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Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
Powhatan
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User ID: 16703
02-10-2011 03:33 AM

Posts: 2,676



Post: #1
Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
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WTOP newsradio in D.C. is reporting tonight that residents in a Stafford Co. neighborhood reported a strong odor of natural gas to the Fire Dep't. When authorities investigated they found quote "explosive levels of methane in the soil". The samples showed none of the additives found in commercially sold natural gas. They ruled out any kind of pipeline leak. As of tonight, they have no clue where the methane is coming from. Several homes had to be evacuated. Officials said the next step is to research old county records to see if they can identify a possible source.

My question to our resident geology buffs is, do methane seeps occur naturally like oil does in some places, and could more of these pop up locally? Also, could this indicate that some geological activity is occuring under that part of Virginia?
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Homesick
Snotts' not-so-secret lover.
User ID: 14508
02-10-2011 03:35 AM

Posts: 3,785



Post: #2
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
Powhatan  Wrote: (02-10-2011 03:33 AM)
WTOP newsradio in D.C. is reporting tonight that residents in a Stafford Co. neighborhood reported a strong odor of natural gas to the Fire Dep't. When authorities investigated they found quote "explosive levels of methane in the soil". The samples showed none of the additives found in commercially sold natural gas. They ruled out any kind of pipeline leak. As of tonight, they have no clue where the methane is coming from. Several homes had to be evacuated. Officials said the next step is to research old county records to see if they can identify a possible source.

My question to our resident geology buffs is, do methane seeps occur naturally like oil does in some places, and could more of these pop up locally? Also, could this indicate that some geological activity is occuring under that part of Virginia?

That's odd. Definitely not good if they can't find a source that is of human error.
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~simplyme
lop guest
User ID: 16272
02-10-2011 03:47 AM

 



Post: #3
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
Hmmmm, maybe an earthquake connection?

Methane Hydrates is often referred to as “The Ice that Burns.” Energy researchers have determined that this form of stored energy is 200 time more abundant than coal, oil, and liquid gas combined. The problem is that methane hydrate is also the ticking natural time bomb that when left alone and intact, has caused massive life extinctions throughout earth’s history. The most recent was the Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum which methane was a secondary but determing culprit in the mass extinction event and before that was the Permian extinction. Both of these events were triggered by massive amounts of methane which in turn created a natural global warming cycle that lasted tens of thousands of years.
http://thejacoblog.com/costa-rican-earth...e-bubbles/
------------

A Northwestern University chemical engineer believes the culprit may be an enormous explosion of methane (natural gas) erupting from the ocean depths. This explanation is closer to the inverse of an external impact, like an asteroid, and more like a disgorging of trapped energy that erupts from deep below the oceans. Such a global catastrophe has a more local precedent, as a similar eruption happened in Africa at Lake Nyos in 1986, killing 1700 people and rippling as far away as 25 kilometers.
http://www.astrobio.net/pressrelease/582...reat-dying

-------
http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/GO/dorritie/m...rophe.html
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SaltWaterTaffy
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User ID: 14515
02-10-2011 03:48 AM

 



Post: #4
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
Powhatan  Wrote: (02-10-2011 03:33 AM)
WTOP newsradio in D.C. is reporting tonight that residents in a Stafford Co. neighborhood reported a strong odor of natural gas to the Fire Dep't. When authorities investigated they found quote "explosive levels of methane in the soil". The samples showed none of the additives found in commercially sold natural gas. They ruled out any kind of pipeline leak. As of tonight, they have no clue where the methane is coming from. Several homes had to be evacuated. Officials said the next step is to research old county records to see if they can identify a possible source.

My question to our resident geology buffs is, do methane seeps occur naturally like oil does in some places, and could more of these pop up locally? Also, could this indicate that some geological activity is occuring under that part of Virginia?

I have to mapquest that place, but it's not uncommon for natural gas to seep out of the ground in places in West Virginia. There were days when I lived there that I could definitely smell it.
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Powhatan
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User ID: 16703
02-10-2011 03:53 AM

Posts: 2,676



Post: #5
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
I've lived here for over 30 yrs and never heard of this happening around here. Stafford Co. stradles the piedmont and coastal plain geologic zones. Could methane hydrates be trapped under the sediments?
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Powhatan
Registered User
User ID: 16703
02-10-2011 03:59 AM

Posts: 2,676



Post: #6
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
SaltWaterTaffy  Wrote: (02-10-2011 03:48 AM)
Powhatan  Wrote: (02-10-2011 03:33 AM)
WTOP newsradio in D.C. is reporting tonight that residents in a Stafford Co. neighborhood reported a strong odor of natural gas to the Fire Dep't. When authorities investigated they found quote "explosive levels of methane in the soil". The samples showed none of the additives found in commercially sold natural gas. They ruled out any kind of pipeline leak. As of tonight, they have no clue where the methane is coming from. Several homes had to be evacuated. Officials said the next step is to research old county records to see if they can identify a possible source.

My question to our resident geology buffs is, do methane seeps occur naturally like oil does in some places, and could more of these pop up locally? Also, could this indicate that some geological activity is occuring under that part of Virginia?

I have to mapquest that place, but it's not uncommon for natural gas to seep out of the ground in places in West Virginia. There were days when I lived there that I could definitely smell it.

It's roughly 20 mi. south of DC
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JustNsane
I'm NOT crazy...
User ID: 14674
02-10-2011 04:03 AM

Posts: 29



Post: #7
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
Powhatan  Wrote: (02-10-2011 03:33 AM)
WTOP newsradio in D.C. is reporting tonight that residents in a Stafford Co. neighborhood reported a strong odor of natural gas to the Fire Dep't. When authorities investigated they found quote "explosive levels of methane in the soil". The samples showed none of the additives found in commercially sold natural gas. They ruled out any kind of pipeline leak. As of tonight, they have no clue where the methane is coming from. Several homes had to be evacuated. Officials said the next step is to research old county records to see if they can identify a possible source.

My question to our resident geology buffs is, do methane seeps occur naturally like oil does in some places, and could more of these pop up locally? Also, could this indicate that some geological activity is occuring under that part of Virginia?

Do you have a link, or know what part of Stafford? I live in the county below and my parents live in Stafford.
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treefi
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User ID: 14364
02-10-2011 04:04 AM

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Post: #8
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
Bump
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Powhatan
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User ID: 16703
02-10-2011 04:08 AM

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Post: #9
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
They said it was in the northern part of the county. I was driving when I heard it. I can't remember the road they mentioned but they definitely gave a street name. Not smelling anything in Spotsy yet?
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Sweetp
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02-10-2011 04:36 AM

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Post: #10
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
Bump
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LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 15204
02-10-2011 04:47 AM

 



Post: #11
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
http://www.simplyfredericksburg.com/staf...ford.shtml

Might find some more info there. I'm in northern va so I'll look around, too. Damn. Doesn't sound good at all. I know a lot of people commute to DC from that area- that site says it's 45 minutes from DC but it's also an hour north of Richmond. On the I-95 corridor.
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LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 15204
02-10-2011 04:52 AM

 



Post: #12
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
Va homes evacuated for puzzling methane
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/crime-s...zzlin.html



And a community notice (notice they made people leave their homes because without electricity they are "inhabitable"- like we never get snow/ice storms and don't lose power for days or weeks, lol):

http://www.co.stafford.va.us/News/2011/F...tice.shtml

Quote: Woodstream Community Notice

February 9


Woodstream Community Notice

February 9, 2011

This notice is to inform you of an ongoing investigation into reports of an odor of gas emanating near the foundations of seven homes that are located on Short Branch Lane. Five families were displaced yesterday (February 8, 2011) as a result of this investigation. Columbia Gas and Fire and Rescue officials are investigating the area to locate the source of the odor. So far, they have determined that there are high levels of methane in the soil near the foundations of seven homes on Short Branch Lane. All tests conducted so far have indicated that there are no levels of methane or other gases inside the homes. As a precaution, power to all seven homes was shut off yesterday as the investigation continued and the residents were placed in a hotel by the Red Cross until power can be restored and their homes deemed safe.

The investigation is ongoing. Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management are at the scene assisting Fire and Rescue in monitoring and testing.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is there any danger to my home?

There is no danger to your home or the residents of your home. The only potential danger was to the homes that were evacuated because of the levels of methane that were detected outside near the foundations of the homes. There were no levels of methane or other gases detected inside the homes. As a precaution, power was turned off in all the homes. Because there was no electricity in the homes, they were deemed temporarily uninhabitable and the residents had to be housed elsewhere.

What should I do if I smell methane or other unusual odors in or near my home?

Call 9-1-1 immediately.

How long will the investigation continue?

The investigation will continue until the source of the methane is detected and mitigated.

How will I be informed of any developments?

We will continue to keep you informed of any developments through your HOA. Please check your e-mails for updates. Information may also be posted on Facebook at "Stafford County Government," Twitter at "staffordvagov" or the Stafford County Web site at http://www.staffordcountyva.gov. Also, you may call Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Mark Doyle at (540) 379-7831.
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LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 15204
02-10-2011 04:54 AM

 



Post: #13
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
This is INCREDIBLY strange. I think I'd have to leave that area. They have no idea why it's there and have found no reason for it to be there. They have called in state and federal help. They are totally confused and that's not good.

Hiding
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Powhatan
Registered User
User ID: 16703
02-10-2011 05:00 AM

Posts: 2,676



Post: #14
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
I haven't checked WTOP's website, there should be some way to get the story from that. I'm gonna put the 10:00 news on in the background to see if they report it. If they can't find a manmade source this is scary.
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Fork
lop guest
User ID: 16309
02-10-2011 05:06 AM

 



Post: #15
RE: Stafford VA. "Explosive levels of Methane. Cause Unknown
WOW. Thanks for the information. I think there's an earthquake connection as well.
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