A cryptotectonic shift?

An unidentified source within US Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, suggests that two of the four stainless steel cable moorings that keep Staten Island in place may have severed at some point this past month. The previously undocumented moorings, which were installed in the early 20th century, are tethered to Cambro-Ordovician serpentinite and Jurassic diabase and are designed to keep the island from shifting to the southeast. “In infinitesimal increments, the island, as if on its very own tectonic plate, has moved out the Ambrose,” said the USACE source.

A source close to USCG Sector NY but who refused to be identified reported that since the middle of last month vessel traffic service has had to recalibrate their station GPS settings, all to no permanent effect. “Investigations have been ongoing, but the southeast drift is undeniable,” this source opined, continuing,  “The USACE findings were entirely plausible, although officially we had never previously heard of these moorings.  This is disconcerting because these sub-channel bonds were never taken into account in the decade of dredging leading up to the arrival of the first Neo-Panamax vessel in the port.”

Further investigations by NOAA are said to be studying connections between recent fatal saltwater mammal groundings and this tectonic creep. Two of  13 operational NASA satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit and three of 4 in geostationary orbit have become involved using remote sensing satellites, and confirmed that Todt Hill’s summit of 401’ has subsided dramatically to 396’. Should this slide and subsidence accelerate, a possibility exists that the Island could settle, the equivalent of losing a geological version of hull integrity. NYC DOT bridge inspectors have been regularly tightening turnbuckles on the Outerbridge, Goethals, and Bayonne Bridges to attempt mitigation of this glissade to the southeast.  Leaked reports from the Lamont Geological Observatory suggest that Staten Island’s movement is an isolated drift, not happening with other islands of NYC’s archipelago.

Joey Gould, a reclusive independent scholar, had this to say on remediation:   “We put ourselves on this slippery slope; with the demise of the NYWheel project, we lost our last best chance to bolster those cables.” A flamboyant man-on-the-street, Commodore Belge, had this to say, “Despite assurances that sufficient towing power exists locally to reverse this slide, if arrayed in the vicinity of Port Ivory, hire me and I’ll fix the issue by getting waivers to the Jones Act, and bring in tugboats from Canada and overseas, and the Isle of Staten’s location will be right as rain once again.” 

If these unsubstantiated claims are in fact true, the worst option is to do nothing.  Inaction will lead to who knows where.  We need to end it.

Hat tip to Jason St. Onge for inspiration.   Thanks to Joseph Mitchell for his memorable characters

All reports here vetted and rejected by the tugster tower conspitheo department.

Click here for a 2019 version.  Here’s a 2010.  And this may have been a clever fake.