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GEOREF RECORD

Bayou Corne, Louisiana, sinkhole; precursory deformation measured by radar interferometry

Cathleen E. Jones and Ronald G. Blom
Bayou Corne, Louisiana, sinkhole; precursory deformation measured by radar interferometry
Geology (Boulder) (December 2013) 42 (2): 111-114

Abstract

Catastrophic sinkholes are formed through the collapse of natural or human-made subterranean caverns, and are common in areas with evaporite and carbonate rock. Despite their danger, advance warning of these events is rare. We report a measurement of precursory surface deformation of as much as 260 mm, derived with interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) and evident over a month before surface collapse, at the site of the Bayou Corne, Louisiana (USA) sinkhole that formed in August 2012. Data collected by the airborne Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle SAR (UAVSAR) instrument were used for the study. Analysis of data acquired from two flight tracks with near-opposing imaging geometries reveal a deformation pattern consistent with compressive loading at the surface due to loss of support from a subterranean cavity collapse related to Texas Brine Oxy Geismar Well #3. The precursor deformation was nearly entirely horizontal, i.e., oriented along the surface, and manifested as movement of surface material toward the location where the sinkhole later formed. The sinkhole formed in the area with the largest gradient in surface strain, but did not cover the full extent of the precursory deformation detected with radar. This work suggests that InSAR data collected operationally for hazard monitoring could, in some cases, identify sinkhole development before surface collapse, and decrease subsequent danger to people and property.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 42
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Bayou Corne, Louisiana, sinkhole; precursory deformation measured by radar interferometry
Affiliation: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States
Pages: 111-114
Published: 20131213
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 23
Accession Number: 2014-004469
Categories: Engineering geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N30°01'00" - N30°01'00", W91°09'00" - W91°09'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201404
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