This is a response to the thread "The MOHO; Has BP drilled into it?"
I cover a lot of geographical ground (no pun intended) and I think this might be what ties in what a lot of people are worried about with the BP
disaster. This is important so check it out!
reply to post by westcoast
You really pulled up a lot of research!
I think you may have connected the dots to something larger than anticipated.
I have taken geology courses in college and the athenosphere is semi solid due to the vast amount of pressure exerted upon it. The Moho would be under
similar pressures, and if you release that pressure, the semi fluid structure turns to liquid and would flow out the hole.
Now it is believed that would produce mafic (magnesium/iron rich) magma, not mafic hydrocarbons. HOWEVER, any fluid under enough pressure despite
temperature will take on solid properties. More pressure, less molecular movement, the more solid it becomes.
If someone or a company pops the cork so to speak, then all that semi solid mass will liquify and flow to the point of least resistance. I.e. the well
head, and any fracture points along the way. Not to mention this stuff is supposed to be a super heated, mineral rich fluid so you now have heat and
friction acting constantly on the well shaft which should erode it considerably under these uncontrolled circumstances.
Regardless of fractures, if enough pressure is exerted on a weakened shaft, the doomsday fears of a blowout may occur regardless of maintaining the
8000 psi desired.
Now, if it is already leaking, which some believe (I can't confirm that, but I did see a rock or two with what looked like seepage), this possible
Moho fluid (toxic oil) could be filling pockets of strata and in turn could be eroding the underlying structure of the seabed.
Oceanic crust is more dense, cold, heavier, and brittle than continental crust, and if you start messing with its underlying structure, it could
exacerbate cracking and the now fluid Moho/oil could eventually force its way to the surface causing structural collapse of the sea bed releasing
further pressure and allowing leaks to spread quite some distance from the original drill site and releasing more pressure, liquifying even more Moho
Then it goes right into the Gulf and we have a situation that can't be corrected. As to speculation of a tidal wave from a large piece of oceanic
crust dropping? I can't be certain, but despite the doomsday scenarios we really could be facing massive changes in sea floor structure depending on
how bad this situation really is.
[edit on 16-7-2010 by GideonHM]