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Berm Collapses at Expanding Bayou Corne Sinkhole (Update)

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This update is the 17th article in this Opednews series about the Bayou Corne sinkhole.

BACKGROUND: In Spring of 2012, Louisiana's Corne and Grand Bayou residents noticed strange bubbling in the bayou for many weeks, and they reported smelling burnt diesel fuel and sulfur. Suddenly a sinkhole the size of three football fields appeared on Aug. 3, swallowing scores of 100-foot tall cypress trees. The sinkhole resulted from the failure of Texas Brine Company's abandoned underground brine cavern. The Department of Natural Resources issued a Declaration of Emergency on Aug. 6, and 150 families were evacuated. 

For maps, diagrams and additional information, please see the sixteen previous installments in this series, listed at the end of this article.

Sinkhole berm sinks. by Assumption Parish Police Jury, used with permission

On June 4th the Assumption Parish Police Jury announced a new cave-in on the south side of the infamous Bayou Corne sinkhole. This includes approximately 400 to 500 feet of the berm which is now under water.

Sinkhole berm sinks. by Assumption Parish Police Jury, used with permission

The Police Jury notes, "the depth to the top of the berm is 3'9" at it's deepest point. Also, the trees on the Southwest side are showing signs of sinking, some up to 10' in depth."

A 2-minute flyover video taken on June 4 can be seen at

A depth survey posted by the Police Jury on May 24 shows the deepest part of the sinkhole has a 174-foot depth. click here
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US Capitol Building by Architect of the Capitol

In comparison, the Capitol building in Washington, DC,  is 289' in height. If it sat on the sinkhole's lowest level,  about two thirds of the Capitol building would be underwater, and only the top 115' would show.

Height/depth comparison (artist's conception, scale is approximate.) by Meryl Ann Butler

The diameter of the Capitol rotunda measures 96 feet across. Recently calculated dimensions of sinkhole indicate that it is 975' x 840.'  Therefore approximately ten rotundas could fit across the diameter of the sinkhole.

Diameter comparison. (Artist's conception, scale is approximate) by Meryl Ann Butler
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The base photo of the sinkhole used for the Capitol comparison images is by On Wings of Care, used with kind permission. On Wings Of Care is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wildlife, wild habitat, and natural ecosystems, founded by Bonny Schumaker, Ph.D.

Previous articles in this series:
16.  Bayou Corne Sinkhole: Micro-Earthquake Activity Halts Work (May 8 2013)  click here

15. Haunting Video Shows Trees Descending into Bayou Corne Sinkhole (April 20, 2013.) click here

14. Experts Called in To Tackle Bayou Sinkhole Devastation (April 12, 2013.)  click here

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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Do you think it metaphorical...these sinkholes in ... by Burl Hall on Wednesday, Jun 5, 2013 at 5:06:54 AM
Yes, Burl, I think everything is a metaphor! ;-)&n... by Meryl Ann Butler on Wednesday, Jun 5, 2013 at 11:03:03 AM