The results are in from the latest battery of high-tech tests, but scientists still cannot rule out the possibility that a cavern formed by a brine well operation near a busy Carlsbad intersection might one day collapse.
What they do know is that the ground beneath the area is a messy conglomeration of cavities, fractured rock and brine-soaked earth. A report released recently by the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division spells out the findings from a series of electric resistivity tests that were done this spring.
“The data is confirming our original concerns,” said Jim Griswold, a hydrologist with the state agency.
While no one can say whether the site will ever collapse, state and local officials have been trying to find out exactly what they’re dealing with so they can determine how to protect a nearby roadway, a neighboring church, a feed store, a mobile home park and an irrigation canal that serves farmers throughout the lower Pecos River Valley.