In a wooded patch on Texas Brine’s leased site south off La. 70 was a 200-foot-by-200-foot sinkhole.
Initially called a “slurry hole,” the sinkhole had emerged sometime overnight after months of stirrings deep underground, pulling mature cypress trees straight down under a surface of floating mats of grass, mud and crude oil.
Since that day, one year ago Saturday, the 24-acre sinkhole has grown by a factor of more than 20 and taken on a volcano-like quality. The sinkhole has dormant periods and active periods, when tremors increase and methane and an emulsified oily gunk are released from deep natural deposits.