Impending sinkhole in Carlsbad, NM

AP story here.

It’s kinda big too:

Looks like the whole thing was caused by <drum roll!> salt mining.

Officials are looking for $40M to try and fix the problem by backfilling the cavern before it collapses, thinking it would be smarter to do that than to wait until it collapses and causes untold billions in damages and troubles, but aren’t sure they’ll get the money in time.

As soon as I saw the article I was reminded of the imminent Yakima landslide that Xema posted about earlier this month.

Do we have any Dopers in Carlsbad?

Dude, this sounds like it’s right up your alley. Get on it!

I should just close the thread now.

Can’t they just throw stuff in there?

They should just make the sinkhole into a quarry.

I drove past that place on my way to/from Carlsbad Caverns back in May. I saw the “US 285 South Subject To Sinkhole” sign, but I didn’t realize what it meant. If I had know I would’ve attempted to get some photos somehow.

Posts 1,2, and three were perfect. The thread* should* have been closed, and stickied.

I hate it when a writer does this. Does that mean goal line to goal line or does it end zones? American or Canadian football fields (since the depth was given in feet and meters, it’s hard to tell)? The length could be can be anywhere from 100 yards to 150 yards per field, depending on the answers.

And that’s completely putting aside the question of whether they are referencing American or European football, though one would think the writer would have used the term “pitch” if European football was meant.

Not that I overthink these things.

American issue, American article, American measurements.

If it were British, it would be in spans or rods. Maybe chains.

Yes, it’s lazy to use football fields as a measure, but it’s easier for the reader to visualize 2 football fields than 230 yards. Besides, the estimator doesn’t have a clue just how big the space is, so it doesn’t matter if he means the end zones, too. I don’t think the timing will matter, either. In a hole that big, you could run dump trucks full of fill dirt and stone into it 24/7 for years without filling it up.

I think I remember Carlsbad Caverns are home to millions of bats. My head spins to think of the environmental statement hearings.

So is that roughly one block long, half a block wide?

“The area affected by the potential sinkhole encompasses about 3.27 acres near 3005 S. Canal St. The well itself is about 300 feet wide and 700 feet long. The depth of the cavern is estimated about 600 feet below the surface.”

That from an article dated April 22nd of last year.

“Aside from the gas station, a feed store, church and multiple trailer and RV parks sit in the area that could be destroyed by the collapse.”

Remember, more of the surface would be destroyed than just the size of the cave.

So, how would you fix it? Fill it with concrete?

Peter: I can barely get any reception on this stupid thing. So far the only station that comes in is some British guys reading news from places I’m not sure exist.
British Guy: [on the ham radio] Today, in Tajikistan, a peaceful demonstration turned to bloodshed as members of the Turzirly tribe flooded Kenpao Square in remembrance of the third anniversary of the Hormsburg Massacre. But finally, some good news out of neighboring Kanduzi, as locals there have reached an uneasy alliance with the bordering Trolika Bubsie Wubsie Dal. And now with sports, here’s Framptal Tromwibbler.

Framptal Tromwibbler: From the world of sport, the Cointen Spinky Whompers flumped the Floing Boing Welfencloppers, 70-fluff to 40-flabe. At the tone, the time will be 26 railroad. [tone beeps]

Peter: I’m not sure about any of that.

I’ve only been there once so I might be a little fuzzy on the details. This seems to be close to the town of Carlsbad. The National Park is 20 miles into the desert.
Unless I’m mistaken it won’t be affected.

The caverns definitely won’t be affected since they are not only miles away but are also on higher ground.

The sinkhole site OTOH according to the article is close to an irrigation/city water source canal which could be affected. Plus, from looking at a map, it’s not that far from the Pecos river but is probably far enough that considering the aridity of the region it will probably be unaffected.

But the article used meters for the depth. Ain’t nothin’ 'merkin about no meter. :smiley:

See, this is what I mean - I can’t think of any combination of 2 football fields that would equal 230 yards. Two American fields, without end zones = 200 yards; with end zones = 240 yards. Canadian would be 220 and 250 respectively. I’m so confused.

On the other hand it makes the seeming US-specificity more tolerable since it’s just generally in the range of an American football field, and also just generally in the range of a Canadian football field and a European football pitch :slight_smile:

(For me personally it’s not a good measure because I only see them on TV where everything looks bigger. Just yesterday I, for some reason*, wanted to estimate how far away a sign was on a road and I got within 20% just eyeballing it. If I had to measure in football fields I would have been off by more. I suspect Europeans might understand the analogy even more because I suspect that a greater percentage of them regularly use or at least see a football pitch in person than the percentage of Americans that use an American football field.)

  • I was “remembering” that during the Shuttle nighttime launches, one could fuzzily see the details of the shuttle even though it was around 25 miles away. I was wondering if this was just a false memory so I saw a sign in front of me which I could almost read and which was around 1000 feet away and 1 foot wide, which roughly corresponds to the geometry of a 100+ foot tall shuttle 25 miles away. So it seems weird that one can do that, but that’s probably because very few things are visible at all 25 miles away.

Why bother with concrete when plain old dirt would do?

Unfortunately, that would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 million trucks of dirt, depending on the height of the cave, which they don’t give.

So is there anything that can be done other than evacuations and rerouting of highways?