“And this is where you first start getting a sense that maybe engineering hydrology isn’t the most exact of sciences. …none of the Imperial units for these values agree, but if you do the math, the conversion factor is just about one, so we ignore it. We just leave it off! This is not something we take out to the fifth decimal place.”
These images combine photography and computer generated elements in an effort to visualise the output of a mine. The CGI objects represent a scale model of the materials removed from each mine, a solid mass occupying a scene showing the ground from which it was extracted. By doing so, the intention is to create a kind of visualisation of the merits and shortfalls of mining in South Africa, an industry that has shaped the history and economy of the country so radically.
Steven Ward is a Research Geophysicist at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, UC Santa Cruz. He specializes in the quantification and simulation of natural hazards and he shares his research on youtube and his blog.
Some of the results of his modeling don’t match up cleanly with what geologists expect (for example tsunami height and reach for the Chicxulub strike) and Dr. Ward shows admirable openness about this as well as quite a bit of ingenuity in modifying the models to fit known geology.
This movie shows a physics-based computer simulation of the 1883 Krakatoa eruption; Ward suggests that a collapsing pyroclastic flow and lateral blast blew the Sunda Strait dry, which would account for the historical tsunami’s known behavior.