Thursday, October 05, 2006

Exploratory drilling triggers unstoppable mudflow....

A team of geologists from the University of Oslo has stated that efforts to stop the mud flowing 200m from a 2km deep exploratory borehole in East Java are "unlikely to succeed". The mud started gushing from the hole on May 29th and is continuing at a rate of 50,000m3 per day. Two villages have already been flooded and another four will probably have to be destroyed. There are suggestions that the resulting environmental devastation could reach the catastrophic proportions of the Exxon Valdez sunken oil tanker disaster in 1989, Alaska. The geological team have suggested four possible fundamental causes for the mudflow; gas-rich fluid breaching coral mounds on top of the limestone rock; gas produced from a magmatic reaction; a new mud volcano; or migration of hydrothermal fluids from nearby.

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