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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Oct. 31 - 10 Most Incredible Earth Scars‏

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David

10 Most Incredible Earth Scars

Wed, Oct 28, 2009


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Mirny_Mine_Siberia
Mirny Mine Image: Zhivun

With explosions and massive machines scraping into the earth’s crust like a bad case of scabies, it’s small wonder open cast mining has made what many see as an unpleasant impact on the planet’s surface. The face of the earth is beleaguered with giant scars, scoured out in our ongoing bid to the plunder the planet of its natural resources. We’ve selected 10 of the holes most needing a bit of environmental ointment – where rehabilitation of the land could take some time.

10. Kalgoorlie Super Pit

Kalgoorlie_superpit_from_the_air
Image: Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines via ABC

Kalgoorlie Super Pit is what it says on the tin. Irishman Paddy Hannan first saw the glimmer of gold here back in 1893, and this gigantic pockmark in Western Australia is now its continent’s largest open cut gold mine at 3.5 km long, 1.5 km wide and 360 m deep. It’s huge. And it’s growing. At least, that is, until 2017 when it is expected to cease being productive.

Threatening to devour the town: The Super Pit, Kalgoorlie
Kalgoorlie_superpit_from_above
Image: The Super Pit

While the Super Pit has the pull of a benign black hole for tourists into good hole-some fun, air pollution, water usage, noise and vibration issues and mining waste are all bones of contention for local residents. Still, as well as coughing up almost 30 tonnes of gold each year, the pit provides work and silver for around 550 employees.

9. The Big Hole, South Africa

Kimberley_Big_Hole_South_Africa
Image: johnbullas

Another open pit whose name leaves little to the imagination, the Big Hole in Kimberly, South Africa, is said to be the largest hole excavated by hand – despite recent claims that the nearby Jagersfontein Mine holds the some might say dubious title. While it was closed in 1914, during its 43-year lifetime, the 50,000 workers who broke their backs using picks and shovels shifted 22.5 million tonnes of earth, yielding almost 3 tonnes of diamonds for their jolly bosses, the de Beer brothers.

Water-filled earth wound: The Big Hole, Kimberley
Open-pit_diamond_mine_known_as_the_Big_Hole_or_Kimberley_Mine
Image: Irene2005

The Big Hole is 463 metres wide and was dug to a depth of 240 m – though infilling and water-accumulation have left just 175 m of the hole visible. It’s now a show mine complete with a restored old town. Quaint.

8. Diavik Diamond Mine

Diavik_Diamond_Mine_from_the_air
Image: johnbullas

Diavik Diamond Mine is located in Canada’s charmingly named North Slave Region – hopefully no reflection on the way the 700 workers here are treated. This is an open cast mine like no other. Gouged into a 20 square km island, 220 km from the Arctic Circle, there are particularly jaw-dropping views of this cold spot when the surrounding waters freeze over.

Snow hole: The Diavik Mine encircled by ice
Diavik_Mine_Canada_2
Image: johnbullas

Connected by a treacherous ice road, this remote mine takes some getting to and so even has its own airport big enough to accommodate Boeing 747s. With a lifespan of 16 to 22 years, the owners will be happy as long as this yawning hole continues to throw up 8 million carats (1600 kg) of diamonds a year.

7. Ekati Diamond Mine, Canada

Ekati_Diamond_Mine,_Canada
Image: All About Rocks

Another giant crater in the grizzled face of Canada, the Ekati Diamond Mine is North America’s first commercial diamond mine – having opened in 1998 – and those still dazzled by diamond rush fever no doubt hope it won’t be the last. It’s actually only a stone’s throw from the Diavic Mine just 20 km closer to the Arctic Circle – ensuring things here stay colder than a penguin’s pecker.

Iced up: The Ekati Mine in freezing winter temperatures
Ekati_Diamond_Mine_Panda_Pit
Image: whutch1 via Weather Underground

Like its brethren blemish in Diavic, the Ekati Mine is accessed by hair-raising ice roads and got its 15 minutes of fame on The History Channel’s Ice Road Truckers programme. Darned crazy canucks? Driven mad perhaps by the 40 million plus carats (8,000 kg) of diamonds the steady scouring has so far produced.

6. Grasberg Mine, Indonesia

Grasberg_mine_Pit
Image: Alfindra Primaldhi

Opened in 1973, Indonesia’s Grasberg Mine is the world’s biggest gold mine and third largest copper mine. This industrial eyesore in the mountains of Papua employs a staggering 19,500 workers but is majority owned by smiling US subsidiaries. Built with permission it was not really the Indonesian government’s to give, the mine was attacked by the rebel Free Papua Movement in 1977.

Putting things in scale: Astronaut photo of the Grasberg Mine
Astronaut_photo_of_the_Grasberg_Mine_in_Papua_province,_Indonesia
Image: NASA

These days, steep aerial tramways ferry equipment and people in and out. In 2006, the mine coughed up 610,800 tonnes of copper and 58 tonnes of gold, but it doesn’t take much digging to find environmental controversy surrounding the site, with water contamination and landslides heading the list of concerns. Contentious.

5. Chuquicamata, Chile

Vista_de_la_mina_de_chuquicamata
Image: Luiswtc73

Chuquicamata in Chile is a colossus of a mine that has churned up a record total of 29 million tonnes of copper. Despite almost 100 years of intensive exploitation, it remains among the largest known copper resources, and its open pit is one of the biggest at a whopping great 4.3 km long, 3 km wide and over 850 m deep.

Strangely beautiful sight: Chuquicamata Mine from high in the air
Chuquicamata_copper_mine_chile
Image: Owen Cliffe

Copper has been mined for centuries at Chuquicamata, as shown by the 1898 discovery of a mummy dated around 550 AD found trapped in an ancient mine shaft by a cave-in. A great influx of miners was sucked in by ‘Red Gold Fever’ after the War of the Pacific, when at one stage the area was covered with unruly mining camps where alcohol, gambling, prostitution and even murder were rife. Yee-haw.

4. Escondida, Chile

Esconida_Copper_Mine,_Chile
Image: Minera Escondida

The Minera Escondida Mining Co. runs twin open pit mines cut into the skin of the copper capital of the world that is Chile. Construction began in 1990, and this sucker recently overtook Chuquicamata as the world’s largest annual copper producer, with its 2007 yield of 1.48 million tonnes worth US$ 10.12 billion – a whole lot of dollar.

Escondida from space: The mine is at the bottom of the picture
NASA_image_of_Escondida_Mine_in_Chile
Image: PD-USGOV-NASA

Environmental impact aside, Escondida has become a key part of the Chilean economy and employs some 2,951 people directly. A strike in 2006 broke out because workers felt they were not sharing in the super high profits being made on the back of record copper prices. After wrangling for pay demands, the union briefly blockaded the road to the mine. Testy stuff.

3. Udachnaya Diamond Mine, Russia

Udachnaya_pipe_mine
Image: Alexander Stepanov

Like the Sarlacc Pit on Steroids, the Udachnaya Mine in Russia is a gigantic open-pit diamond mine that plunges more than 600 metres into the earth’s crust. Yep, it’s one heck of a hole. Located in Russia’s vast but sparsely populated Sakha Republic, just outside the Arctic circle, it seems that mining for these precious stones demands a good set of thermal undies.

Into the depths: The Udachnanyay Mine from its southern side
Udachnanyay_pipe,_southern_side,_view_at_deep
Image: Russian Author

The nearby settlement of Udachny was named after the diamond deposit, which was discovered in 1955 just days after the Mir (below). The Udachnaya pipe is controlled by Alrosa, Russia’s largest diamond company, which boasts that it plans to halt open-pit mining in favour of underground mining in 2010. Glad to hear it.

2. Mirny Diamond Mine, Russia

Mirny_Diamond_Mine,_Russia
Image: USMRA

Siberia’s Mir Diamond Mine comes close to taking the cake as numero holie. The largest open diamond mine in the world, this Russian monster has a surface diameter of 1.2 km and is 525 m deep. The size of the hole is such that wind currents inside cause a downdraft that has resulted in helicopters being sucked in and crashing. Good to know the area above it is now a no-fly zone.

Earth vortex: The Mir looks as if it might suck in houses as well as helicopters
Mir_Diamond_Mine
Image: USMRA

After its discovery in 1955, workers at the Mir had to endure incredibly harsh temperatures that froze the ground and everything else in the winter, making car tires and steel shatter. The mine ceased operations in 2001, having produced 10 million carats (2 tonnes) of diamond per year at its peak. Our survey says: ka-bling.

1. Bingham Canyon Mine, USA

Bingham_Canyon_Mine
Image: johnbullas

So here it is, the carbuncle supremo, Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah, the world’s biggest manmade pit. This mammoth mine measures 4 km wide and drops a stomach-churning 1.2 km into the ground, the result of extraction begun in 1863. The ore-inspiring fruits of its labour include more than 17 million tonnes of copper and 715 tonnes of gold – a mental load of metal.

The biggest yet: Bingham Canyon Mine laid bare
Bingham_Copper_Mine
Image: Elmhurst

In the early 1900s, mining camps lined the steep canyon walls, but several of these were swallowed up by the ever-expanding mine. Now it employs 1,400 people and 50,000 tonnes of material are removed from it each day. What’s more, this giant earth scar and National Historic Landmark is growing – and will continue to until at least 2013.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH, ESPAÑOL, PORTUGUÊS

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MUFON

How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:


Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:




Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.

MUFON.COM

ESOTERIC



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