by Boris GOLUBOV, Cand. Sc. (Geol. & Mineral.), Institute of Dynamics of Geospheres, Russian Academy of Sciences
Professor Challenger, hero of the short story When the World Screamed by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 - 1930), was obsessed with the idea: to act most vigorously on the sensitive centers of the earth, for which purpose he dug a deep well in its crust. And the outraged planet uttered a deep roar that sent repercussions far and wide-just to show it was one whole organism... A dire scenario!
Articles in this rubric reflect the authors' opinion. - Ed.
Underground nuclear explosions conducted in the Soviet Union: 1 - on military test ranges; 2 - blasts for burial of chemical wastes; 3 - for crushing ore deposits; 4 - for oil mining; 5 - for underground storages of hydrocarbon fuel; 6 - for excavation; 7 - for outgassing coal seams and preventing rock bumps; 8 - for elimination of emergency oil gushers and gas blowouts; 9 - for seismic sounding of the crust; 10 - for erection of slump holes (funnels of collapse).
Such kind of scenario has a topical ring today, what with the ever growing scope of human invasion into the globe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was not the first to sound alarms. Ancient thinkers were likewise conscious-perhaps even more poignantly-of the grave danger involved in human tampering deep under, something that could arouse Pluto, the god of the underworld. Thus, Homer in his Iliad (12th - 8th centuries B.C.) and Euripides in his tragedies Iphigenia in Aulis and Bacchantes (ca. 480 - 406 B.C.) saw one of the causes of earthquakes in that not only gods but mortals, too, shook the earth. "... When Earth is rocked in her last convulsion; when Earth shakes off her burdens..," warns the Koran... And the Roman naturalist and writer Pliny the Elder (23 - 79 A.D.) said it in so many words-quite relevant in our time and age, too: "We are cutting into the mountains and pulling them apart solely for luxury's sake... Capes are coming to b ... Read more