A mud puddle doesn’t really sound all that threatening, but there’s one in California’s Imperial County that’s so troublesome, an emergency had to be declared earlier this year.
It’s called the Niland Geyser and it’s exactly that, a geyser of bubbling mud. But there’s a strange twist – this menacing puddle has been slowly creeping across the ground, to the point where it’s now threatening railroad tracks and a state highway.
The Niland Geyser first appeared in 1953, and sat around without incident for decades. Then, around 11 years ago, things shifted. The geyser started moving across dry ground at a glacial pace.
Now, things have gotten more serious – in the last six months, that pace has picked up considerably. In a few months, the Niland Geyser travelled 18.3 metres (60 feet).
Then, it travelled another 18 metres in a single day – bringing it worryingly close to Union Pacific’s railway tracks, State Route 111, a petroleum pipeline, and fibre optic telecommunications lines.
Overall, this bubbling puddle has moved roughly 73 metres (240 feet) from where it was a decade ago.
“It’s a slow-moving disaster,” Alfredo Estrada, Imperial County’s fire chief and emergency services coordinator, told the Los Angeles Times. Last month, the county announced it was proclaiming an emergency for the affect area.
There have been several attempts to stop the mud. The basin has been drained of water. Wells have been dug, to try and relieve pressure on the geyser. Loose stone was dumped in the mud spring.
As a somewhat desperate measure, the Union Pacific Railroad built a wall of steel and boulders 22.9 metres (75 feet) deep and 36.6 metres (120 feet) long between the mud spring and the railroad.
Nothing has stopped it, not even the wall. In October, the mud just seeped underneath it and kept sludging on towards the tracks.
The source of the mud, known as the mud spring or mud pot, is located at the southern end of the San Andreas Fault, the boundary between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates.
However, its important to note that the geyser’s presence and movement are not signs of seismic activity. A mud pot is associated with a tectonic boundary, but it’s actually a bit like a sinkhole (except full of, well, mud).
The Niland Geyser is a geothermic feature where water is forced upward through the soil. It’s not a very hot spring, with a temperature of only around 27 degrees Celsius (80 Fahrenheit); instead it’s bubbling with carbon dioxide gas that is also seeping up from deep under the ground, released by prior earthquake activity.
It also reportedly has a bit of a stench, smelling faintly of rotten eggs – not uncommon for underwater spring activity, due to the hydrogen sulfide in the water.
As it moves along through a soft sedimentary rock called mudstone, it leaves a soggy trail in its wake, weakening the integrity of the ground to a depth of about 9-12 metres (30-40 feet), making it boggy and unsuitable to support structures.
So there’s no need to worry that the long-awaited “Big One” earthquake is about to hit. The Niland Geyser is plenty enough to worry about without borrowing impending doom.
The Union Pacific Railroad has already built an alternate track for its trains to travel along, which they do at a slower pace than they used to. If the mud continues to creep onward, a more permanent solution, such as a bridge, may need to be implemented.
And if it creeps too close to the road, California Department of Transportation Ed Joyce told KYMA, “Caltrans will have to close state route 111 if that mudpot advances to a point where it impacts the state road. We obviously have to divert traffic.”
Loud Boom Shook Ground as Daytime Meteor Fireball Explodes over Cape Town, South Africa
A bright meteor exploded over Cape Town, South Africa around 18:05 UTC on January 16, 2019 (20:05 local time). Bright light produced by the object was followed by very loud sound and ground shaking.
People from all over the Cape, from Hermanus to Franschhoek, Cape Town and all the way to the Swartland, have been talking about the ‘massive flash of flight’ that appeared suddenly in the twilight sky, The Citizen reports.
According to witnesses, this bright object was followed by a loud bang that shook the ground and rattled houses and windows.
The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) confirmed that it had received hundreds of reports, The South African reports.
While no official statement has yet been issued by the organization, Riana Steenekamp, media spokesperson for Overstrand Municipality, says that she has been in contact with SANSA, and that they have indeed verified the event.
Initial analysis suggests parts of the object landed in the Helderberg vicinity.
I heard a loud bang, like a gas bottle exploding, but people saw it….. A flipping meteorite! pic.twitter.com/m4nHeRpLdb
— [email protected] (@dave_apter) January 16, 2019
Fireball Meteor Captured by Home Security Camera in Michigan
Last week, reports from states all over the Midwest started pouring in about a brilliantly bright meteor that streaked across the sky in the middle of the night.
Dan Kloosterman’s home security camera in Byron Center was facing in just the right direction to catch the glorious sight at 3:10 a.m. Friday. In Plainfield Township, Christine Ford’s security camera got the image from another angle.
The video verifies several reports filed with the Amercian Meteor Society of a fireball meteor that night.
According to the society, a meteor is considered a “fireball” if it is exceptionally bright, or as bright as the planet Venus, in the night sky. The video submitted to 24 Hour News 8 is exceptionally bright.
As with most fireball meteors when the sky is at least partially clear, reports have come in from several states.
If you happen to see a fireball meteor through our mostly cloudy West Michigan skies, be sure to report it here and send any photos or video you get to ReportIt@woodtv.com
10 of Most Influential Ancient Women in History
Women influenced the course of world history no less than men did. They intrigued, seized power, and changed the map of the world.
In this article, there are the most famous women who influenced the world through their activities. But before reading about ancient women, you can get some info that will break any Ukrainian woman stereotype.
Cleopatra seduced the famous dictator Julius Caesar and gained the throne of the Egyptian queen. Also, she seduced Mark Antony and helped her son become the heir to the throne, and most importantly, contributed to the development of the history of Egypt.
2. Livia Drusilla
Her influence leaves no doubt. Livia was originally the wife of Tiberius Claudius Nero, a Roman diplomat. From him, she bore two sons. Over time, Libya brought one of her sons to power. According to rumors, clearing the way for her children, Livia contributed to the death of all relatives of her second husband, Octavian.
As you know, ladies-scientists were something unusual for a long time because women were not allowed to study. However, it all began in ancient Greece. Few people today know the name of Hypatia, a woman-mathematician. It is interesting that we still use her inventions in everyday life.
4.Vannozza dei Cattanei
This woman became famous for her romantic relationship with Pope Alexander VI Borgia. The result of their love was four children, and Vanozza became one of the most influential women of her time. By the way, Pope officially recognized his children.
She was the second wife of King Palmyra Odenat II. However, soon Odenat dies at the hands of an assassin (there is a version that his loved wife killed him). Anyway, Zenobia became the ruler of Palmyra with her son. The famous philosopher Longinus educated him. Her troops quickly conquered Egypt, Syria and the eastern part of Asia Minor.
When Mania’s husband Zenid died, the aggressor was awake inside her. She hired Greeks and seized several cities in the district, personally taking part in battles, giving orders, and sharing loot – in general, everything that the commander-strategist did in antiquity. Nobody managed to defeat her, but one man seduced her daughter, got into trust, and then killed Mania.
Lucretia was a wife of the commander Tarquinius Collatin, lived in the 6th century BC. She was beautiful and generous. Once, the son of the Roman king Tarquinius Proud seduced Lucretia, threatening to kill her. She didn’t hide anything from her husband, but the burden of shame was great, so she committed suicide. This case was a turning point in the history of Rome.
8. Elena Augusta
Helena Augusta spread Christianity throughout the Roman Empire which became important in history. Under her leadership, the Life-Giving Cross and other important relics were found in Jerusalem. Thanks to this woman, a large number of Christian churches were built, some of which survived to the present day.
This Greek woman was the first gynecologist in the history of medicine. Agnodice, being dressed as a man, secretly attended medical classes. In the end, the fraud was revealed, and Agnodice received the right to practice medicine officially, thanks to which she opened this path to all subsequent women-doctors.
This is the woman who allegedly sat on the Pope’s throne. There is neither the evidence that she is a mythical person nor the facts of her existence. Until the 15th century, there were no denials of her existence, but later, the identity of Papissa began to be questioned.
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