“Undersea mudslide” danger if BP implodes oil gusher

Explosives to kill the well? Scientists discover “other causes of tsunamis, besides the traditional tectonic earthquake”

What if BP’s relief wells don’t plug the leak?, Reuters, July 9, 2010:

[Donald Van Nieuwenhuise, director of petroleum geoscience programs at the University of Houston] said BP also could possibly detonate a bomb — conventional or nuclear — in the well to try to stop the flow. But a blast could damage seabed oil and gas pipelines or cause an undersea mudslide…

Undersea Landslide to Blame for Deadly Wave; Scientists: Conditions for Tsunami May Exist in U.S., ABC News, July 18, 2000:

Discoveries are drawing our attention to other causes of tsunamis, besides the traditional tectonic earthquake [Eddie Bernard, director of the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory] said. …

Offshore areas most prone to landslides are those where eons of runoff sediments from rivers have created terraces built of loose materials, he said.

When it breaks loose, the material drops with the speed of a snow avalanche, displacing the water below and leaving a void the water fills with a bump that spawns the localized tsunami, Bernard said. …

Tsunamis move at 500 to 600 mph in deep ocean waters but slow and get taller as they reach shallow offshore waters.

The Gulf of Mexico is rarely affected by earthquakes. Any slight movement is likely to displace loose sediments that have not moved in a very long of time.

BP’s blown-out well sits in the path of the Mississippi River Delta, around 50 miles offshore. Louisiana State University geologists estimate between “2.79 trillion and 3.45 trillion tons of sediment have been stored in the delta since the end of the last glacial maximum.”

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