Thursday, November 12, 2009

Touring The 2nd Wink Sink And Predicting The Next

On a pleasant Fall evening, prior to sunset I headed out to view the second Wink Sink hole. I'd not seen this hole up close and felt a bit of anticipation as the fence emerged in front of me. My tour guide explained that they've had to rebuild the enclosure several times due to the hole expanding and swallowing up previous fences. As he opened the gate, and we made our way into the area a chill began to filter into the air. I don't know if it were truly the air around me or perhaps the sensation of a chill as I walked to the edge of the sink hole.

There's been hem hawing about whether or not drilling causes sinks to develop. As I looked into the sink, my tour guide pointed out 3 injection wells that had to be capped. He said that some people think that when the water was injected, it eroded the salt dome in our area and that's what caused the sinking to begin.

All around the sink there are plenty of large fractures ranging from one to three feet in width and extending down past my ability to see. It was rather frightening at times to have to cross over one of those things. The one in the photograph is roughly 30 yards west of the sink hole. As you walked around, the ground was soft beneath your feet, completely uncharacteristic of West Texas soil.

A geologist from UTPB of Odessa has been doing studies and testing regarding the formation of the sink. He hasn't been able to do a lot of research stating there's not much money available to do so. He is taking water samples of local wells to determine any changes in the underground aquifer, I've offered mine up for testing.

We left the sink hole and then traveled along the county road, stopping at a mini power station. The power station had been relocated when the sink developed, but now concerns are being raised about the possibility of it needing to be relocated once again due to the ever spreading of the fractures and sink. This fracture shows up right next to the mini power station.

I followed the road out to the last known fracture and that distance was roughly eight tenths of a mile away from the sink hole. A little further to the west of where this picture was taken is where the third sink is predicted to develop. It was getting dark and my tour guide didn't feel it would be safe to continue, because "You never know what you might be walking on top of."


Durango said...

Yikes! How long til you see fractures in your yard?

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

My house sits about 4 miles from the 2nd wink idea, maybe in another 10 years or so? Ya know, right when I get it paid off :P

TXsharon said...

Soon, insurance companies will refuse to insure homes near oil & gas development. Already, special approvals are required to loan on homes where a mineral lease is in existence.