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#45986 - 25 Feb 07 00:52 Muddy Balls in Hole
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Okay, the East Jawa mud volcano is still spewing out 1 million barrels of toxic, hot mud each day and they're going to try to stop it with concrete balls. Reminds me of the scene in Forrest Gump when the drill sergeant yells at Forrest, "GODAMMIT GUMP, YOU'RE A FRIGGIN' GENIUS!!"

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Scientists in Indonesia are to start dropping huge concrete balls chained together into the mouth of a mud volcano today in a desperate attempt to staunch a relentless flow that has wiped out villages, factories and vast tracts of farmland.

The operation to lower 2,000 of the balls, chained together in groups, into the mouth of the rupture has been postponed several times. But the gantry is now in place to allow the operation to begin.

However, British experts who have closely monitored the mud volcano, known locally as Lusi, are skeptical that the effort will halt the outpouring of noxious gas, mud and boiling water that has been spewing at a rate of a million barrels every day for nine months.

They fear that the pressurized underground reservoir responsible for the sludge that has inundated four villages and 25 factories near Indonesia's second city, Surabaya, will find other fissures to the surface in possibly more dangerous or difficult areas.

Professor Richard Davies, a mud volcano expert at Durham University who is visiting the site, has said that the eruption was almost certainly triggered by exploratory drilling for gas, rather than an earthquake several days earlier.

The findings directly contradicted the assertion of Indonesia's welfare minister, Aburizal BakRie, who said it was "natural disaster". His family controls PT Lapindo Brantas, the drilling company at the center of the environmental scandal that has left 11,000 people homeless.

The operation to lower the concrete balls, each weighing up to 400kg (63st), into the rupture will start slowly at first. The hope is to drop the ball and chain set to a depth of 100 meters (330ft) with the aim of slowing the flow by up to 70%.

Lapindo Brantas initially tried to staunch the flow by pumping mud and concrete into the mouth of the volcano. Eventually the pressure of the mud burst from fissures around the plug.

The Indonesian government has ordered Lapindo Brantas to pay about US$350 million in damages, including more than $200m to the victims of the disaster.

The hope is that the chained balls will move together and be more likely to lodge in a place where the friction will reduce the mudflow that has already covered an area of four square miles to a depth of 10 meters.

But Richard Swarbrick, of Durham-based consultancy GeoPressure Technology, does not believe the strategy will solve the problem of the mudflow that could eventually cause the earth's crust to buckle under the weight.

"I have no doubt that if the balls remain at a reasonable level they will slow the flow," he said. "The risk is that if you check the event you will force the water and mud to come out somewhere else."

http://www.guardian.co.uk
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Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#45989 - 25 Feb 07 01:11 Re: Muddy Balls in Hole [Re: riccardo]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Gone Fishin'


Sunset


Aerial photo after the first month. As of today, everything in this picture is totally inundated.

_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#45992 - 25 Feb 07 01:21 Re: Muddy Balls in Hole [Re: riccardo]
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
For monthly aerial photos and the progress of the mud, go to this Singapore Univ. site:

http://www.crisp.nus.edu.sg/coverages/mudflow/index.html
_________________________
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

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#46034 - 26 Feb 07 00:41 Re: Muddy Balls in Hole [Re: riccardo]
Roy's Hair Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 08 Nov 06
Posts: 3974
Loc: jakarta
This balls idea is all vaguely comical of course. Couldn't it stop the flow for a bit until the pressure gets too much then all the balls shoot fifty feet into the air ?

They could castrate Bakrie and put his balls down there. The arrogant things he says - he clearly must have balls the size of Space Hoppers.
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Chinese like more traditional patterns on their ring.

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#46696 - 04 Mar 07 04:11 Re: Muddy Balls in Hole [Re: Roy's Hair]
doremi Offline
Member+++

Registered: 17 Jan 07
Posts: 488
Loc: slouch couch
I've read the article in the Wall Street Journal Feb 28, 2007 about this mud flow. Puzzling to me as well, how balls lowered into the mouth of volcano could stop the flow?

Reminds me of putting ice cubes into a cup of water, splash, splash...water stain my shirt. Damn, should known better.

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