Bayou Corne Sinkhole

SECTOR: Geohazards

Assumption Parish, Louisiana


When Massive Sinkhole Threatens Roadway, Authorities Monitor with ShapeArray

When residents of Bayou Corne, Louisiana, reported the smell of methane and area boaters noticed streams of bubbles deep in the swamp water, geological experts began to search for a source of seismic activity. They were unable to do so until a massive 4046-sq. metre (one acre) sinkhole opened on land leased by the Texas Brine Company, August 3, 2012.

Geologists discovered the sinkhole was a result of an underground structural failure. The affected area was located over a vast, cavernous, underground salt deposit, known as a salt dome. Companies extract the saline brine associated with salt deposits for use in industrial applications like oilfield borehole drilling. A fissure opened in the cavern’s supporting wall, causing rock and sediment to fall into the void, which created the sinkhole on the surface.

The sinkhole eventually grew to over 30 acres in size. According to an official statement issued by Texas Brine, the area of the stabilized sinkhole was roughly the size of 25 American Football fields. A year later, in August 2013, the sinkhole was estimated to be approximately 230 m (750 ft.) deep. The sinkhole’s edge lay only 275 m (900 ft.) from LA 70, threatening an important part of the state’s traffic infrastructure and the only entrance and exit to the town of Bayou Corne.

  • 1993

    The Beginning

    Measurand is established in Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • 1994

    Bend sensor development

    Measurand develops and patents fiber optic bend and position sensors for the medical and automotive sectors

    U.S. Patent 5,321,257

  • 1995

    Canadian Space Agency

    Receives funding from the CSA to develop sensor technology that ultimately leads to invention of ShapeTape

    U.S. Patent 5,633,494

  • 1999

    Patent on fiber optic sensor

    Measurand receives patent for "Fiber Optic Bending and Positioning Sensor" issued June 29, 1999

    Canadian Patent 2,073,162

  • 2001

    ShapeTape & ShapeHand debut

    Measurand designs and develops innovative motion capture technology

    U.S. Patent 6,127,672, 6,563,107

  • 2002

    Measurand Attends the ICPMG

    First contact with the geotechnical sector at the International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (ICPMG)
  • 2004


    Design patent application sent about a new product designed to meet the specific needs of the geotechnical industry

    U.S. Patent 6,127,672, 6,563,107

  • 2005-08


    Measurand debuts ShapeWrap motion capture technology for the film and animation industry

    U.S. Patent 7,296,363

  • 2006

    Malibu installation

    ShapeAccelArray installed for ground monitoring for the first time​ in Malibu, CA

    Canadian Patent 2,472,421

  • 2007


    Suite of instrumentation developed for motion capture within Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines

    U.S. Patent 7,296,363

  • 2011

    SAAScan launched

    Built for rapid deployment and repeated use

    Canadian Patent 2,472,421

  • 2014

    SAAX launched

    Purpose-built for heavy-duty horizontal installation

    Canadian application 2,815,199 & 2,815,195

  • 2017

    SAAV launched

    The only geotechnical instrument with a patented cyclical installation method

    Cyclical Sensor Array, Canadian application 2,815,199 & 2,911,175