Thoughts about the Mexican dike.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by rufus, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    Recently, I was looking at articles on line relative to the Salton Sea. In the 1940's and 1950's, it was considered to be an up and coming tourist destination. Unfortunately, the salinity was so increased by irrigation run off that it is now twenty five per cent saltier than the ocean. It is pretty much a dead sea now. Most fish have died with exception of an African Tilapia species.

    Looking at elevations, I realized that it is only a slight rise in elevation that separates the Imperial Valley and then the Coachella Valley from the ocean. This is the higher land around Calexico and Mexicali. They are just about three feet above sea level.

    Also, unfortunately this is exactly the location of the San Andreas fault system. If that fault moved enough to fracture the dike, sea water would flood in from the Sea of Cortez and flood the lower lands. While we might be able to staunch the flow on the surface, that fault goes deep into the earth, and water seeks its own level. Steam however, goes where ever it can. We could see steam geysers sprouting up all along the fault.

    The Imperial Valley and parts of the Coachella Valley would become one large, endorheic inland sea. This is the area where a good deal of our vegetables are grown.

    It would resemble the Aral Sea as it was before it was dried up by the Soviets. It would be saltier though.

    Looking at elevations, we can see just about where it would be.

    Mexicali/Calexico +3
    El Centro -39
    Holtville -10
    Imperial -59
    Breawley -112
    Calipatria -180
    Salton Sea -226
    Oasis -141
    Mecca -180
    Thermal -138
    Coachella -66
    La Quinta -56
    Indio -13
    Palm Desert +220
    Bermuda Dunes +95

    Let's hope and pray we don't see the big one. Am I silly for wondering about this? Did anyone know that an earthquake in Indonesia would cause such a tsunami? Who would thought that a quake off the Japanese coast would cause such a disaster?

    This is something to think about when buying real estate or making large investments.
     
  2. hemet dennis

    hemet dennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    The Salton Sea is a accidental sea/lake.
     
  3. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, it was created by accident in the early years of the last century. It is a dream gone bad. Things could get worse, but let's hope and pray they don't. A big inland sea in southern California may change our weather here in Arizona. I am not sure if that would be a good thing or not. Until then, don't buy real estate in Brawley.
     
  4. hemet dennis

    hemet dennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you ever been to Brawley area ? It's all farm land, with water the Salton Sea. Have you looked at it on Google earth ?
     
  5. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes Dennis, I have been there. And I was looking on Google Earth when I realized there could someday be a problem. The Imperial Valley and the Coachella Valley provide the best part of our vegetable produce.

    It all depends upon what happens with the fault. If it did happen, Interstate 8 and Interstate 10 would not be passable.

    It is sad what has happened with the Salton Sea, but I guess it is for the best if it keeps the Imperial Valley producing. The lake area is pretty run down now.
     
  6. hemet dennis

    hemet dennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    The 10 is north of the sea and the 8 is south of the sea, so are you saying the Salton sea could flood both ? The only way for the Salton sea to flood anything is if the ground under it rose up.

    I did some work building the prison down there.
     
  7. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    Dennis it isn't the Salton Sea I am concerned about, but that if the Mexican dike is fractured either above ground or below ground, water will pour into the low area. It is the Sea of Cortez that would be the source of the flood water. The Salton Sea would then be about 226 foot under the new inland sea. Brawley would be 112 foot under the water. Think about it, a huge expanse of the Imperial and Coachella Valleys would be under water.

    Worse, the sea water could travel the fissure of the San Andreas fault and produce flooding and steam. This could lubricate the fault, and then we would see even more earthquakes.

    Where I 10 passes Indio, it would be about thirteen foot under water. Where I 8 passes El Centro, it would be under 39 foot of water. So it would seem that from about Indio south south east to the Sea of Cortez would be subject to inundation. That would be worse than the New Orleans fiasco. That could be remedied, but I don't think the Imperial Valley could be saved.
     
  8. hemet dennis

    hemet dennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I think a bigger worry would be an earthquake in the midland U.S. I forget the name of that fault. But because people there don't build to earthquake standards, it would be much more devastating. Or a planet killing asteroid hitting us. They had a 7.something earthquake there just a couple years ago with hardly any damage, we still get aftershocks that we feel at my house.
     
  9. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    Are you thinking of the New Madrid fault? It runs through Missouri. I have a brother that lives in Rolla, Missouri. I guess he could some day find himself in a shake.

    I am concerned about the Mexican dike because the Sea of Cortez has one of the largest tidal fluctuations in the world. During the 1878 earthquake that shook Arizona and Sonora it was low tide. If it happened at high tide there would have been some real problems. A tsunami could run straight up the Sea of Cortez and wash out the Calexico/Mexicali dike.

    My father told me that in the 1878 quake a steam ship was washed up the Rio Asuncion and was left stranded ten miles from water. The Indians peeled the metal from it to make comals to cook tortillas on. They refer to it as el barco encallado. I keep looking on Google Earth hoping to see some remains of it. So far no luck.
     
  10. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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