Lake, not quake, source of bad smell

2012-09-12 10:31
Dead fish at Salton Sea have been blamed for the bad smell in California. (Nick Ut, AP)

Dead fish at Salton Sea have been blamed for the bad smell in California. (Nick Ut, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Los Angeles - A rotten egg smell which had Californians turning up their noses was caused by dead fish or algae in a nearby lake, and nothing more sinister, experts said on Tuesday.

More than 200 people called authorities on Monday after the sulphurous odour was detected over a 240km area, leading to online speculation including that it was some kind of geothermic event preceding a long-feared mega earthquake experts believe will shake California.

But experts at the South Coast Air Quality Management District said the source was almost certainly the Salton Sea, a huge lake a couple of hours east of San Diego in southern California.

"We now have solid evidence that clearly points to the Salton Sea as the source of a very large and unusual odour event," said the air monitoring body's executive officer Barry Wallerstein.

Hydrogen sulphide, "a product of organic decay such as that occurring in the Salton Sea, has an unmistakable rotten-egg odour", it noted.

Its experts believe "that strong winds pushed surface waters aside and allowed water from the bottom of the shallow sea - rich with decaying and odorous bacteria - to rise to the surface," it said.

"While hydrogen sulphide concentrations at the Salton Sea yesterday were higher than normal, they were not high enough to cause irreversible harm to human health," it added.

California's perennial quake jitters have been heightened this month, after a "quake swarm" which shook part of southern California with hundreds of moderate temblors in quick succession, and two jolts centred on Beverly Hills.
Read more on:    environment

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.