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Author Topic: Rebuttal to Bonneville Salt Loss  (Read 17427 times)
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Milwaukee Midget
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« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2015, 02:20:05 PM »

Bob, let's run with the "official" evidence as offered, and assume the salt is still there, somehow sequestered under a layer of clay and gypsum.

What are the forces that are causing it to stratify in a manner that causes apparent loss of surface area?  Are these observations consistent with geological history?  If Intrepid is causing the problem, what precisely is happening, and what, if anything, can be done to restratify the halite layer we race on?

And if the salt is still there, after a year an a half of extraordinary rainfall, why is it not percolating back to the surface as it did after '82-83?

I'm looking for an understanding of the geology that seems to be masked rather than illuminated by the reading material the Utah Alliance is offering up.

But after reading those materials, it's my sense that STS's three position checklist - racing, mining, and reclamation - is going to prove to be incompatible at best.  If the studies indicate no appreciable loss of salt, you've lost any political support and enforcement authority.  If laydown is showing little if any improvement, then, of course, it's a "failed policy", which can no longer be supported.

Imagine the political ad - possibly funded by share holders of Intrepid - berating a politician for supporting "a failed environmental policy of returning salt to the salt flats", and "threatening hundreds of family supporting jobs in Utah".  That's the political implications of this.  
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 03:10:11 PM by Milwaukee Midget » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2015, 02:47:48 PM »

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Dan
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« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2015, 03:43:33 PM »

Sid, just so you know, I am not trying to discount anything you are saying. I am just trying to give some insight on why William is saying there is 2-3 feet of salt out there. Personally, I think there are fatal flaws in the way they measured it but they discounted the 1970 studies which use the definition of hard salt instead of the definition they are using now. It gives a very deceiving result which we need to fix in the next study. Unfortunately per their agreement they only have to compare to the 2003 study which uses the unfavorable definition.

The coordinates for Russ's locations can be found here http://www.savethesalt.org/resources.html  look under the documents heading, it is the salt crust measurements link.

Here is the appendix showing the locations of the BLM's locations http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/ut/salt_lake_fo/bonneville_salt_flats/salt_laydown_project.Par.42614.File.dat/UGA2006_White&Terrazas%20Appendices.pdf

Here is the report that describes the methods they used to make the measurements http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/ut/salt_lake_fo/bonneville_salt_flats/salt_laydown_project.Par.87663.File.dat/UGA2006_White&Terrazas.pdf
Thanks for that. Theres only so many hours in a day & just not enough of them with a road service business, building a streamliner & preparing for winter in the Rockies. I sent Russ an email so he'll probably point me to the same place.
Anybody know if there is water on the salt now or if it's run off to Intrepid??
  Sid.
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« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2015, 03:58:26 PM »

If all the salt is still there on the BSF (no appreciable loss according to numerous studies), where did the huge piles on Intrepid's property, lots of 100 car trainloads sold and transported over the years, and feet thick rock hard salt in the evaporation ponds come from?
The crust (that is the part on top of everything else for those that can't seem to understand how it used to be) used to be feet thick by itself, without getting into the lower layers. What was in the lower layers of gypsum wasn't cared about as there was no way to get to it without heavy equipment.
Somewhere there should be core samples from way in the past unless they have mysteriously disappeared.
Good luck Sid.

Ron
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« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2015, 05:18:48 PM »

Sid, just so you know, I am not trying to discount anything you are saying. I am just trying to give some insight on why William is saying there is 2-3 feet of salt out there. Personally, I think there are fatal flaws in the way they measured it but they discounted the 1970 studies which use the definition of hard salt instead of the definition they are using now. It gives a very deceiving result which we need to fix in the next study. Unfortunately per their agreement they only have to compare to the 2003 study which uses the unfavorable definition.

The coordinates for Russ's locations can be found here http://www.savethesalt.org/resources.html  look under the documents heading, it is the salt crust measurements link.

Here is the appendix showing the locations of the BLM's locations http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/ut/salt_lake_fo/bonneville_salt_flats/salt_laydown_project.Par.42614.File.dat/UGA2006_White&Terrazas%20Appendices.pdf

Here is the report that describes the methods they used to make the measurements http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/ut/salt_lake_fo/bonneville_salt_flats/salt_laydown_project.Par.87663.File.dat/UGA2006_White&Terrazas.pdf
Thanks for that. Theres only so many hours in a day & just not enough of them with a road service business, building a streamliner & preparing for winter in the Rockies. I sent Russ an email so he'll probably point me to the same place.
Anybody know if there is water on the salt now or if it's run off to Intrepid??
  Sid.

No Problem. I am in the same spot, too much paying engineering work going on to get enough time to really focus on this right now. What I want to do is put together some kind of spread sheet to really compare all of the studies to date so we can get a real apples to apples comparison of everything. I am not disputing that there was feet of hard salt to race on 50 years ago and that it has gone somewhere, I just want to make some kind of thickness time line that we can use to really compare rather than just using the latest study like I suspect will be done with this current study. If we use their data to show that there has been an decrease in the thickness then we can fight back when it comes time to discuss the new study and conditions moving forward. I think that a time line could in fact say that the pump back laydown project is working to maintain the current thickness but work still needs to be done to rebuild.

If you are planning on going back out to make measurements I would coordinate with Russ for sure. If you would be open to it, I would like to come out with you to help with the measurements. I have messaged back and forth with both Russ and Eric about it but haven't been able to connect with them in person yet.

I have two theories on the stratifying of the layers. 1) The layers have always been there just further down in the salt surface so it wasn't an issue at the time or 2) the layers of gypsum (mud) are sort of like the rings on a tree that show times when heavy rainfall like has happened the last two years brought mud down from the hills that hasn't completely settled out to the bottom yet. In my opinion either way shows that the salt has gone away. If #1 is correct, the salt went through the mud layers and ended up in the collection ditches. If #2 is correct, I think the mud layers may have gotten closer together also due to the brine ending up in the ditch.

I still think that the STS checklist is the only way to go about it, the mining methods just need to be modified to make it all happen. I am in no way denying that the salt ended up at the mine throughout the years. But the thickness studies, at least in my mind so far, show that the most destructive was between about the 1950s to 1990s when instead of pumping back the solar ponds' salt they were ripping it with a bull dozer and either stockpiling it or selling it by the trainload. It is a process that the mine would have to go through to free up room in their ponds in order to operate for the last 50 or so years. From the 1990s on, the salt seems to be more or less (less crust but sameish total thickness) the same thickness. But this also leads me to believe that the last two years of heavy down pour have lead to the conditions we are seeing now, which aligns with what we have heard form the "official" sources.
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« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2015, 09:14:01 PM »

  Basement, Way back on August 7th, I suggested (post # 742, Poor Salt Conditions) that a temporary or possibly permanent dike be erected around our entire racing area.  This would be accomplished using portable concrete Freeway barriers which could easily be sealed with bitumen asphalt roofing material between each barrier, and removed at any time.
  If the BLM was forced (er... I mean politely asked) to return the millions (?) of tons of "crusted" salt from the south side of the freeway to the diked enclosure (I neither know how or care) would that not be replacing the missing Crust? 
  Even if it was two to three inches, would that replaced "crust" not want to stay on the surface if the pumping TO Intrepid were halted or moved beyond the enclosed area by a few miles or restricted to the south side of I-80?
  I don't have a clue as to how efficient a dike would be so I am asking your and anyone else's opinion on this.
  This is only a hypothetical question and I realize the logistics and cost would be astronomical but as far as I can understand, that missing crust laid in place for thousands and thousands of years undisturbed until pumping began.
                                                                               Bob
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« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2015, 09:20:32 PM »

About 6 PM local Wendover time I received a phone call from Tom Walsh who was standing at lands end. Tom and Steve Moal were on the return trip from Florida and overnighted in Wendover.

Anyway, Tom reports standing water side to side, end to end. No wind, beautiful weather, lovely sunset. Almost everything needed to run race cars and bikes.

DW
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« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2015, 10:05:18 PM »

I hope they were driving something interesting.

Mike
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« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2015, 10:12:50 PM »

Bob, I have suggested some form of a dike as well. My thought was the dike would be dirt to keep costs down but I also know that it could cause issues like we are seeing with dirt coming off of the existing dikes. The dike would go from about the east end of the existing soludro dike straight to floating mountain. That would cut off the leases and collection ditches north of I-80 from the BSF while still leaving the ditches that cross near the corner of the access road for pumping back in the winter months. This wouldn't be a BLM fix, just a change in what they are requiring Intrepid to do. Intrepid would foot the bill and it would fit in to their existing budget. I think it would be a possible solution to at least look in to. I think the Saludro dike has served as a test subject  for a number of years, the salt within the dike appears to be thick and solid but I don't have any info on the depth. Getting data for the area within the dike may be problematic as it is technically private property.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 10:15:01 PM by BasementBorn » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2015, 01:09:47 AM »

  Gabe,  Finding dirt may be a problem although out around Oasis it might be easier.
  I have probably told this story before but about ten years ago the site where the future LSR Museum is slated to be built was being marketed as a New Community of Modular Homes with all sorts of flags and markers and of course a sign.
  As we were coming in from the Salt Flats some poor bastard was trying to dig a ditch for utilities or whatever.  His backhoe bucket was full of that god awfull yellow
muck and He was trying to fling it out of the bucket but it wasn't going anywhere!  It was like the booger from Hell... no wait, that's Stainless...........
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« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2015, 01:39:03 AM »

I think the problem with a concrete dike would be that the salt is essentially floating over the clay.  Unless you were to anchor it with footings through the salt, through the clay, and into the substrate, it would likely shift and blow out in short order.

The present dike isn't attempting to contain the water that flows out of the mountains - rather, it diverts it.

Erosion control on the west end to prevent silt from washing out onto the pan would, I think, be helpful in the long run.  

An earthen dike would be more flexible and cheaper, and easier to maintain, but if the BLM eventually decrees that there actually is a science based, actionable problem, it's likely to be a holistic approach they'll want to pursue, correcting the entire BSF - not just the race course.

Being honest with ourselves, STS and most of us racers are looking for the restoration of the racing surface at Bonneville. I'm a bit concerned about the study due in 2018, because that research is likely to have a broader focus, and it might not support our demands.  
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"Problems are almost always a sign of progress."  Harold Bettes
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« Reply #41 on: October 15, 2015, 04:32:30 AM »

About 6 PM local Wendover time I received a phone call from Tom Walsh who was standing at lands end. Tom and Steve Moal were on the return trip from Florida and overnighted in Wendover.

Anyway, Tom reports standing water side to side, end to end. No wind, beautiful weather, lovely sunset. Almost everything needed to run race cars and bikes.

DW
Thanks Dan. Looks like it might take a while for that to flow over to the other side of the freeway.
I have a story about the dyke told to me by Russ. Later! Right now I need sleep.
  Sid.
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« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2015, 11:24:00 AM »

On this forum the mayor told me that he could take me to where there was 3 ft of salt on the racing surface so just ask him. I'm not trying to bad mouth the man but he did state that. I know he has a fine line to walk in this deal
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« Reply #43 on: October 15, 2015, 11:29:50 AM »

I was going to find the reply to my post from the mayor but everything after 2012 is gone on my messages
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« Reply #44 on: October 15, 2015, 11:55:11 AM »

AS an addition to my post from yesterday these photos are from Tom Walsh. I hope they attach OK.



* salt 10-14-15.1.jpg (63.76 KB, 800x600 - viewed 210 times.)

* salt 10-14-15.2.jpg (88.27 KB, 640x640 - viewed 177 times.)

* salt 10-14-15.3.jpg (72.72 KB, 800x800 - viewed 204 times.)

* salt 10-14-15.4.jpg (106.45 KB, 800x800 - viewed 187 times.)
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