Tuesday, 27 November 2012

just a couple of interesting things...

First of all, a lake. Here it is.

So it's a fairly circular lake, with a canal flowing into it from the south. Historical imagary goes back to 1998. If I'd posted an image from 1980, you'd have seen a shallow, freshwater lake, a pretty uniform 10 feet in depth, popular with water sports enthusiasts. It's now 200 feet deep in places, and is saline. And the change happened almost overnight. There be minerals down there you see. Oil for one, and salt for another. And back in 1981, drillers on a barge inserted a 14 inch drill into the lake bed, and drilled into a salt mine. With erosion, and the solubility of salt, that 14 inch hole rapidly expanded, and the lake emptied itself into the mine. A massive vortex formed on the lake, and sucked down boats and barges, and a lot of the shores of the lake went too. The canal, which had been an outflow, now became an inflow, and formed a 150 foot high waterfall. The biggest ever in Louisiana. Compressed air blew out of the mine shafts, followed by geysers of water. Fortunately, nobody was killed, but the mine was a write off, and the lake's ecosystem has been permanently altered by the new deeper lakebed terrain, and by the now saline water. This salinity comes not from the salt mine, but from the canal, which is natuarally salty.

Secondly, an airport.

This is Paro airport, in Bhutan. It's 7,300 feet above sea level, and surrounded by mountains that are well over 10,000 feet tall. You're looking more or less to the north here, but the terrain makes it almost impossible to get in that way, so planes have to head straight for the mountain, do a tight turn, and a dog-leg, and finally land southwards, all without the aid of the kind of electronic aids you get at modern Western airports. Aparently there are only 8 pilots in the world certified to land there.

I've tried landing on it in Google Earth, but so far haven't quite managed it.

driving lessons in Wallasey? learn to drive in Wirral? driving instructor in Birkenhead?

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