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At some point the drilled hole in the earth will enlarge itself beneath the wellhead to weaken the area the wellhead rests upon. The intense pressure will then push the wellhead off the hole allowing a direct unrestricted flow of oil, etc.
The hole will continue to increase in size allowing more and more oil to rise into the Gulf. After several billion barrels of oil have been released, the pressure within the massive cavity five miles beneath the ocean floor will begin to normalize.
This will allow the water, under the intense pressure at 1 mile deep, to be forced into the hole and the cavity where the oil was. The temperature at that depth is near 400 degrees, possibly more.
The water will be vaporized and turned into steam, creating an enormous amount of force, lifting the Gulf floor. It is difficult to know how much water will go down to the core and therefore, its not possible to fully calculate the rise of the floor.
The tsunami wave this will create will be anywhere from 20 to 80 feet high, possibly more. Then the floor will fall into the now vacant chamber. This is how nature will seal the hole.
Depending on the height of the tsunami, the ocean debris, oil, and existing structures that will be washed away on shore and inland, will leave the area from 50 to 200 miles inland devoid of life. Even if the debris is cleaned up, the contaminants that will be in the ground and water supply will prohibit re-population of these areas for an unknown number of years.
Originally posted by alaskan
There are reports of the pressure at the mouth of the bop being anywhere from 7,000 to 70,000psi.
Just to get an idea of what plain fluids at those kind of pressures can do to even the hardest materials, go to youtube and look up "water cutters"
Originally posted by winston_jones
I'm not a scientist so what follows may be nonsense. For what it's worth however I think there is an error in this analysis.
Let's assume that the first part is feasible and "[t]he intense pressure will then push the wellhead off the hole allowing a direct unrestricted flow of oil".
My problem is with the next stage, which suggests that: "[t]his will allow the water, under the intense pressure at 1 mile deep, to be forced into the hole and the cavity where the oil was".
As I see it, the oil would stop flowing when the pressure forcing the oil up became equal to the downward pressure of the water above it. At this point the hole would become sealed by the oil that would have escaped had the opposing pressures not equalised at that moment. If the hole were sealed in this way then water would not be able to flood the cavity beneath and hence no lifting of the ocean floor and no tsunami.
Just a thought.