the highest. Many of the CERI seismos run at ~200 mV.

      The borehole one will show more small motion as that is the one they have 'turned up' (made more sensitive). The surface one will show less detail, which was what I had noticed.

      ETA: I have beefed the signal display up a little on them all, keeping it at the same level on all stations. Tomorrow I will try and find time to match the changes to the new mV on the CERI versions.

      • flyingcuttlefish says:

        oh, great. Thought you’d like to know.
        I got that answer by writing to Memphis U person on the homepage so it is reliable.
        I was looking at yr site to see if there was a ‘rest’ at the monitors during the Christmas break Texas Brine workers took.

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  39. flyingcuttlefish says:

    I will try and get word out about this useful page to all Bayou Corne watchers! It has much needed commentary on what all these jumps mean. Most interesting is what do big jumps around/after midnight mean. Sometimes large trucks travel at night but these helicorders go apeshit in the wee hours some nights.

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  41. Crappiekat says:

    Thank you for taking the time to look into this. There are alot of us who are very concerned about how this will play out.

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