Saturday, January 16, 2010

Seismic Gap in Gangetic West Bengal

It is a very little known fact that sub-Gangetic West Bengal falls under an intense seismic gap.
This is in Seismic Zone 4, far worse than Ahmedabad.

A seismic gap is a region which has developed a considerable seismic strain due to the tectonic plate activity over a long period.

Such areas, which have not experienced an earthquake over a long period, are at extreme risk of an impeding earthquake.

As a concerned citizen, I am writing this post.
(Of course, geologists in the Eastern Region have made detailed calculations and suggested remedifications).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sydney Dust Storms - Worst in Recorded History

I found this pic in the BBC Site....the reddish hue of the dust storm is due to some optical phenomenon.


The Sydney Dust Storms were the worst in recorded history. Records started in the 70's.

Reminds one of the Sirocco in the Mediterranean.

Aerial view (source: BBC) shows the magnitude of this phenomenon.

A gigantic atmospheric phenomenon measuring minimum 1000 kilometers in diameter, such dust storms definitely have wide-ranging long-term effects.

One had heard of the wildfires in this part of Australia in the past, of course. I remember one that threatened many households within city limits.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Let us again turn to Hurricane Katrina……the chain reaction. And analyze.

The major error was the miscalculation of the level of “storm surge” if a hurricane of Category 4 or 5 hits New Orleans….direct hit, that is.

This is, of course, difficult to predict, as there was heavy rainfall, and the water that was flowing into the sea via Mississippi river got backed up due to the storm surge. So the water could not flow out of Lake Pontchatrain. The lake’s level rose beyond unprecedented levels.

Careful study should have been done about this…because a FLOW TANK cannot predict accurately. In short, system study would have been a very complex matter to arrive at a correct software calculations.

Once the level rose in the captive Lake Pontchatrain….it was the error in calculating the strength of the levees. By this I mean not only the levees surrounding the lake, but also the drainage & feeder canals.

The other day I thought of the intricate canal system that drains off water from Lake Pontchatrain.

So, what’s the solution to prevent further New Orleans type disasters ?

First of all, identify the cities under threat.

Then make a VERY DETAILED system study. This study should involve a team of civil engineers, geologists, town planners, architects, disaster management officials, amongst others.

After the system study is over, there should be close interaction with a I.T. professionals to develop a software. And once again, much more extremely sophisticated flow tanks are the need of the hour. One can even set up “natural flow tanks” in the midst of nature better mimicking natural conditions.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


GLOBAL WARMING…….It’s a hot buzzword today, though the process had started long back. Anyway, we have to face the consequences.

And what may that be? More superhurricanes, more storm surges, more spells of drought, etc. In short, more Hurricane Katrinas.

So, what would save us from these Acts of Nature? More robust civil engineering designs.

Think Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans was flooded because of faulty analysis of the strength of the levee system. To be more specific, the levee system on the side of Lake Pontchatrain.

Once that broke, it was a CHAIN REACTION.

So, civil engineers would have to study more intensely geotechnical aspects of a design. (The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers had, in fact, warned previously of such a scenario. So had Al Gore).

What-if scenarios would require much better designed software. Software that are not only tested in a conventional flow tank. The software could not predict flooding on such a massive scale and the loss of 2000 lives.

So, in the near future, we would see intense research in areas of civil engineering. Major cities are on ocean fronts. They face the threat of superhurricanes to supercyclones. (A supercyclone wrecked havoc in Paradip in India).

…….more in the next episode

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Future of Engineering

This blog is an attempt to predict future engineering and technological trends.

I’m no Jules Verne, but still it’s fun to forecast.

The sectors that we will cover are:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical
  • Architecture
  • Chemical
  • Industrial
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Geotechnical

    (we might add more, depending upon reader response).

    Predictions for Electronics & I.T. (Information Technology) will be done in a separate blog..