Mirny Mine, pt. 2

Adding to BLDGBLOG’s earlier photographs of the Mirny Mine, here is one more – in a highly suspect color scheme – as pointed out to me by Anonymous.
A substantially larger version is available if you click on the image –

– which also reveals the rather astonishing difference in scale between the city and the hole itself, which, of course, is the world’s largest diamond mine.
The photograph, meanwhile, reminded me of something my friend Dan once told me, that an American scientist had devised a plan to use, yes, nuclear bombs to open up a hole in the earth’s crust. Nuclear bombs.
Turns out, it’s Caltech’s David Stevenson, whose plan “involves creating a crack in the Earth’s crust either by detonating a nuclear warhead or by using something which would release a similar amount of energy.”

[Image: BBC].

As Stevenson himself explained to the BBC: “You fill that crack quickly with liquid iron and with a small, solid probe immersed in that liquid iron. The probe would be perhaps the size of a grapefruit. The iron being heavier than the surrounding rock causes the crack to keep propagating down and closing up behind as it does so. It goes down to the Earth’s core at quite high speed, on a timescale of days. As it reaches the core, the probe will send back, using seismic signals, information about what the Earth is made of.”
Surely, then, it would be worth nuking a self-propagating crack into the earth’s crust? What could possibly go wrong?
Turns out he’s kidding – sort of. (See PDF).

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