In a first-of-its-kind study, seismologists have used tiny "microearthquakes" along a section of Californias notorious San Andreas Fault to create unique images of the contorted geology scientists will face as they continue drilling deeper into the fault zone to construct a major earthquake "observatory."
A chain of 32 seismometers recorded the small earthquakes at underground locations along a 7,100-foot-deep vertical drill hole. This eight-inch-diameter pilot hole was excavated last year about 1.1 miles southwest of the San Andreas Fault to monitor earthquake activity and assess the areas underground environment before drilling the main hole. After more vertical drilling at the same location next summer, the main hole will be angled off towards the northeast to pierce the fault zone itself.
In a paper in the Friday, Dec. 5, 2003 issue of the research journal Science, researchers from Duke University and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) described how they used seismic signals and computer analysis to derive outlines of what may be secondary faults, and perhaps fluid filled cracks, in subterranean locations between the main fault and the pilot hole.
Monte Basgall | EurekAlert!
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The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...
Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
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Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.
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After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.
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