Wandering mud puddle in the Salton Sea area of California

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Astronuc
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A rather unique phenomenon is occurring in or near the Salton Sea region of California near Niland, California. It started in a farmer's field, but the puddle has migrated.

There are emissions of CO2 and steam, and it appears some geothermal activity, which apparently is not unique. The puddle periodically spurts like a geyser, and it has been given the name, the Niland geyser. I'm guessing that the Salton Sea is somehow feeding the puddle through underground channels. The narrator in the video mentions that there were earthquakes in the area, so perhaps fractures created channels to the Salton Sea.




https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-niland-mud-pot-20181101-story.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niland_Geyser
 
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  • #2
256bits
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I would think it is moving along some fissure, closing off previous parts with heavy mud/sand and moving to the next easier access along the way. Not sure why they say it has to attempt to orient itself vertical.
They should check for some slow land elevation depression, as with all that mud any geological movement would slide along like its greased.
I found it funny that the railroad people thought a 75 foot deep barrier would stop it dead in its tracks.

Is the lake at a higher elevation than the mud puddle?
 
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Astronuc
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According to this, Salton Sea is -71m . Surrounding area seems to be about 61m to 121m.

https://en-gb.topographic-map.com/maps/s2sz/Salton-Sea/
Niland, CA, is at an elevation of −141 ft (−43 m) from sea level. The mud puddle is below that elevation, and the depth of the puddle is unknown, but in one video, the surface of the liquid seems to be about 5 m below the railroad elevation. The depth may depend on water flow, hydraulic pressure and how much earth falls into the pit.

I'm guessing the puddle will move to the Salton Sea. Based on the CO2 and H2S, I'm guessing it comes from decaying organic matter that was covered in alluvial deposits from past floods.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niland,_California
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salton_Sea

Not sure why they say it has to attempt to orient itself vertical.
I believe the prevailing expectation is for the gases (CO2) and liquid (water) would rise vertically to the surface (up the gravitational well), while the ground would collapse into the hole.

The Colorado River is about 60 miles to the east, and there is a ridge about 10 miles east of Niland with an elevation of just over 2000 ft (610 m).
 
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davenn
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Science girl , horray!

"Physics Girl"
She has done a bunch of fun/interesting videos

A rather unique phenomenon is occurring in or near the Salton Sea region of California near Niland, California. It started in a farmer's field, but the puddle has migrated.

Ahhh yes, caught up with that around a month ago whilst surfing youtube

They commented about earthquake swarms in the area and there has been another of those over the last 2 weeks
 
  • #6
256bits
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I'm guessing that the Salton Sea is somehow feeding the puddle through underground channels.
And the water of the Sea could be feeding the earthquakes.
 

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