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OT: cool project combining science and history

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  • Kareina Talvi Tytär
    OK, this one is off topic for the list, mostly. However, it is such a cool sounding project combining geology, chemistry and human history from the Roman times
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2009
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      OK, this one is off topic for the list, mostly.
      However, it is such a cool sounding project
      combining geology, chemistry and human history
      from the Roman times to the present, I had to
      forward it, on the off chance that one of you here might be interested.

      --Kareina, who can't go for it by reason of being
      too busy trying to finish up a PhD project to be free to take up another one...

      >Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2009 12:50:27 +0100
      >From: Daniel Koehn <koehn@...-MAINZ.DE>
      >Subject: PhD student scholarship in Mainz
      >To: GEO-TECTONICS@...
      >PhD student scholarship (3 years) in Sinter studies of Roman aqueducts
      >as a data source for palaeoclimate, neotectonics and human culture at
      >the Tectonophysics Institute in Mainz, Germany under the supervision
      >of Cees W. Passchier.
      > The ancient Romans, mostly known for their military prowess, also
      >excelled in town planning and the building of infrastructure such as
      >roads, sewers and aqueducts. Over 800 aqueducts are presently known
      >which once fed the baths and fountains of the Roman Empire, some up to
      >500 km long, with bridges and inverted siphons crossing valleys, and
      >tunnels of up to 95 km long. Since aqueducts were commonly fed from
      >sources in limestone, massive layers of travertine (sinter), fibrous
      >calcite, were deposited in the interior, growing about 1mm per year in
      >thickness. Such sinter deposits can be up to 50cm thick representing a
      >continuous record of calcite deposit over 500 years. The travertine
      >deposits have a crystal structure and annual layering that reflect
      >flow hydraulics and fluctuation in water temperature and water level,
      >while fluctuations in its chemical composition reflect the variable
      >chemistry of water from the source. Sinter in individual aqueducts
      >therefore provides information on local climate and soil use. Since
      >crystals in calcite veins of rocks form in a similar way as travertine
      >in aqueducts, we can use information from travertine to better
      >understand the formation of carbonate veins in metamorphic rocks.
      >Earthquakes and human interference disrupts or modifies sinter
      >deposition, making it a great source of information on past
      >earthquakes, ancient engineering and local economics (maintenance
      >level of the infrastructure). A combination of data from sinter of a
      >number of neighbouring aqueducts can be used for relative dating and
      >can provide a unique database on neotectonics, local climate, aqueduct
      >engineering and local economic history
      >This project will be carried out on aqueducts in Greece and Turkey by
      >a PhD student at the University of Mainz, supervised by C. Passchier,
      >B. Schöne and F. Sirocko.
      >The student involved in this project is expected to do fieldwork in
      >Greece and Turkey and conduct a detailed study of the geometry of
      >sinter deposits in different parts of the aqueduct such as main
      >channels, bridges, tanks and the springs . This study will be
      >condcuted in cooperation with local archeologists. During this
      >fieldwork, samples will be taken from the most suitable sites of the
      >The student must have a Masters in science.
      >Please send an application (pdf-file) to cpasschi@....

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